Last season we started posting scouting reports for opposing pitchers in our game previews. Since we don’t touch on the Tribe’s starters on a daily basis during the year, let’s start the season out with a report on their repertoire.
Here’s a basic breakdown on each of the Tribe’s five starters.
Corey Kluber – RHP
Repertoire: Fastball (52%, 93 mph), Slider (28%), Curveball (16%), Changeup (4%)
First pitch: Fastball (63%), Slider (25%)
Strikeout pitch: Even mix of outside fastballs, sliders and curveballs vs righties… Challenges lefties up with fastballs, or low with curveballs.
Overview vs Righties: Kluber lives on the lower outside part of the plate against righties. He generally starts out with fastballs until he gets ahead, but when he falls behind fastballs are what get him in trouble. Opposing righties hit .283 against his fastball last season with a miss rate of just 10 percent.
While he throws it just 15 percent of the time, his curve is deadly against righties, as they went just 9-97 in at-bats ending with a curve last year.
Overview vs Lefties: Left-handed batters hit .323 against Kluber’s fastball with a .532 slugging percentage. As a result, when Kluber fell behind in the count, lefties hit .455 against him. But his curve was equally deadly against lefties (8-102), allowing him to dominate when working ahead in the count.
Trevor Bauer – RHP
Repertoire: Fastball (50%, 93 mph), Curve (14%), Slider (12%), Cutter (11%), Changeup (9%), Screwball (3%)
First pitch: Fastball (54%), Cutter (13%), Changeup (13%), Slider (12%)
Strikeout pitch: Relies heavily on his curveball against both lefties and righties, with an occasional fastball up in the zone.
Overview: Versus righties or lefties, the key to Bauer’s success is getting ahead in the count. After a first-pitch strike, Bauer had a .262 opponents OBP last year. But after a first-pitch ball, his opponents OBP was a miserable .399. The issue is his fastball, which is the only pitch he can somewhat reliably throw for strikes, but also the only pitch that every batter can hit.
In a hitter’s count, Bauer throws his fastball 66 percent of the time which yields a .388 opponents batting average. In a pitcher’s count, however, his fastball usage drops to 33 percent.
Bauer allowed opponents to just a .208 average and just 23 extra-base hits against his off-speed pitchers in 2014.
Carlos Carrasco – RHP
Repertoire: Fastball (54%, 95 mph), Slider (22%), Changeup (16%), Curveball (9%)
First pitch: Fastball (64%), Slider (17%)
Strikeout pitch: Relies heavily on the outside slider against righties… Against lefties, goes with a mix of fastballs and changeups away.
|Andrew Cashner (SD)||305||8.9%||95.8|
|Kevin Gausman (BAL)||368||10.2%||96.1|
|Carlos Carrasco (CLE)||345||10.7%||96.1|
|Joe Kelly (BOS)||317||12.6%||95.9|
|Wily Peralta (MIL)||886||13.7%||96.2|
Overview vs Righties: Carrasco’s fastball averages 95 miles per hour but it doesn’t even begin to fool righties. He generates a whiff percentage of just 10 percent with 95 mph fastballs against righties, the third lowest in the majors last year. As a result, righties killed his fastball to the tune of a .386 average and a .667 slugging percentage.
When he gets into a pitcher’s count, Carrasco throws 70 percent offspeed pitches, including 42 percent sliders. His offspeed pitches generate a miss percentage of 41 percent.
His most deadly pitch against righties is the slider, which he throws for a strike 82 percent of the time. He also gets righties to chase slider 53 percent of the time he throws it outsize the zone.
Overview vs Lefties: For some reason lefties don’t handle Carrasco’s fastball nearly as well (.235 BA, .324 Slug%), so he throws it 63 percent of the time. He’s basically a fastball-changeup pitcher against lefties, as the two account for 82 percent of his pitches against lefties.
T.J. House – LHP
Repertoire: Sinker (56%), Slider (24%), Changeup (17%), Curveball (3%)
First pitch: Sinker (70%)
Strikeout pitch: Even mix of sliders and sinkers versus righties… Favors the slider slightly versus lefties, mixing in some fastballs.
Overview vs Righties: House relies heavily on his sinker, even in pitcher’s counts. However, righties hit .356 against his sinker and .372 when he throws it in the strike zone. He only gets righties to whiff on his sinker 8.6 percent of the time and they only chase it out of the zone 18 percent of the time.
Overview vs Lefties: House generated a ridiculous 80 percent groundball rate with his sinker against lefties last year, the best rate in the majors.
He also works in a slider, which he uses almost exclusively in pitchers counts to get hitters to chase. In fact, he only threw his slider in the strike zone to lefties 29 percent of the time last season.
Zach McAllister – RHP
Repertoire: Fastball (73%, 93 mph), Curveball (10%), Slider (10%), Changeup (7%)
First pitch: Fastball (75%), Curveball (14%)
Strikeout pitch: Fastballs up in the zone.
Overview vs Righties: McAllister has a rare pitching style, as he challenges hitters up in the zone despite lacking a dominant fastball. The heat map on the right shows his pitch frequency against righties.
Consistent 93 mph fastballs up in the zone shouldn’t work, but he’s had a decent career with the strategy so far.
Overview vs Lefties: McAllister isn’t as aggressive against lefties, as he tends to keep the ball on the outside portion of the plate. The issue against lefties is that his offspeed pitchers aren’t as effective. Over the past two years, lefties have a .286 average against his offspeed stuff.