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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GLSWell, Simpson was only drafted last year. I realize he was demoted, but it couldn't have been the plan for a sixth round high school draftee to play in full season ball this quickly. So there must be something there that the coaching staff is seeing to make them want to test him against higher level pitching.1 hour 21 min ago
Bat571It would appear from the evidence of JJ, Noriega, and others that Cory Snyder seems to be able to help hitters with bat control, if not power. If Simpson has as much power as he is reputed to have, maybe giving him some pointers on bat control isn't a bad thing. He's young and getting him on track might be worth a few over-matched ABs - although he got a hit today.3 hours 12 min ago
Gordon GrossGLS - not really, though he is young and has nice (if sloppy) power in BP. Simpson was demoted to Everett, and he's been struggling. He's a younger, raw player, so they may just have wanted to get him in front of a third set of coaching eyes rather than promoting a non-prospect college player for a couple meaningless appearances.5 hours 8 min ago
Bat571I'm hoping the next few days bring a trade with the Nats for Souza and a DFA trade for Uggla. Stash them in Tacoma and let them battle with Montero for attention. If one or more of them can help, all the better. If not, Junior Lake is young and has upside, and the Cubs need some interim young pitching (Erasmo?) -- or go for a bigger fish. Hart probably has to show he's not going to revive (enough) before they make a major move, but news from LA sure makes it look like they may yet go for a trade of one of their OF. If either Kemp or Van Slyke becomes available, I hope JackZ jumps.6 hours 30 min ago
moethedogDario Pizzano has finally started to heat up at AA. Over the last week he's mashing. Going in to today, he's had exactly 138 AB's in both High Desert and in Jackson AA this year. His BABIP in HD was .293 (.330 in Clinton last year but is only .177 in Jackson. .177 is almost unfathomable. Anybody see Jackson play?8 hours 3 min ago
SpectatorBonus points: The last time the Phillies traded Marlon Byrd it was straight up for what player? [4-parter on Byrd coming. Probably tonight.] Hint: not likely to happen again.8 hours 5 min ago
GLSRe: Simpson - they must think pretty highly of his talent considering they started him in full season ball this year.8 hours 8 min ago
moethedogI figured it was something like that G. A shot drive to fill a very short term lineup need. Thanks.8 hours 25 min ago
Gordon GrossAnd moe, Montero has been DESTROYING the ball since getting sent back down. His July #s: .442/. 478 / .767/ 1.246. Apparently the pep talk about him getting back to the bigs with some improved showings in AAA is paying off. Must have said the right things to stroke Montero's ego the right way. As long as he demolishes the ball, I don't care. He wants another chance this year. Continued incompetence by Hart might get it for him.8 hours 26 min ago
Gordon GrossSome video of Deej and Gaby in the cage before the game, too. FWIW, DJ started at 1B in this game and had some nice plays defensively, and Kivlehan got an OF appearance on I think Thursday, so maybe the Ms are finally shifting both guys to their likely future positions (Not that Kiv can't play first, but neither dude is a third baseman). http://blogs.seattletimes.com/mariners/2014/07/13/video-gabriel-guerreo-and-dj-peterson-at-the-futures-game/8 hours 31 min ago
Gordon GrossWeird video of DJ's double, from an alternate camera perspective (AKA, upper deck on the 3B side). http://m.mlb.com/video/topic/73955164/v34566581/mlbam-tracking-tech-tracks-petersons-double/8 hours 35 min ago
Gordon GrossCorey Simpson should NOT be in Tacoma. They called him up from Everett, where he was demoted after getting crushed in the MWL. He's greener than pistachio ice cream and twice as cold at the dish. I think they called him up because something happened to Romero. I think he has the flu or something, so they don't want to promote a dude from AA and send him down in two days or whatever. Everett is closer, so they just drove Simpson two hours south for a coupla hours of humiliation. I wish Corey the best - back at his own level of competition.8 hours 38 min ago
moethedogHey Bat, I looked at the Uggla thing, too. He will come essentially free but he actually has a 50 pt career reverse split, so he doesn't give us much vL. He's on a 4-season, year-by-year decline, so he may have lost something significant.....but he did hit 22 homers last year (while batting a buck eighty). If you get him for nothing and stuff him in Tacoma to watch for a bit he's worth the roll of the dice, which is pretty low cost. I'm not betting that he finds his stroke again. I'm seeing a skills erosion process. But for nothing, why not? More spaghetti for the wall. Willie Bloomquist has now PH 110 times in his career. How many of those were for COF's who actually have revers splits?8 hours 47 min ago
moethedogIn Tacoma: Franklin with 3 hits, Montero with 2, Kelly on base twice (BB's) and who the heck is Corey Simpson and why is he in Tacoma?9 hours 2 min ago
Gordon GrossDJ Peterson played in the Futures Game today. Before the game, the sound guys caught him telling Bryant, "I just don't wanna strike out." So in his first AB he grounded out to the left side of the infield (making better contact than either Bryant or Gallo, who K'ed). Second AB? Slammed a double off the LF wall, Edgar-style. It was pretty. Still not against major-league pitching... but give it a year, maybe year and a half, and we'll see.9 hours 30 min ago
bumkusOK, let&#039;s really go out of the box. What would it take to get Ichiro back from the Yankee? No, he is not RH power, but he could plug into any OF position and the leadoff slot better than anyone we have on the roster right now. Not to mention he has the heart of a champion and the love of Seattleites. BTW, who would replace James Jones if he gets hurt? JJ has done for the offense what CY has done for the pitching staff - stabilized a position of weakness and made it a little better than league average. Bring Ichiro back.9 hours 48 min ago
Bat571Kelly for Ackley by Friday!10 hours 50 min ago
Bat571And watching Ackley whiff with Morrison on 2nd and Cano on 3rd, I wish the A's had some fear of the lower part of the Ms order, and his play on Lowrie's double makes it look like he needs a change of scenery soon.11 hours 16 min ago
Bat571I suspect at this point, Uggla's a ~ RH 2010 Matt Stairs - but what if he could be a RH 2013 Raul Ibanez (without as much time in the field)?11 hours 22 min ago
Bat571In the previous shouts on Uggla, put all "coulds" in italics -- I recognize it's a lottery ticket, but it seems to me the Ms need RH power for this season and next (until Deej/? are ready).11 hours 30 min ago