Sunday, October 16, 2011

Felipe Paulino Enjoys a Breakout Following Trade to Kansas City

Of all the acquisitions made in the AL Central this season the most meaningful might be one you never heard of, namely the Royals acquisition of Felipe Paulino from the Rockies for cash considerations. The move was made back in late May after Paulino, who was once a well regarded pitching prospect in the Astros system was traded to the Rockies for Clint Barmes, following the 2010 season.

Luke Hochevar's Hot Second Half - And What It Means For 2012.

Of all the unheralded story lines from the AL Central's second half, perhaps the most prominent would be the lack of discussion concerning Luke Hochevar's second half. Hochevar, who was a hard-throwing standout at the University of Tennessee where he was named SEC pitcher of the year in 2005, is probably best known for his refusal to sign after being drafted 40th overall by the Dodgers in 2005 before engaging in a rather epic signing process; playing hardball along with his agent Scott Boras, firing Boras, accepting a lesser offer with his new agent, then firing him and resigning with Boras while reneging on his previously agreed upon deal, and finally playing Independent league baseball until the 2006 draft where he was taken again.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Doug Fister.....Ace?

When Doug Fister first came over from the Tigers for a package of Casper Wells, Charlie Furbush, Chance Ruffin and Francisco Martinez, it seemed at first glance that the Tigers may have paid a lot for a ground ball pitcher who could not strike anybody out and relied heavily on his home ball park for success. That recipe seemed dicey at best for the success of Doug Fister going forward as a member of the Tigers.

During the first couple of games that Doug Fister pitched for the Tigers, I was both surprised and encouraged by how effective Fister’s arsenal seemed to be. Fister features a both four seam fastball and a two seam fastball which he throws nearly as often and at virtually the same average velocity of 90 mph. The two seamer features a few additional inches of down and in run to right handers as opposed to his normal four seam fastball. The identical speed but different trajectories make things very difficult on opposing hitters. Furthermore, Fister features a range of off speed pitches including a very nice slow curve ball with 12-6 break at around 75 mph, a harder slider at around 86 mph with only moderate break, and a change up at around 83 mph with similar but slightly more downward movement as compared with his two seamer.