Thursday, October 15, 2009

AFL Notes: 10/13, 10/15

Gutierrez, 3/0/0/2/2; 46-28 (60.9%), 3-4
33FB/71.7% (57.6% strikes; ave velo 94.1), 1 called strikeout
2CU (84 ball/82 pop up)
11CB (3 balls, 5 called strikes, 1 called strikeout)
"Hard" CB, 75-77; "soft" CB, 69-72 - throws both pitches for strikes

Couple of observations. As with his first and last outing for TX in AA, has trouble missing bats as he seems to have the "Beavan" syndrome - too many good strikes/not working the ball effectively around the zone. Having said that, like Beavan, has AA command of his FB so his approach must be what needs a little tweaking. Only 2 swinging strikes in 46 pitches, both on fastballs. His FB sat plus at 94 over his 3 innings (93-95) so the reported increase in his velo at the end of the 2008 season seems legit, and clearly the TX scouts knew this as well when the trade for him was made. Threw a ton of FB in the first, and lost command of it in the third. Throws a hard and soft CB, both of them for strikes, and, per his history, rarely throws a changeup, which is what he should be working on during the next 6 weeks.

In his future outings, you hope to see a lot of changeups. I'm also curious to see if his trouble missing bats is due to one some all or none of the following factors: 1. the AS sink/run on his FB is exaggerated or has been reduced with his velo increase; 2. how little deception he has with his delivery; 3. too many good strikes, or an approach in which he fails to move the FB around effectively; 4. a failure to sequence pitches effectively, esp. given the low # of changeups he throws. Anyways, just stuff I will be thinking about with this kid, while he is pitching and attending to his legal problems while in the great state of AZ...

Here is an excerpt from BP's KG on DG, another example of someone praising the movement on his FB (sink, cut). Also, seems to be the only other person who gives a shit about the fact that he's a total head case, and legal liability:
A surprising late-season acquisition, Gutierrez pitched less than 30 innings this year when the Rangers traded for him, and he's yet to pitch more than 100 innings in any season, adding injury-prone to what is already not the best of reputations due to some off-the-field incidents. So why would a team be interested in him? Well, because he can get it up to 94 mph, he can sink it, he can cut it, and he'll flash you a quality breaking ball pretty regularly. All of those were on display Thursday; now the Rangers just need to keep him on the mound and out of trouble . . . and the trainer's room.

Reed, 1/2/1/1/1; 32-19, 1-1
As we have come to expect with Reed - command issues. Walked the leadoff guy in the 7th with a 7 run lead (BB, CSO, single, single, AO, GO).
Sat 93.64 with his FB, only 2 swinging strikes in this outing (FB, Slider), with only about a 50% strike rate with the pitch. The pre-draft scouting reports on his FB were that it was pretty straight in his peak velo range, 93-95. His slider was 86-85, and he threw one splitter at 86.

Important second season for Garr. Came into 2008 with high expectations, with his plus FB (92-95+96) and nice splitter, however was injured for a good portion of the year after a disappointing start. He did have a dominant second half after returning from the DL, though he was sidelined again for a brief time with a recurrence of shoulder soreness. Coming into 2009, I thought he might make his ML debut but, apparently had a shitty ST, and was eventually demoted to HighA early in the season. He was plagued with command issues and was briefly sidelined again with a sore shoulder but finally made it back to AA with some success to end the season.

So in this outing, he had command issues once again. I'm thinking John Bannister, or Kea Kometani with this kid. This year he failed to regain his previously plus velo, and sat around 92 during the games that I listened to. In this outing he sat about 91 with his FB (90-92). The pitch fx said he threw a couple of 2 seam FB (90, 89) and this could be right as Garner, the AA radio voice, said he had been working on a cutter during the season. I do not believe that he threw any splitters in this outing as he never got any 2-strike counts, instead throwing three breaking balls (80-81, variously called curves or sliders depending on who you're talking to) in breaking ball counts - 1 ball, 1 in the dirt, 1 HR. I have to wonder if Garr's main problem is an inability to command his breaking ball but I'll keep an eye on his FB command in future starts.


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