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.
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.
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.
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.
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Tigers Lineup & Bench Splits:
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