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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DaddyO@moe ... Today, I salute you, sir. On Jan 6th, it's "Hey you!" :)9 min 20 sec ago
moethedogMuch appreciated Daddy. My last Mayoral day is Jan. 5th. After 6 terms I decided it was time to step aside. Hardest decision I've ever made. On Jan. 6th you rank me! :)1 hour 3 min ago
DaddyOMayors take precedence over retired peons like me!2 hours 37 min ago
DaddyOHah! Moe and me cross posted.2 hours 38 min ago
DaddyOhttp://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2014/12/white-sox-to-sign-melky-cabrera.html (see note at 4:24 pm)2 hours 38 min ago
moethedogBTW: Somebody was willing (according to reports) to go 4 years. Us?: 4:24pm: Cabrera rejected a four-year offer from an unknown team because his preference was to play for the White Sox, tweets CBSSports.com’s Jon Heyman.2 hours 38 min ago
DaddyONow per MLBTR an unknown West Coast team did in fact bid four years for M.Cabrera, but he decided he preferred to play for the White Sox. Seems plausible that the mystery WC team was Seattle. That would explain a lot. Perhaps Jack signaled a fourth year was doable only to be signaled back that it just wasn't going to happen. If so, then Jack did do everything he reasonably could.2 hours 39 min ago
moethedogThinking about Souza, I was scouring some Nats' sites and their Harper dissatisfaction was a topic of interest. In all seriousness I began to wonder if we were discussing the less likely Nat: If you could get Bryce Harper and change for Taijuan Walker and change would you do the deal? I don't know what to read into the Harper issue. Is it their version of our Saunders events? I love Souza, but why not make a bid for Bryce Harper. The upside is huge and you hope Cano, Seager and Mac can get him to grow up some. Young stud for young stud would get everybody's attention. Beyond that I will add this: Matt, Seth Smith is way cheap and his career vR numbers are ,277-.358-.481. He's all we hope that Ackley and Saunders would become, vR. He's doesn't hit LHP with a darn, but we could do worse with the bat. Endy for example. Alas, he doesn't play CF. Which makes him a less than likely fit.2 hours 44 min ago
Bat571But trading for a younger, faster guy is a better plan than hoping.3 hours 4 min ago
Bat571Hence my Christmas wish for Mr. Jones!3 hours 5 min ago
SABR MattRios is, honestly, not a bad fit in the 2 hole either. Get a lefty who can play some CF to help out.3 hours 30 min ago
Bat571Looks like Rios, to me. I thought he was a "for sure" 'til he switched to Boras and started laying low waiting for teams to get desperate to run up his price. Well, maybe that is working - I expect he'll get 2 years now and probably $10M a year, rather than the 1/$8.5M that MLBTR predicted. But, trying to be rational about it, a 2-year contract fits better with what's coming than a longer one. And, though his splits last year were pretty wide (much wider than his career split of .749 vR, .800 vL) , a .646 against RH wouldn't have been the worst OPS amongst Ms regulars, and the .898 vL would surely have helped! So, here's hoping for Rios, with a trade for a younger, faster guy to supplement. And a Christmas wish for Montero to be what he looked like he could be and for JJ to learn to hit the bendy stuff.3 hours 39 min ago
MtGrizzlyYeah, it's probably down to the 1-2 year contract guys with platoon issues now. Rios makes the most sense, I guess. Byrd, maybe, as a trade candidate that won't cost Walker or Paxton. One thing is for sure - the club cannot afford to go into ST with Endy Chavez as one of the top 4-5 OF in camp.5 hours 14 min ago
SABR MattIf our offseason tops out at Aoki, Viciedo or Seth Smith, I'm going on a rage spree.5 hours 34 min ago
benihanaSounds like we weren't outbid. With nobody willing to go four years Cabrera took the offer closest to the east coast as he indicated was his preference. I would have gone 4. /shrug. Let's get Upton.5 hours 38 min ago
okdanReally want to see the M's go after an OBP guy for that #2 spot now. Zobrist, Fowler, Seth Smith, Aoki. Someone like that. Really bummed we couldn't get Melky to sign on the dotted line.7 hours 57 min ago
DaddyOAlso, if this triggers Viciedo coming to the M's--- (apodosis omitted, just like in Genesis 3:22, with the same significance).9 hours 9 min ago
DaddyOLooks like the M's just couldn't resist the urge to repeat last year's Cruz mistake, shooting themselves in the foot instead of making an obviously needed roster-completing move, all over a relative pittance. Granted this time they got Cruz before doing so, but in the end you can't help but wonder if next offseason we'll be looking back at this as a the gaffe that kept on giving all year, the mistake that cost us the playoffs.9 hours 16 min ago
moethedogWe didn't get Melky BECAUSE we already had Cruz. This is a conservative FO and two 4 year/$50M FA's was very unlikely. There may be a fair argument in considering whether we should have just went and got Melky first.11 hours 7 min ago