Q. Looks like there was no F/X data on Tuesday. What did Pryor do?
A. Wedge brought him in to face one guy, the RH shortstop Escobar, a hitter that Pryor would hope to overmatch. He did: 90 MPH slider froze him for an 0-1 count. 96 MPH fastball, angling down to the knees, garbage swing and miss. 98 MPH fastball, angling down below the knees, garbage swing, inning over.
The fastball is legitimately overwhelming: for velocity alone it's about 10th among relievers. But he also hides it like George blinkin' Sherrill and the angle is wicked.
Q. To what extent is Pyror a work in progress? What is the state of his game?
A. His stuff is nothing short of electrifying: he has a crazy-high release point, and the fastball has ridiculous hop. The slider drops like 10-12" compared to the fastball and they have 99 kinds of trouble seeing it out of his hand; it also "plays up" due to the cheating that every batter uses.
His tempo and confidence are fairly good -- his "veneer" is super confident and at the moment he works like the stadium is on fire, but Aiki-Doc says that the hectic pace masks an inner shrillness. Whatever. For a rook he's fine.
The electric stuff is masking the fact that he's battling his command to a certain extent, and battling his motion to a lesser extent. He gets tons of swings, inside and outside the zone, and those swings are prayers. Batters are praying to square one up and get it going toward the fence.
One game, he'll have a nice high front side and a whirlybird action to his upper body, and the next game he'll drive statically down the centerline. On any given pitch he'll miss the catcher's mitt by 2, 3 feet.
It's working out okay for him - if a little white-knuckle as he does so - because he throws every pitch intending a strike.
Q. Can you put all that into a bumper sticker?
A. He's this close to being a monster.
Needs to find the release point, then throw the FB up and the slider down, and then you can forget it. One inning guy, though. Born to close, baby. Tom, you take them in the 9th. I'll take them in the 8th.