The Process Versus The Tigers

April 5, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Justin Verlander (35) pitches during the first inning against the Boston Red Sox at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-US PRESSWIRE

Instead of our typical series previews, I'm reviving one of my favorite features from last season: The Process Versus. Some of you may remember an indie website last year that had lots of cache among the cool crowd of sabermetric bloggers -- The Process Report -- so I'm considering this series a homage and hat tip to that glorious, cult classic site. Live on, TPR. Live on.

Tuesday, 1:05pm: Rick Porcello vs. Matt Moore

Porcello is a classic sinkerball pitcher who lives and dies with his grounder rate. He throws his sinker (AKA two-seam fastball) over 50% of the time, and he typically get hitters to put the ball on the ground at a 52% clip. I'm very curious to see what effect Miggy and Fielder will have on Porcello's success this year.

He also throws a change-up, four-seamer, and a slider. His best out-pitch is his slider (30% whiff rate), but he only uses it 15% of the time.

Wednesday, 1:05pm: Justin Verlander vs. James Shields

How much can really be said about Verlander? He's freakin' dominant. His four-seam fastball averages 95.5 MPH, allowing him to throw it over 60% of the time and still generate an 18% whiff rate with it. He also throws a curveball and change-up, both of which have extreme velocity separation from his fastball and generate swings and misses at a high rate.

Thursday, 1:05pm: Drew Smyly vs. Jeff Niemann

A second-round draft pick in 2010, the left-handed Smyly is one of the top pitching prospects in the Tigers' system. He was drafted out of college and is already 23 years old, but even then, the Tigers have moved him through the minors at a breakneck pace. He dominated Double-A in his brief 45 IP time there last season, and he broke camp as the Tigers' #5 starter. He throws four pitches and mixes them well, although he doesn't throw terribly hard (87-92 MPH range).

Tigers Bullpen Splits:

All tables are sortable and all stats are from 2011.

Name FIP vs. L FIP vs. R
Jose Valverde 4.25 2.72
Joaquin Benoit 2.54 3.33
Octavio Dotel 6.55 1.43
Phil Coke 3.07 3.88
Daniel Schlereth 3.34 6.83
Collin Balester 5.55 4.59
Brayan Villarreal - -

Tigers Lineup & Bench Splits:

Name PA wOBA vs. L PA wOBA vs. R
Austin Jackson 205 0.321 463 0.297
Brennan Boesch 118 0.332 354 0.352
Alex Avila 148 0.342 403 0.397
Andy Dirks 31 0.375 204 0.296
Brandon Inge 114 0.322 189 0.203
Prince Fielder 193 0.358 499 0.429
Victor Martinez 168 0.354 427 0.373
Ryan Raburn 157 0.347 261 0.295
Don Kelly 22 0.169 259 0.306
Delmon Young 142 0.330 361 0.292
Danny Worth 22 0.348 17 0.197
Miguel Cabrera 181 0.417 507 0.443
Jhonny Peralta 173 0.329 403 0.366
Gerald Laird 19 0.393 89 0.257
Ramon Santiago 57 0.360 237 0.292
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