Thursday, April 22, 2010: Starting Pitchers


Scott Baker

#30 / Pitcher / Minnesota Twins

6-4

220

R

R

Sep 19, 1981

 


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2010 - Scott Baker 2-1 3 3 0 0 0 0 18.2 17 7 7 2 4 12 3.38 1.13

 

 After a rough first start Baker has looked pretty solid his last two times to the mound.  He's taken a decision in each start, and I expect him to get another one tonight.

It's hard to find something new to say about Scotty B. every time he takes the hill.  He has a pretty decent fastball in the low 90s, and in years past he's been able to butter his bread with that slider.  It took a dip last season, but it's something to watch as the spring wears on.  He hasn't induced much in terms of pop-up outs yet, which are always gimmees, and hitters are making a little better contact than they're probably used to, but again:  it's early.

To be successful today, Baker needs to do three things.

  1. Be efficient.  He doesn't necessarily have an "out pitch" right now, which means he can struggle to put certain guys away.  It shows in his strikeout numbers, even if it's a small sample size.  If he can put guys away when they get to two strikes, that's one step.
  2. Keep the ball in the park.  Just two homers allowed in three starts, and that's okay.
  3. As always, avoid walks.

 


Mitch Talbot

#51 / Pitcher / Cleveland Indians

6-2

200

R

R

Oct 17, 1983

 

 

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2010 - Mitch Talbot 1-1 2 2 1 0 0 0 14.0 12 6 5 2 5 3 3.21 1.21


In his first start of the season, Talbot managed to allow just four runs in five innings off of five walks and six hits.  But last time?  A six-hit, one-run complete game.  Not bad for someone you've barely heard of, huh?

Talbot carries a decent fastball in the low 90s and a cutter that sits between the mid and upper 80s.  He hearts that cutter--he's throwing it one out of every four pitches, which is a pretty high number for a guy with just one breaking ball, which is a slider-curve that he's barely thrown so far.  It's done wonders for him--just look at the results his last time out.  If he can jam the Twins' talented left-handed hitters, he could be in for an easy ride.

The cut fastball has held left-handed hitters to a .538 OPS this spring.  I don't care if it's a small sample size, that could be trouble.  On the plus side, this is the kind of pitcher Delmon Young excels at facing.  For him and Michael Cuddyer, that .484 opponent slugging percentage for right-handed hitters could look pretty appealing from their side of the box.

For the Twins offense today, they need to lay off Talbot's bait--especially the left-handers, who will see that cutter and will take mighty hacks at it because it looks so fat...until they hit a weak grounder right back to the pitcher.  Talbot doesn't get many swings and misses, but he doesn't have to.  Try to work his pitch counts, make him throw strikes and get a few walks out of the deal.



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