Serious question. . . Does this look like a recipe for success?
Maybe in Little League? Or maybe in the minor leagues if you’re throwing gas? (he wasn’t)
Apparently, it could also work against the New York Yankees, because this is a real chart. It’s showing all 60 pitches Michael Pineda threw to somehow dazzle a group of MLB’s best hitters in a 5 inning, 3 hit, shutout performance.
Incredible, right? I’m not impressed. I’m baffled. What shocks me most is the fact the red colored baseballs represent 4-seam fastballs (4SFB). Pineda threw 4SFBs 63.3% of the time last week – up from 54.2% last year. Yet, despite flat velocity (90.7 MPH), below average movement and cringeworthy pitch locations, he escaped untouched.
When not throwing his 4SFB, Pineda relied on his Changeup (21.7% of pitches, colored green in the chart) and occasional Sliders (15%, colored yellow). That’s it. Those are literally his only pitches. Until he tightens up pitch location, Pineda’s current arsenal is a recipe for disaster.
Tonight, I see Pineda’s issues as being compounded by the fact he’s facing his former team. The Twins will know exactly what to expect and how to capitalize on it. At least that’s my hope.
If Minnesota can plate a few runs early, I like 25-year-old Joe Ryan’s chances of holding it down to secure a victory. Ryan ranks as one of Minnesota’s top pitching prospects. Through his first 8 MLB starts, he’s flashed signs of brilliance, posting an impressive 28.7% strikeout rate, 0.82 WHIP, 0.246 OBA and 0.203 xBA. This year, he’s 2-1 and coming off a nice 6 inning, 2 hit performance vs. Kansas City.
The only negative I’m seeing with Ryan this year relates to his walk rate, which is slightly elevated vs. last year (8.3% vs. 5%) but arguably due for a positive correction tonight.
Rather than gamble on the full game, I prefer to back the Twins to win the First 5 innings as they’ve done in 10 of their 17 (59%) games this year. Conversely, the Tigers are just 6-10 (38%) in the first 5 frames this year, highlighting a nice mismatch I’m eager to exploit.