It does not take a genius to look at Chris Schwinden has pitched since replacing Mike Pelfrey to realize that he is guilty of two things:
- A lack of effectiveness
- Lack of movement on his pitches
Now, whether the latter is what is leading to the former is still up for discussion, but it doesn’t look good so far. Schwinden has particularly struggled to strike batters out, recording just one strikeout this season in his two starts. A closer look reveals that he has struggled to retire left-handed batters, allowing them to record a .400/.476/.737 line (he has faced 22 lefties).
The reason he has struggled to get left-handed batters out is because he simply can’t throw a breaking pitch, whether it is because he doesn’t have an effective one, or he simply hasn’t had the confidence in it his last two starts. A look at Pitch F/X shows that this problem is compounded because his second pitch after the fastball is a cutter, which behaves almost identically to his fastball, and a change-up that has been only eight mph less than the fastball.
This may also be why he has struggled to retired left-handers, as he does not have a pitch in his arsenal that they can’t recognize easily and make solid contact with. Maybe that cutter was good enough to get by against Triple-A hitters, but that just won’t cut it against professional hitters.
Obviously small-sample-size and the whole thing, but what do you guys think? Should SchLOSEden (amiright?) throw more than 12.6% curveballs? Or is there another solution? Or should Sandy be looking for an alternative?
By the way, if I go quiet for a little while on the site, it is because I am working on a larger researched post which will be consuming much of my blogging time, but when it is done should be quite informative. I will still do recaps and try to write things of this sort about once or twice per week.
Also scroll down to see some links to audio feeds for tonight’s minor league games, didn’t mean to step on that post’s toes.