Stephen Pryor Scouting Report 6.2.12 - Offspeed Stuff

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Q.  Will this article be the final word on Pryor's slider and change?

A.  We're going off four (4) sliders and one (1) change.  Asked and answered, mon cherie.  This is a single-game "virtual crosscheck," as it were.  Subject to alteration, to correction by G-Money, or to revocation at any time.

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Q.  Do you like Pryor's slider?

A.  I do not, though Stephen Pryor obviously does.

In his debut game Saturday, Mr. Hyde grabbed Paul Konerko in two arms and ripped him in half at the waist.  He chewed out a stogie, swallowed it, and ground Alex Rios under his heel.  He retired Mr. Personality for a third out, and then....

... facing Dayan Viciedo, THE Dayan right handed Viciendo, started him off with a 90 MPH slider waist high.  You could sense Blowers' confused blink over the TV ... Pryor on 0-1 came back with another slider, low away.  The polite Blowers couldn't contain himself.  "Wow.  Starts him with two sliders."  He didn't say it admiringly.

Third pitch?   92 MPH slider, actually probably a changeup but the point is the same, right down the heart, knee high.  Somehow Viciedo fouled it off; 1-2 count.  Blowers didn't say a word.  It was like the guy who watches a drunk knock all the glasses off the table into his date's lap and there is stunned silence.  That kind of silence.

Pryor came back with two completely unhittable fastballs, one fouled off, 2-2 count, and then sped up Viciedo's bat with a SLOWER slider, and this was the location, pitch #6:

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Q.  Pretty hittable pitch, eh?

A.  Pretty hittable pitch, no.  It's quite literally a batting-practice pitch, maybe with 5 MPH on it.

Did you know that in the 1800's, major league hitters could call for the pitch in the location they desired?  Tell me where you'd call for a pitch?

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Q.  Describe the slider generally?

A.  Below average movement, as you can see from the chart in the previous article.  It moves more like a cut fastball.  It's not going to get anybody out because of its movement as such.

Average arm action, from what I could see, and more importantly from the White Sox' reactions.  It ain't Michael Pineda's arm action by any stretch of the imagination.

Naturally, the slider "plays way up" because the hitters have to start the bat when the catcher's signalling for the fastball.  But taken in isolation I'd call it very mediocre.  It needs to be kept out of the hot zones, that is for sure.

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An asterisk applies if hitters are way cheating.  If (in any given outing) they're just swinging as Pryor releases the ball, then of course any offspeed pitch is a garbage strike.  That's the catcher's job, to decide when that is.  He's sitting two feet away from the hitter who is grinding the bat handle into sawdust.

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What's the fix for the fact that Pryor gave up a hit?

A.  Number one, to realize that 0.00 ERA's don't exist, except in Cincinnati I guess.  Pryor will give up hits, including on 100 MPH fastballs.  But how many?  People see hitters go 2-for-25 on 100 MPH fastballs and they go, "See, they'll hit it no matter how hard you throw it" ....

But secondly, STEPHEN PRYOR NEEDS TO THROW 80%-90% FASTBALLS.

Matt Thornton last year threw 87% fastballs - that's all year long, gumby.  Aroldis Chapman threw 84%.   Joel Hanrahan threw 81%.  Neftali Feliz threw 80%.  Look, when Neftali Feliz throws you something other than a fastball, he's doing you a favor.  Mariano Rivera throws (cut) fastballs every pitch, literally 96.8% in 2003, for example.

The slider does complement the fastball when used as a sucker pitch...

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NEXT

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Comments

It's a wonder that he got through the minors without someone teaching him a different bendy pitch. He would be devastating with something that breaks down - a split or curve or something. That slider is meh..

1

How do you slow down a pitcher who can't be hit? I believe they were trying to get him to throw a changeup, but I'm with you, a split would be better. Still, I think he'll survive somehow.

And his slider can get better action than it did last night. Overthrowing a fastball due to adrenalin is survivable, but flattening out a slider is bad. It's not a great pitch, but I've seen it look better than that. And "better than that" is about all he needs for greatness.

~G

2

.... to critique a type of pitch of a player who was extremely amped up on adrenaline is a complete waste of time. It's not that the sample size is too small, but that the pitcher we saw yesterday will not be the same pitcher that we will see today.

3

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moethedogAlmonte is up to 31 K's in 90 PA's this year. That's 34'4%, if you do the math. Good? No! He's K'ed 52 times in 172 PA's since his call-up last year, 30% of the time. I'm pretty sure that isn't very good. In 81 Spring Training PA's he OPS'ed .557. That isn't very good. In 90 regular season PA's he OPS'ed .608. That isn't very good. He doesn't get on base very often, if you haven't noticed. For a lead off hitter that's not very good. Saunders you say? He's right there with an OBP of .237 and he's slugging .265! His .502 OPS puts him below Almonte! Gillespie has 5 homers and a .456 OBP in Tacoma. He has 11 XB hits in 16 games. Blash homered tonight, his 4th. He has 20 walks and an OBP of .442 in 19 games. Just for your reading enjoyment, you understand.1 hour 48 min ago
IcebreakerXSweep! Sweep! Sweep!1 hour 55 min ago
okdanEven the MLB.tv crew is asleep after watching this game. They're still showing the post-game show, when the feed is usually cut off right after the last out.2 hours 27 min ago
JDDubM's could use a good bullpen arm like this Fields guy for Houston.2 hours 29 min ago
Tacoma RainMemo for Lloyd... Ackley is NOT a number 2 hitter. Please move him back down in order.2 hours 32 min ago
rick82Ackley picked a fine time to suck again. Shave the beard kid, the magic has worn off.2 hours 46 min ago
rick82Ok, we got our requisite two runs. The offense did its job. Time for the Astros to pour it on now.3 hours 5 min ago
SABR Mattthat's game. I'm so glad I like baseball instead of sports that are actually fun.3 hours 7 min ago
SABR Matt(and hopefully everyone realizes that the preceding was a JOKE)3 hours 16 min ago
SABR MattI think it's time that the Mariners pull a "slap shot" and just start beating people up for fun. Maybe they'll find their confidence that way. LOL3 hours 16 min ago
SABR MattLOL Rick.3 hours 18 min ago
rick82Aargh! The cursed Astros and their vaunted, all world pitching staff! Now they're going to throw Josh Fields at us and erase all hope! When do we play some cruddy team? When do the Angels come to town again?3 hours 20 min ago
Tacoma RainHey... we have 4 hits. how many do we really need???3 hours 20 min ago
SABR MattThat was me who mentioned a no-no JDDub. :) I was almost right for a while there. But they thought they could use any scrub and get easy outs, so they brought in a horrendous reliever to make the game interesting.3 hours 21 min ago
okdanThere we go!3 hours 24 min ago
okdanI blame Rodney for this.3 hours 27 min ago
JDDubWho was it that mentioned a no-hitter earlier in the shouts? This flurry of K's is even more embarrassing.3 hours 31 min ago
JDDubNo doubt. Dominguez is not even MLB quality hitter, 288 career OBP.3 hours 33 min ago
okdanI've got the True to the Blues.3 hours 37 min ago
SABR Mattwe need to figure out how NOT to give up homers to Matt Dominguez3 hours 39 min ago