… related to The Neyer/James Guide to Pitchers.
All the Pitchers Who Wouldn’t Fit: S-ZThere were a lot of things that wouldn’t fit in the book, and a lot of things that I’ve found since the book, and these pages are designed to hold some of those things. If you see a pitcher’s name without any years or information on the same line, that means he’s in the book, and this information supplements his entry in the book. If you see his years in the majors or minors, or a Negro League identifier, that means he’s not in the book at all.
144 pitchers listed below; updated 11/17/2013 C.C. Sabathia (2001 2013) Pitches: 1. Fastball (94) 2. Curve (81) 3. Change (86) Source: Hardball Times (John Walsh, 11/272007) Pitches: 1. Fastball (90-96) 2. Slurve (77-82) 3. Change Report: “A power pitcher who has learned to economize by working at the lower end of his velocity. Still can overpower hitters up in the zone late but is content to make quality pitches early and force hitters to put the ball in play. Gets exceptional movement on his fastball; breaking ball is more of a quick, sweeping slurve. Has improved his straight change and uses it early in counts to righthanders. Source: Sporting News Baseball 2007 Ray Sadecki Sadecki: “I never did have a consistent change-up, tried every one in the book. Finally ended up my last couple of years throwing a slip-pitch for my change-up. I tried turning it over, palming the balls, I never could find a good one, but I didn’t quit there. I ended up throwing a form of the slip-pitch, my own invention. It was a poor-man’s forkball.” Source: SF Giants: An Oral History (Mike Mandel, 1979) Takashi Saito (2007 2012) Pitch Selection: 1. Fastball (93) 2. Slider Source: The Sporting News (Sean Deveney, 9/15/2006) Manny Salvo (1939 1943) Pitch Selection: 1. Fastball 2. Curveball (as Change of Pace?) Note: Salvo threw overhand. Source: New York World-Telegram (8/31/1938, 2/25/1939, & 6/2/1939) Salvo: “I use a pitching style all my own, I guess, but after seeing pictures of Johnny Vander Meer pitching, I see we both use the same style.” Source: New York Herald-Tribune (1/31/1939, Arthur E. Patterson) Fred Sanford (1943 1951) Best Pitch: “sharp-breaking curve ball” Source: The Sporting News (10/2/1946, Fred Lieb) Johan Santana Pitches: 1. Fastball (low-90s) 2. Change (77-79) 3. Curve/Slider Source: Seth Speaks (9/20/2004) Report: “Twins lefty Johan Santana throws a 94-mile-an-hour fastball and a slider that falls off a table, but it’s his wicked changeup that has thrust him into the upper echelon of major league pitchers–and to the top of this week’s SI Players poll.” Derek Jeter on Santana’s change-up: “It’s good because he’s [always] got the same speed with his arm. Same motion. Some guys slow down a little bit, but he doesn’t. It looks like a fastball.” Source: Sports Illustrated (8/22/2005) Note: Santana learned his circle change-up in 2002 from minor-league pitching coach Bobby Cuellar. Source: City Pages (G.R. Anderson Jr., 6/13/2007) Report: When Santana struck out 17 Rangers on 8/19/2007, he threw 112 pitches in eight innings. “Twins pitching coach Rick Anderson said Santana threw only four sliders, meaning the other 108 pitches were all fastballs and changeups.” Source: Minneapolis Star-Tribune (Joe Christensen, 8/20/2007) Artie Schallock (1951 1955) Schallock: “I guess I threw most like [Eddie Lopat]. I had good control, but was only ‘sneaky fast.’ I threw both my fastball and my curve at varying speeds. The slider — well, I always say you throw it like a football, so the spin makes it move six inches or so laterally.” Source: The National Pastime: Number 18 (SABR, 1998; article by A.D. Suehsdorf) Owen Scheetz (1943) Key Pitch: Knuckleball Source: The Sporting News (3/25/1943, Shirley Povich) Jason Schmidt Report: “RHP Jason Schmidt has stayed effective, even with a drop in velocity. Schmidt’s changeup, which he used to throw at 92 mph, is now around 88. It shows the late sinking movement of a split-finger pitch.” Source: The Sporting News (8/25/2006, Lyle Spencer) Blackie Schwamb (1948) Pitch Selection: 1. Fastball (90s) 2. Nickel Curve Description: “Schwamb is a huge right-hander, 6 feet 5 inches tall, and according to reports he has a wild and carefree idea of how a baseball player should conduct himself. But he has so much speed they say he can throw an egg through a burglar-proof safe.” Source: Wrong Side of the Wall (Eric Stone, 2004) Herb Score Report: “A southpaw, Score had a tricky curveball and a decent changeup, but what made him lethal was his fastball . . . Score couldn’t be described as an elegant pitcher, a smooth thrower who brings the heat while looking like he’s playing catch in the backyard. No, Score looked like a man who was trying to throw the ball through a brick wall. He took a big windup, turned his body away from the hitter, uncoiled and heaved the ball, hardly even looking at the plate. And when he finished his delivery, he was defenseless.” Source: Sports Illustrated (Mark Bechtel, 11/24/2008) Bob Scott (Negro Leagues) Key Pitch: Screwball Source: NJToday.net (2/15/2010) Tom Seaver Report: “Seaver has seven pitches in his repertoire — a sinking fast ball, two rising fast balls, a slow curve and a fast curve, a slider and a change — and with his ability to aim at and hit 20 different spots, Seaver conceivably could go through an entire game without deliverying the exact same pitch twice.” Source: Sport (Dick Schaap, May 1976) Gordon Seyfried (1963 1964) Pitches: 1. Slider 2. Curve 3.Knuckleball 4. Fastball Source: The Sporting News (5/2/1964, Regis McAuley) Bobby Shantz Description: “He doesn’t look much bigger than a bar of laundry soap after a hard day’s work.” Source: Red Barber in Baseball Digest (August 1955) Scouting Report: “The toughest left hander on the staff — Knows how to pitch — Breaking stuff and off speed pitch, when he is behind the batter — Good control unless he is trying to pitch ‘around’ a batter — Still is a great fielder of bunts and balls hit through the middle — Good move to 1st base as you know.” Source: Eddie Stanky, 1962 report for Cardinals Bob Shaw Scouting Report: “Good control of fast ball and slider. He had good luck pitching left handed hitters inside with slider — Looked weak on fielding his position — Very ordinary hitter and bunter — Didn’t throw to first base very often in running situations. Source: Eddie Stanky, 1962 report for Cardinals Frank “Spec” Shea Birdie Tebbetts: “Spec Shea of the Yanks is strictly a slider pitcher.” Source: Baseball Digest (May 1948, reprinted from article by Walter Stewart, Memphis Commercial Appeal) Hal Newhouser: “There are a number of pitchers in the American League who throw good sliders, especially Marvin Shea, of the Yankees; Tex Hughson of the Red Sox; and Bob Feller of the Indians.” Source: Pitching to Win (Hal Newhouser, 1948) Yankees catcher Ken Silvestri: “Yeah, I caught Frankie Shea in spring training. His curve ball is good, sure, but I like the way he throws that pea…” Source: Oakland Post Enquirer (10/17/1946, Ray Schwartz column) Ben Sheets (2001 2012) Report: According to Buster Olney in ESPN The Magazine (3/14/2005), prior to 2004 Sheets relied on his two-seam (sinking fastball). But thanks to an off-season conditioning program, when Sheets reported to spring training in 2004 he’d upped the speed on his four-seam fastball from 92-93 to 95-97, and decided to emphasize that pitch, which led to a huge jump in his strikeout rate. Rollie Sheldon (1961 1966) Pitches: 1. Fastball 2. Hard Curve 3. Change Source: Sheldon in Sweet Seasons (Dom Forker, 1990) George Sherrill (2004 2012) Sherrill: “I don’t have a 98 m.p.h. fastball, so it’s really important to have something else. I’ve been told I throw out of my ear or out of my shirt. It allows my fastball to sneak up on somebody, so they don’t get a good piece of the bat on it.” Source: The New York Times (6/1/2008, Associated Press) Larry Sherry Report: “If you want to know the delivery ratio of a successful pitcher, Larry Sherry throws sixty per cent fast balls, twenty-five per cent sliders, and fifteen per cent curves. Of course, there are sub-changes on all three.” Source: Larry Sherry: King of the Dodger Bullpen (entry in The 1961 Dodger Family booklet series, published by Union Oil) James Shields (2006 2013) Report: “Rookie RHP James Shields had early success with his changeup, but he relied too much on the pitch and it got less effective. Shields now is using his curve and 93-mph fastball more, which has made the change more effective.” Source: The Sporting News (9/15/2006, Bill Chastain) Scot Shields (2001 2008) Report: “The son and grandson of minor league hurlers, Shields throws a 91-94 fastball, curveball, slider and change, all for strikes. His sidearm slider frustrated A-Rod so much in an April game that he threw his bat after missing it. Shields also has fanned Ichiro an ML-high seven times. Source: ESPN The Magazine (5/23/2005, Amy K. Nelson) Urban Shocker Roger Peckinpaugh: “Well, there was never a pitcher who could throw a slow one like Shocker. His slow ball never did look like it was going to get to the plate. He’d throw it 20 feet in the air sometimes. And he’d make an awful sucker out of a hitter, especially when he had two strikes on him and two were out. Shocker’d throw his slow one in that high arc and then start walking for the dugout, perfectly confident that the side was retired. But the time the ball came across the plate, Shocker would be across the foul line and headed for a drink of water.” Source: The Washington Post (Shirley Povich column, 8/2/1938) Ray Shore (1946 1949) Ed Mickelson: “Snacks had been our strong relief pitcher in ’55 and ’56, coming out of the bullpen with his great variety of pitches — a fastball. That’s all he threw — just smoke. I remembered Snacks from the International League when he played for Toronto. He was 6’3″ with a huge upper torso and he never wore a long-sleeved sweatshirt. Even with the temperature in the 30s in Toronto, Snacks would get up to warm up with bare arms showing. He also had another peculiarity: He never warmed up in the bullpen by throwing from the rubber to home plate. He would stand a good 30 feet behind the mound and throw to home, a distance of about 90 feet.” Source: Out of the Park (Mickelson, 2007) Chris Short Note: In a start against the Cubs late in the 1962 season, Short threw 60 fastballs, 28 curveballs, 14 sliders, and six change-ups. According to source, Short started throwing the slider earlier that season. Source: The Making of a Big League Pitcher (Ed Richter, 1963) Brian Sikorski (2000 2007) Pitches: 1. Fastball (low-mid 90s) 2. Splitter 3. Slider Source: The Sporting News (8/11/2006, Anthony Castrovince) Carlos Silva (2002 2009) Key Pitch: Sinker Other Pitches: 1. Fastball 2. Slurve 3. Changeup Source: The Baseball Register & Fantasy Handbook (2006 edition) Note: In the second half of the 2006 season, Silva worked mainly with two pitches, his sinker and a refined change-up. Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press (Jason Williams, 8/06/2006) Curt Simmons Hank Aaron: “Speed had nothing to do with it. It was that motion of his. He would turn his body, give me a view of his backside, then he would throw and I wouldn’t see the ball until the split second before he let it go . . . then it came floating in like plastic.” Source: Baseball Digest (Furman Bisher, Nov. 1971) Elmer Singleton (1945 1959) Ed Mickelson: “He threw a good slider, a fastball that he rarely threw for a strike and the illegal spitter that he loaded up whenever he really needed a good pitch.” Source: Out of the Park (Mickelson, 2007) Doug Sisk Gary Carter: “Doug Sisk throws a heavy ball. He doesn’t throw as hard as Doc, but he throws heavier. His pitches sink. They’re burrowing down as they hit the glove, and they thud in there, heavy-feeling. Doug throws the heaviest ball on our staff.” Source: A Dream Season (Gary Carter & John Hough, Jr., 1987) (Above information supplements Sisk’s entry in the book.) Roger Slagle (1979) Pitches: 1. Fastballs (two- and four-seam; mid-90s) 2. Forkball 3. Screwball 4. Slider Source: Slagle in Cup of Coffee (Rob Trucks, 2002) Lou Sleater Pitch Selection: 1. Curve 2. Fastball Comment: “As a one-time batterymate of Sleater’s, this reporter believes his curve ball is his best pitch. He changes up without any sign of telegraphing it on either his fast one or his deuce.” Source: John Steadman in Baseball Digest (March 1950) (This information, from early in Sleater’s career, supplements the information in the book.) Fireball Smith (Negro Leagues) Key Pitch: Fastball Source: Black Baseball in Chicago (Larry Lester, et al, 2000) Joe Smith (2007 2013) Report: “The 23-year-old Smith is a true sidearmer, coming at hitters with 90 mph heat from a low slot that makes the ball very tough to pick up. He stood out to the Mets because he threw harder than most college sidewinders, had a legit out-pitch in his slider and had a feel for the changeup — a difficult pitch for low-slot guys.” Source: ESPN The Magazine (Keith Law, 5/21/2007) Report: “It must be said, though, that Smith, 22, is not quite Bradford reincarnated. For one thing, his motion is more sidearm; he does not scrape his knuckles against the mound on his delivery. For another, with a fastball that regularly reaches 90 miles an hour and has topped out at 94, he can throw almost 10 m.p.h. faster than Bradford. He complements that with a developing changeup and a slider that Manager Willie Randolph may best describe: ‘That’s nasty stuff, man. The ball looks like a fastball, but when it gets on that cutout of the home-plate area, it just spins away from you.'” Source: The New York Times (Ben Shpigel, 3/7/2007) John Smoltz Report: “RHP John Smoltz has minimized stress on his shoulder by not using his split-finger fastball. Instead, he has kept opponents off-balance with his sharp curve and biting slider.” Source: The Sporting News (8/18/2006, Mark Bowman) Gene Snyder (1959) Report: In 1956, Phillies coach Bennie Bengough told a writer that very few contemporary pitchers still threw the old-fashioned “downer,” or “drop.” However, Bengough said of Snyder (then in the Phillies’ spring-training camp), “His downer really falls.” Source: The Sporting News (3/7/1956) Joakim Soria (2007 2013) Pitch Selection: 1. Fastball (93) 2. Change Comment: “The Royals became interested in Soria in November, when scout Louie Medina watched him baffle Mexican League hitters with two pitches — a 93-mph fastball wtih late movement and a fluttering changeup — that he spotted with a pointillist’s precision.” Source: Sports Illustrated (Albert Chen, 5/14/2007) Catcher John Buck: “It’s hard to pick him up. His ball has a natural cut to it. Not as much as [Rafael] Soriano but it does have a cut to it. That’s just his natural fastball … He has a great slider and curveball and can throw his change-up on any count. You have to kind of speed up your bat to get the head up to hit the cutter and, all of a sudden, he throws a changeup and it makes it difficult — sitting in-between those two is a tough place to be as a hitter.” Source: MLB.com (Dick Kaegel, 6/11/2007) Rafael Soriano (2002 2013) Pitches: 1. Fastball (low-90s) 2. Slider 3. Changeup Report: “He gets good movement on his fastball and keeps it down in the zone.” Source: The Sporting News (Matt Crossman, 3/12/2007) Jorge Sosa (2002 2007) Pitches: 1. Fastball 2. Slider 3. Changeup (occasional) Source: Inside Edge data (ESPN.com, October 2005) Mario Soto Pitch Selection: 1. Change-up 2. Fastball (90-95) 3. Slider (occasional, more in 1985) Source: The Scouting Report (1985 and 1986 editions) Description: “Both his fastball and change-up are thrown with an identical three-quarters motion. As National League hitters are all too aware, there is no tip-off as to what pitch is coming. They are faced with either a good moving fastball or the change, which drops dramatically.” Source: The Scouting Report: 1986; same source says that Soto’s change-up is described as “devastating,” “awesome,” and “unbelievable.” Tim McCarver: “I call his change a palmball. Without this pitch he would be a .500 pitcher, but with it, he’s deadly. No lefthanded hitter is safe. He holds the ball, not with his fingers, but back in his palm with his thumb and index finger looped to the side of the ball. Deception comes with the whipping arm motion which leads a hitter to lunge at the pitch, thinking that it might be a fastball.” Source: The Scouting Report: 1983 (Above information essentially replaces Soto’s entry in the book.) Warren Spahn Babe Pinelli: “I consider that Warren Spahn of the Braves has the greatest move to first I have seen. It is quick, and deceptive, and entirely legal.” Source: Mr. Ump (Pinelli, as told to Joe King, 1953) Report: “The Braves’ ace now has a basic assortment of six pitches. There’s his fastball, the two curves, the screwball, the palm ball and a slider, which he added in the spring of 1958. All are thrown with virtually the same motion. Recently, he has been working on a knuckleball, but Richie Ashburn, the veteran outfielder who will play for the New York Mets this season, has voiced the suspicion that Spahn already has a seventh pitch in his stable. It’s one that’s spoken of in whispers in baseball circles. It’s a spitball.” Source: Inside Sports (Tom Henshaw, June 1962) Scouting Report: “Still tough on free swinger. Hitters hitting to opposite field still hit him hard and consistent. Tebbetts didn’t allow him to bunt when situation called for it. Source: Eddie Stanky, 1962 report for Cardinals Scipio Spinks (1969 1973) Pitches: 1. Fastball 2. Curveball 3. Slider 4. Change Ted Simmons: “His fast ball was just dynamite. You try to relax at times as a catcher, but his fast ball comes right at you so fast you can’t relax.” Source: The Sporting News (5/27/1972, Neal Russo) Jack Spring (1955 1965) Pitches: 1. Fastball 2. Curve 3. Change 4. Slider (occasional, late career) Spring: “I was a pretty generic pitcher. I was sneaky fast but I think my best asset was control. . . I threw a change-up and and late in my career I started throwing a slider, but I didn’t throw it a lot, and, of course, a curveball. The four generic pitches, but if I was gonna get you out it was gonna be a fastball to a spot.” Source: Interview by Brent Kelley (Sports Collectors Digest, 6/7/1991) Note: Spring was one of the first pitchers frequently used to retire left-handed hitters almost exclusively; in 1963 he pitched only 38 innings in 45 games. Karl Spooner Ed Mickelson: “Karl Spooner, in my opinion, had the best-moving fastball in the Texas League that year. In fact, Spooner had one of the liveliest fastballs ever. . . Spooner must have figured I was a fastball hitter, because when I saw him early in the season he threw me slow stuff — curves and change-ups. I was very successful hitting off him in those early games. Toward the end of the season he changed his tactics. All I saw was ‘smoke.’ Spooner had a slow windup and his ball seemed to explode, rising over a foot on to the plate.” Source: Out of the Park (Mickelson, 2007) Charley Stanceu (1941 1946) Key Pitch: Slider Report: “I don’t guess Charley fooled me much worse than he did the other Millers, but in all my years of baseball he’s the toughest pitcher I ever tackled He had that blamed slider pitch and there was nothing I could do with it.” Source: Phil Weintraub in The Kansas City Star (Ernest Mehl, 4/4/1942) Joe Stanka (1959) Key Pitch: Fastball Source: Stanka in Cup of Coffee (Rob Trucks, 2002) Earl Stephenson (1971 1978) Pitch Selection: 1. Fastball 2. Curve Report: “Stephenson, the lefthander, probably has the best control of the three rookies. What’s surprising about him is that he can pitch three or four innings without throwing a ball above the waist. He did this several times during spring training. Stephenson doesn’t throw as hard as [Bill] Bonham and underwent arm surgery last May. Yet, as spring training progressed, Stephenson’s fast ball improved. He also has a curve, but his fast ball, which has excellent movement, is his best pitch.” Source: The Sporting News (Jerome Holtzman, 4/17/1971) Fred Stiely (1929 1931) Key Pitch: Knuckleball Description: “Stiely’s specialty is a knuckle ball that hops every way and he uses it with men on. Not only is it tough to hit but it is tough to catch and the [Oklahoma City] Indian receivers have a hard time getting hold of it.” Source: The Sporting News (8/1/1935, Paul Williams); this was four years after Stiely last pitched in the majors. Dean Stone (1953 1963) Scouting Report: “Good motion and control — Tries to throw curves and little screw ball when behind — Curve ball was best pitch when I saw him — Fields his position well. Control could be a problem with him.” Source: Eddie Stanky, 1962 report for Cardinals Huston Street (2005 2013) Report: “You have to be concerned about that delivery — it’s fairly violent. he’s a max-effort guy, and you always worry about those guys, especially when they’re a closer because they make a lot of appearances.” Source: Anonymous Scout in The Sporting News (8/4/2008) Nick Strincevich (1940 1948) Key Pitch: Sidearm Sinker Strincevich on his sinker: “It’s like a half-assed screwball. You got to keep it low. You throw it around the knees, and it dips. You get a lot of ground balls.” Source: Hardball on the Home Front (Craig Allen Cleve, 2004) Pitch Selection: 1. Fastball 2. Curve 3. Change Note: Pitching for the Braves in 1940, Strincevich was told to throw overhand, especially to left-handed hitters, but when he returned to the majors with the Pirates in ’41 (after a short stint in the minors), he went back to throwing exclusively sidearm, his “natural style.” Source: Baseball Magazine (January 1947, Hub Miller) Marlin Stuart (1949 1954) Comment: “The knuckleball of Marlin Stuart, Little Rock right-hander who copped four of his first five decisions, is so tricky that his bullpen catchers wear masks to protect themselves.” Source: The Sporting News (6/2/1948); Stuart didn’t reach the majors until the following season, and we don’t know if he relied on his knuckleball then. Mickey Stubblefield (Negro Leagues) Stubblefield: “A lot of junk stuff. Curveball. Drop, we called it at the time; overhand drop, sidearm, underhanded. I could curve it either way. Throw it overhanded, we called it a drop; now they call it a slider. We used to throw it sidearm and we called that a inshoot.” Source: The Negro Leagues Revisited (Brent Kelley, 2000) Joe Sullivan (1935 1941) Key Pitch: Knuckleball Source: In the November 9, 1939 issue of The Sporting News, writer Howell Stevens described Sullivan as “the knuckle ball expert.” Jeff Suppan Report: “Suppan relies on command and a sinking fastball that he throws in the upper 80s. He is adept at repeating his mechanics, the main reason for his admirable consistency.” Source: The Sporting News (Stan McNeal, 11/10/2006) Kazuhito Tadano (2004 2005) Pitch Selection: 1. Fastball (low-90s) 2. Slider 3. Change Source: The Baseball Prospect Book 2004 (John Sickels) Pitch Selection: 1. Fastball (low-90s) 2. Splitter 3. Slider 4. Change (occasional) Brandon Phillips on Tadano’s change-up: “I call it the stupid pitch, because it makes you look so stupid.” Source: ESPN The Magazine (6/7/2004) Note: In a game against the Red Sox on May 4, 2004, Tadano supposedly unveiled an eephus-like pitch he called his “slow ball.” He threw two of them, one 52 m.p.h. and the other 56. It’s not clear, but seems likely, that this “slow ball” is the same change-up described above by Brandon Phillips. Source: The Cleveland Plain Dealer (5/5/2004, Paul Hoynes) Shingo Takatsu (2004 2005) Pitches: 1. Fastball (86-89) 2. (Very) Slow Curve (65) Source: Chicago Sun-Times (6/24/2004, Greg Couch) Pitches: 1. Sinker (85-88) 2. Slider 3. Changeup (“like a screwball”) Note: Takatsu throws sidearm. Source: Baseball America 2004 Prospect Handbook Takatsu: “I have been an off-speed pitcher, setting up the fastball, throughout my career. I don’t throw hard, so I need that combination for a good outcome.” Source: whitesox.com (4/24/2004, Scott Merkin) Trivia: Takatsu is Japan’s all-time saves champion, with 260. Frank Tanana George Bamberger: “He has excellent control, a great curve and a great changeup. In over 30 years of watching pitchers, he’s the best I’ve seen at pitching inside, especially the way he runs the ball in on righties. If he didn’t have arm problems, he might be the best pitcher in baseball, bar none.” Source: SPORT Magazine (May 1979, Stephen Hanks) Note: During spring training in 1990, Tanana unveiled a hesitation pitch. Kevin Seitzer struck out the first time Tanana threw it, and afterward said, “I’ve never seen anything like it. I thought he was stopping to reload.” According to The Sporting News (April 16, 1990), “To throw the pitch, Tanana plants his front foot, stops with his left arm cocked to throw, then follows through and releases the ball. He calls the pitch ‘my stop-slop pitch. I’ll use it once in a while because it’s one more pitch to keep the hitters off-balance. Besides, it makes my 65 mile an hour heater look like 90.'” We don’t know how often Tanana actually threw the hesitation pitch from that point forward. Ralph Terry Report: “Terry has thrown mostly fastballs today. He will throw a lot of slow curves before this afternoon is over.” Source: George Kell in radio broadcast of Game 7, 1962 World Series Mike Thompson (1971 1975) Key Pitch: Fastball Source: The Sporting News (3/8/1975, Wayne Minshew) John Thomson (1997 2006) Key Pitch: Sinker (low-90s) Scouting Report: “His best pitch is a sinker that he can command on both sides of the plate. It is topping out at 93 mph, faster than at any time in his career. He also throws four-seam and cut fastballs and can change the shape of his breaking stuff from a slurve to a slider to an overhand curve. His command constantly is improving on his cut fastball, which eventually could be as good as Esteban Loaiza’s. With the Rangers last year, Orel Hershiser taught Thomson how to better use his changeup, a pitch Thomson struggled with in Colorado. Source: Lewis Shaw in The Sporting News (5/24/2004) Les Tietje (1933 1938) Key Pitch: Change of Pace Source: Conlon Collection card (1993, Rob Neyer) Tommy Timmerman (1969 1974) Billy Martin: “He didn’t have that good of an arm, didn’t have much velocity, but he had the guts of a lion who’d give you everything. He was all competitor, always gave me a hundred percent.” Source: Number 1 (Martin & Peter Golenbock, 1980) Ron Tompkins (1966 1971) Pitch Selection: 1. Fastball 2. Slider Note: In 1970, after coming off a DL stint in Triple-A, Tompkins began to employ a submarine delivery, and that’s how he pitched for the Cubs in 1971. Source: The Sporting News (Jerome Holtzman, 7/3/1971) Report: ” Tompkins uses the submarine delivery in the style of Ted Abernathy. Tompkins doesn’t have the overpowering fast ball, either, but like [Earl] Stephenson keeps his pitches down. As a result, he gets lots of ground balls. Tompkins also has a good curve, which he also keeps low. Source: The Sporting News (Jerome Holtzman, 4/17/1971) Report: “Rookie Ron Tompkins and Gary Nolan, the Reds’ young pitching whiz, look so much alike that photographers are constantly asking them to pose together.” Source: The Sporting News (Earl Lawson, 3/16/1968) Salomon Torres (1993 2008) Pitches, 1993: 1. Veering Fastball 2. Slider 3. Curve 4. Change Description: “Simply put, Torres has great stuff. Everything he throws, moves.” Source: The Scouting Report: 1994 (entry by Rob Neyer) Pitches, 2003: 1. Fastball (91-95) 2. Slider 3. Curve 4. Change Source: The Scouting Notebook 2004 Bob Troy (1912) Story: “According to his nephew, former Tiger hurler Bob Troy should receive credit for inventing the forkball instead of Bullet Joe Bush. Troy appeared in only one game for the Bengals in 1912, pitching 6 2/3 innings, yielding nine hits, and losing in his only big league start. Sadly enough, Troy was killed in World War I, dying in Meuse, France on October 7, 1918.” Source: This Date in Detroit Tigers History (John C. Hawkins, 1981) Virgil Trucks Trucks: “I pitched the same way every game, with mostly a 95- to 100-mile-per-hour fastball. With the same motion, I also threw an 85-mile-per-hour slider and a 75-mile-per-hour change-up. That really threw the hitters off.” Source: Baseball Digest (June 2004, Bill Dow) Derrick Turnbow (2000 2008) Key Pitch: Fastball (93-98) Source: ESPN The Magazine (6/6/2005) Report: “The Angels discard . . . has emerged as a top closer while relying almost exclusively on his 98-mph heater, which he occasionally sets up with a low-80s curve. ‘The key for him is that he can throw [his four-seamer] over and over again for strikes with very good location,’ says Milwaukee pitching coach Mike Maddux.” Source: Sports Illustrated (Albert Chen, 6/12/2006) Steel Arm Tyler (Negro Leagues) Quote: “We had a lot of great ballplayers. But to tell you the truth, you just can’t hardly compare a man with Satchel Paige. I only saw one man I believe was anyways as fast as Satchel, and that’s Feller. And I’ll tell you a boy threw an awful hard ball, Steel Arm Tyler from Memphis. He threw a big ball. Now Satchel threw a little ball, a little fast ball, like an aspirin tablet.” Source: Bill Drake in Voices from the Great Black Baseball Leagues (John Holway, 1975) Arnold Umbach (1964 1966) Pitch Selection: 1. Fastball 2. Curve 3. Change Source: Umbach in Cup of Coffee (Rob Trucks, 2002) Ugueth Urbina Report: “Urbina’s velocity is coming back. I had him at 93 to 95 mph when I saw him right before the Expos traded him to the the Red Sox last week. He doesn’t have the power he had before surgery; he’s more of a finesse guy now. He’s throwing sliders and changeups instead of just pounding the fastball.” Source: anonymous scout in Sports Illustrated (8/13/2001) Lino Urdaneta (2004 2007) Key Pitch; Fastball (98) Source: New York Times (Ben Shpigel, 2/28/2007) Jose Valverde (2003 2008) Pitches: 1. Fastball 2. Cutter 3. Splitter Source: ESPN The Magazine (Jorge Arangure Jr., 9/10/2007) Dazzy Vance Buzz Arlett: “A National League fastball is the same as a Coast League fastball, and a curve is a curve in Brooklyn or in California. The only pitcher who stood out happened to be the highest-paid hurler in the league. Only one pitcher up here has shown me something I’d never seen before, and that is Dazzy Vance. He has a fastball that’s in a class by itself and a curve that breaks faster and dips further than any pitcher I’ve ever encountered.” Source: Brooklyn Eagle (Tommy Holmes, 1931); at the time, Vance was 40 years old. Porter Vaughan (1940 1946) Vaughan: “I always had a lot of confidence in my curve and wasn’t afraid to throw it when behind in the count.” Source: The National Pastime (Number 11, 1992, article by Harrington “Kit” Crissey) Pat Venditte (Minors 2008 2013) Venditte: “From the right side, I rely a lot more on my fastball; I throw a curveball but rely heavily on my fastball. From the left side, I rely predominately on my slider, which I throw from a low three-quarters slot, and an occasional fastball. I don’t have as much velocity from my left side, so I have to do certain things to equal it out. One of those things is being able to locate offspeed pitches, which is one thing I really need to do in order to get hitters out.” Source: Baseball Prospectus (David Laurila, 8/7/2008) Ben Wade (1948 1955) Chuck Stevens: “Ben Wade had as good a fastball as anybody at that time, in baseball.” Source: Interview with Stevens (12/30/2004, Rob Neyer), who was a teammate of Wade’s with the Hollywood Stars 1950 and ’51. Doug Waechter (2003 2008) Report: “RHP Doug Waechter has a new pitch he calls a ‘splange’ — a cross between a split-finger fastball and a changeup. He uses a grip that is a combination of the grip he uses on those two pitches. Waechter also throws a fastball and a slider, and he must work on keeping the ball down.” Source: The Sporting News (6/16/2006, Bill Chastain) Billy Wagner Pitches: 1. Fastball (95) 2. Curve (72-75) Motion: “So that’s how Owalt designed his pitching mechanics, with his back foot, his right foot, angled slightly forward. He raises his left foot, pauses slightly, then hurls his body at the batter, more like a javelin-tosser than a sprinter in the end. Nobody else in the majors uses mechanics like these, and no pitching coach would teach them unless he was considering a change of profession.” Source: ESPN The Magazine (Buster Olney, 4/10/2006) Charlie Wagner Comment: “Never an overpowering pitcher, Charlie got by on his brains, even throwing an infrequent spitter in a pinch. He was the beneficiary of excellent teaching by two very wise old heads who are revered today because they are among the greatest minor league pitchers of all time: Bill Burwell of the American Association and Frank Shellenback of the Pacific Coast League.” Source: The National Pastime: Number 19 (1999, article by Kit Crissey) (Above information supplement’s Wagner entry in book.) Ryan Wagner (2003 2007) Pitches: 1. Slider 2. Fastball (90-94) Reds GM Dan O’Brien: “He’s got two plus pitches. His fastball has significant life, and generally speaking it will produce groundballs. And his power slider, it’s a definite plus pitch against lefthanded or righthanded hitters, but especially against righthanders.” Source: Baseball America (2/14/2004, John Manuel) Adam Wainwright (2006 2013) Report: “RHP Adam Wainwright is a major weapon as a late-inning reliever because he can get hitters out with any of his pitches. His out pitch is a hard curveball. Wainwright also throws a four-seam fastball with movement, a changeup and a cutter/slider.” Source: The Sporting News (9/15/2006, Matthew Leach) Report: “Wainwright, who’s 25, has a devastating curveball and a knack for making hitters pound the ball into the ground. ‘I’ll take outs however I can get them, says the 6’7″ righty. ‘But if I had my choice, I’d get a ground ball every single batter.” Source: ESPN The Magazine (Jerry Crasnick, 5/7/2007) Tim Wakefield Pitches: 1. Knuckleball (67) 2. Fastball (75) 3. Curveball (60) Source: Hardball Times (John Walsh, 11/272007) Edsall Walker (NEGRO LEAGUERS) Pitches: 1. High Fastball 2. Low Running Fastball Source: Walker quoted in Of Monarchs and Black Barons (James A. Riley, 2012) Jimmy Walkup (1934 1939) Key Pitch: Curveball Source: Baseball Magazine (September 1937, Dan Daniel) Ed Walsh Report: “Burley Ed Walsh was a spitball pitcher, but he faked with it often. When he faked, he would not open his mouth very wide. When he didn’t fake, he would open his mouth so wide the visor of his cap would move. It was by this sign the enemy hitters were able to distinguish between the fake and the real spitter.” Source: New York World-Telegram (Joe Williams, 3/26/1936) Bucky Walters Walters: “I was mostly a fastball pitcher when I started. I learned the curveball later on, but in the beginning it was that fastball. It had a tendency to sink, which was a great advantage for me, because most hitters tend to uppercut a little. So with that bat coming up and that ball sinking, you’ve got an advantage — if you can keep the ball down.” Source: Baseball When the Grass Was Real (Donald Honig, 1975) Chien-Ming Wang (2005 2013) Pitches: 1. Hard Sinker 2. Changeup 3. Slider 4. 4-Seam Fastball Report: “When right-handers protect against the sinker, Guidry said, Wang can throw a slider or four-seamer to the outside corner, where they cannot reach. But mostly, Guidry conceded, Wang gets outs with the sinker. ‘It’s like hitting a shot put,’ Guidry said. ‘It’s harder than most sinkers, and it’s got late movement.'” Technique: “To throw the sinker, Wang holds the ball with his index and middle finger along the seams framing the ball’s sweet spot. There is a dark callus to the right of the nail on his index finger, which he places just off the left seam. When he releases the ball, Wang pushes off the seam with his index finger, creating diving, downward movement toward the shins of a right-handed hitter.” Source: The New York Times (Tyler Kepner, 8/13/2006) Jorge Posada: “He throws his sinker about 85 percent of the time, and it’s 95 miles per hour, heavy and has so much movement. He goes out there and keeps coming at you.” Source: The Sporting News (9/29/2006) Ancestry: “He learned the sinker over two months in 2004 from his coach, Neil Allen, and his catcher, Sal Fasano.” Source: The New York Times (Tyler Kepner, 3/4/2007) Jarrod Washburn Report: “New Mariners LHP Jarrod Washburn, a former Angels who was signed as a free agent, ranked fourth in the A.L. in ERA last season partly because of the continued progress he made with his changeup and slider. Washburn used to get by with fastballs, but shoulder problems in 2003 forced him to learn to use other pitches.” Source: The Sporting News (1/27/2006) Jeff Weaver Report: “Though Weaver admits that he’s lost a few mph on his fastball, he still works in the low 90s. Weaver keeps hitters off-balance by varying his release point from three-quarters to low three-quarters, and he doesn’t lose velocity when he drops down.” Source: The Sporting News (11/10/2006, Stan McNeal) Jered Weaver (2006 2009) Report: “Then along comes Jered Weaver, with a fastball clocked between 90 and 93 mph, a sweeping slider and changeup, all delivered out of an extreme, across-the-body motion that makes it seem as if the 6-foot-7, 205-pound right-hander is throwing the ball from the shortstop slot.” Source: Account of Weaver’s first MLB start, Los Angeles Times (5/28/2006, Mike DiGiovanna) Big Jim Weaver Pitches: 1. Fastball 2. Forkball 3. Curve (as Change) Weaver: “I was a fastball pitcher. I didn’t have a good curve, but I don’t know why. I worked on it a lot, but I never was able to develop a good curve. . . In order to win, you’ve got have a breaking ball to go with fastball. And I developed a forkball which acted like a dry spitball. It would go in there and half float and half spin and get up there and take a dip down. I ran on the thing by accident, and after I saw it, I tried it one day and it worked pretty good. I kept after it and it turned out and so I just used that then for my breaking ball, and I used my curve ball for a change of pace. I guess I was the first or second to use the forkball in the major leagues to any extent. Source: The Baseball Research Journal, Number 14 (SABR, 1985) Stefan Weaver (1982 1982) Pitch Selection: 1. Hard Sinker 2. Slider 3. Changeup Source: Buck Showalter, and Weaver, in MLB.com (9/12/2005, Doug Miller) Brandon Webb Webb: “People ask my secret. There is no secret. It’s all arm action. You either have it or you don’t. Even I’m surprised sometimes the way the ball moves. In ’03 or ’04 a batter swung at a pitch and it hit him in the chest.” Source: Sports Illustrated (9/24/2007) Chad Moeller: “I was always amazed at what Brandon Webb could make a baseball do. He’d say: ‘I just grabbed the ball like this. It just does it.’ I’m like, ‘Seriously, Brandon, that ball’s dropping a foot and a half.’ I was thinking, wow, this is something different. He’s throwing it the same way as anybody else. You’d watch other guys do it and they’d get this cute little cut, and he does it and it has more break than his curveball. Source: The New York Times (Tyler Kepner, 3/28/2010) Roy Weir (1936 1939) Report: “Billy Weir, formerly of Melrose but now of Malden, firmly believes that he has finally found the key to National league success — a low curve ball. Billy worked sedulously at Toronto all last season trying to perfect this particular pitch and the ex-University of New Hampshire box ace says he can now control it better than ever before. Weir used to hurl his curves too high and as a result they were tagged by rival batsmen. But no enemy likes his recently acquired low ‘snakes.'” Source: Boston Post (3/3/1940); Weir did not pitch in the majors after this note appeared. Todd Wellemeyer (2003 2009) Key Pitch: 2-seam Fastball (mid-90s) Jason LaRue: “When you’ve got a guy throwing 95 mph with a two-seam fastball that’s dropping off the table, that’s special. Then he’s got four other pitches to go with it.” Source: The Kansas City Star (Bob Dutton, 3/12/2007) David Wells Report: “Padres LHP David Wells, 44, brought out a knuckleball against the Mets last week for what he said was the first time in more than 10 years. It worked, too, on C Paul Lo Duca, who lined to second and then stared at Wells.” Source: The Sporting News (7/30/2007) Chad Moeller: “David Wells, that was entertaining. I called a changeup and he threw a knuckleball, just because he wanted to throw a knuckleball. The hitter took it and he goes, ‘Was that a knuckleball?’ I said, ‘I guess so.’ He was so much fun to be around. I mean, it wasn’t for very long, but he loved being out there, he loved pitching. Source: The New York Times (Tyler Kepner, 3/28/2010) Butch Wensloff (1943 1948) Report: “Wensloff has more stuff than any other new pitcher in the major leagues. He is fast, has control, boasts a fine curve and mixes in a tough knuckler.” Source: The Sporting News (Dan Daniel, 7/15/1943) Len Whitehouse (1981 1985) Key (Only?) Pitch: Fastball Source: Whitehouse in The National Pastime, Number 18 (SABR, 1988) Wally Whitehurst (1989 1996) Pitches: 1. Curve 2. Fastball 3. Slider 4. Straight Change Source: The Scouting Report: 1992 Sean Whiteside (1995) Pitch Selection: 1. Fastball 2. Hard Curve 3. Change (occasional) Source: Whiteside in Cup of Coffee (Rob Trucks, 2002) Frank Wickware (Negro Leagues) Key Pitch: Fastball Source: Blackball Stars (John B. Holway, 1988) Ted Wieand (1958 1960) Pitch Selection: 1. Fastball 2. Sinker 3. Slider 4. Curve (ineffective) Source: Wieand in Cup of Coffee (Rob Trucks, 2002) Ted Wilks Pitches: 1. Fastball 2. Curve 3. Change Joe Garagiola: “His fast ball was his money pitch, and many was the time he threw it right into a hitter’s power and struck him out.” Source: Baseball is a Funny Game (Joe Garagiola, 1960) Jim Wilhelm (Minors 1977) Wilhelm: “I can’t throw hard. I never could, but I have a good sinker and a good knuckleball. Those will be the pitches that I will be going with.” Source: The Sporting News (Tom Boggie, 8/6/1977) Note: Wilhelm, signed as a first baseman by the Yankees, was Hoyt Wilhelm’s son. Tom Wilhelmsen (2011 2013) Pitch Selection: 1. Fastball 2. Curveball 3. Change Genealogy: Wilhelmsen has thrown a sharp-breaking curveball since he was 18, having learned to grip and throw the pitch in Tucson by former Big Leaguer Brent Strom, who’s now a minor league pitching instructor with the Cardinals. It has been an effective complement to a fastball in the high 90 mph range, along with a changeup that Wilhelmsen has steadily improved. Source: On Deck Magazine (R.L. Jacobsen, Spring Training 2013) Charlie Williams (1971 1978) Pitch Selection: 1. Fastball 2. Curve 3. Knuckleball (added in 1974) Source: The Sporting News (6/15/1974, Pat Frizzell) Stan Williams Report: “Lee Walls, of the Palm Springs and Cincinnati Wallses, is one of the NL hitters who has called Stan Williams faster than Drysdale. ‘Williams’s fast ball,’ said Walls, ‘comes in waist high, then sails up. You swing, and it’s not there. He’s got a slider now, too, that’s a dandy.’ ” Source: Stan Williams: He Wins the Close Ones (entry in The 1961 Dodger Family booklet series, published by Union Oil) Note: Williams began experimenting with a no-windup delivery in 1957, while pitching for St. Paul in the minors, and generally used that delivery in his first two seasons with the Dodgers. Beginning in 1960, though, Williams went back to the windup because “he feels more comfortable and believes it adds to his deception.” Source: Source: Stan Williams: The Kid Who Pitched the Clincher (entry in 1960 Meet the Dodger Family booklet series, published by Union Oil) Ted Williams (1940) Report: “Years later, he was still proud of having a curve ball with a real tight spin on it that a lot of pitcher would have envied. He would demonstrate how to snap it off, throwing his whole body into it saying, ‘You gotta crack down on it.'” Source: Terwilliger Bunts One (Wayne Terwilliger w/Nancy Peterson & Peter Boehm, 2006. Jim Willis (1953 1954) Pitch Selection: 1. Sinker 2. Slider 3. Knuckleball Source: The Sporting News (6/29/1955, Robert G. Phipps) Note: This citation comes after Willis’s last game in the majors. Ron Willis Key Pitch: Slider Source: Willis quoted in Stranger to the Game (Bob Gibson with Lonnie Wheeler, 1994) Brian Wilson (2006 2013) Felipe Alou: “He has the good fastball and slider. But he’s weird and off beat. I saw him downtown today and he asked me when he had to be at the ballpark.” Source: Associated Press story (9/18/2006) C.J. Wilson (2005 2013) Note: “Wilson came up with a new pitch last year that he calls ‘The Cork.’ It’s basically a combination of a split-fingered fastball and a cut fastball. The splitter tumbles downward and a cut fastball moves in on a right-handed hitter. The Cork tumbled down and in for Wilson.” Source: MLB.com (T.R. Sullivan, 2/21/2007) Note: “LHP C.J. Wilson said he threw his first gyroball of the regular season Sunday to Boston’s Kevin Youkilis, who took it for a strike.” Source: Dallas Morning News (Evan Grant, 4/10/2007) Jim Wilson Story: “Jim Wilson, the pitcher who won six games out of seven for the White Sox after they got him from Baltimore, throws almost every type of pitch in use today, including the palm ball. Against Detroit one day recently, he threw five pitches to Ray Boone. He threw, in this order: a curve, a fast ball, a knuckler, a slider and a change-up. Boone popped up the change-up to center field and as he rounded first base and headed for the dugout he ran past the mound and called out to Wilson, ‘Is that all you’ve got?’ ” Source: Baseball Digest (Gerry Hern, Sept. 1956) Jim Winford (1932 1938) Key Pitch: Knuckleball Source: The Sporting News (4/15/1937, Red Byrd) Bobby Witt Mike Greenwell in 1984: “The biggest difference with Witt is he’s learned to pitch. Before, he had a straight, hard fastball and hard slider that you could just sit back and wait on. Now he changes speeds on his fastball, throws a forkball and a slider for strikes.” Source: Associated Press story (7/4/1994) Red Witt (1957 1962) Danny Murtaugh: “He’s got a good curve, a good slider, and a good fast ball.” Hank Aaron: “He’s nothin’ like Stu Miller. Everything Miller throws is slow, includin’ his fast ball. Witt’s got a good fast ball and his curve makes it look even better.” Source: The Milwaukee Journal (Steve Weller, 8/15/58) Note: As a rookie in ’58, Witt went 9-2 with a 1.61 ERA in 106 innings. In the rest of his career, he went 2-14 with a 6.66 ERA. Jason Wood (2007) Only Pitch: Fastball (75) Source: Palm Beach Post (Joe Capozzi, 6/30/2007) Hal Woodeschick Scouting Report: “Sinking fast ball, best pitch — Tries to throw a curve but has not controlled it so far — Possibly if you can make him ‘work’ early his control isn’t that good. Was poor on fielding his position and covering 1st base when he was in the minors — Poor hitter and bunter — just fair move to 1st base.” Source: Eddie Stanky, 1962 report for Cardinals Mark Worrell (2008) Worrell: “To left-handed batters i throw a little bit more over the top, and I throw fastball-changeup to them. To righties I’ll throw more of like a sidearm delivery and I’ll throw fastballs and sliders. My best pitch is probably the slider … In college I used to drop down sidearm against right-handed batters on occasion, but now I pretty much do that all the time. i’ll mix it up every now and then, throw a little bit overhand to right-handed batters, but now I pretty much throw straight sidearm to righties. I added in a sidearm changeup to righties … I don’t throw straight over the top; I throw more like three-quarters.” Source: Interview, Viva El Birdos (posted 4/27/2006) Note: In 2008, Worrell became the eighth Cardinal to homer in his first at-bat. Al Worthington Worthington on 1956: “I was handicapped at that time by inexperience and not enough pitches. My fastball slid and sunk. I had a curveball tothe lefthanders, but I didn’t have a curve to righthanders. So I only threw that one pitch to them, and righthanders were hard for me to get out.” Worthington on 1964: “Minnesota got me and I guess I had reached the age where either your arm goes bad or you begin to do better. So all of a sudden I finally knew what I could do, and I finally came up with that sidearm curveball that I could get the righthanders out with, plus my fastball. I found myself, and I was able to get them out for awhile.” Source for both quotes: SF Giants: An Oral History (Mike Mandel, 1979) Johnny Wright (Negro Leagues) Pitch Selection: 1. Fastball 2. Curve Comment: After the war, Wright was signed by Branch Rickey in 1946, but could not take the racial pressures of the time and returned to the Negro Leagues. Source: Black Baseball in Chicago (Larry Lester, et al, 2000) Ken Wright (1970 1974) Pitch Selection: 1. Fastball 2. Curveball Source: The Washington Post (5/29/1971, George Minot Jr.) Whit Wyatt Comment: “American Leaguers who sneer about the ‘minor league’ Nationals try to point out Wyatt as an example of an AL castoff who bcame a wizard in the NL. But this is a new Wyatt. He is as fast as ever (which means one of the ten fastest in baseball), but he’s stopped throwing ruler-straight balls. There’s a curve in his repertoire — a slow, baffling change of pace pitch that has batters paralyzed at the plate.” Source: Hy Turkin in the New York Daily News (8/25/1940) Biff Wysong (1930 1932) Report: “Biff Wysong, the elongated southpaw whom some critics have likened to another Grove in the making, impressed the spectators and a few of the batsmen with samples of blinding speed and a sweeping curve.” Source: Reading Eagle (6/18/1932); this was written about an outing in the minors, shortly after Wysong’s last appearance in the majors. Tyler Yates (2004 2008) Key Pitch: Fastball (100) Source: The Sporting News (8/18/2006, Mark Bowman) Anthony Young (1991 1996) Pitches: 1. Hard Sinker 2. Slider 3. Curve 4. Change (occasional) Source: The Scouting Notebook: 1996 (entry by Rob Neyer) Chris Young (2004 2012) Comment: “He’s a completely different style of pitcher than Randy. We used to joke that Chris was Greg Maddux in Randy Johnson’s body. He’ll throw some fastballs by people, but he’s more about command than trying to rear back.” Source: Scott Bradley in The New York Times (4/22/2005); Bradley caught Johnson in the majors, and coached Young at Princeton. Kevin Towers: “Velocity is overrated when it comes to him. What I see are a lot of swings and misses. He pitches at 88 to 90 but with a lot of deception. It feels like he’s throwing in the mid-90s.” Young: “My fastball is my bread-and-butter pitch. I do live and die with my fastball. I don’t know that I’m that much different. Maybe in the velocity but not necessarily in the way I pitch.” Source: The Sporting News (Ryan Fagan, 9/17/2007) Cy Young Young: “When a batter had me three and two, I generally threw a curve. In fact, I had two curves. Never realized it until Cobb told me one day. Seems like when I threw overhand my curve broke sharp and downward. If I cut loose sidearm my curve had more of a sweep. But I could keep both of them on the plate.” Source: The Sporting News (Jack Ledden, 6/25/1947) Tom Zachary Roger Peckinpaugh: “Zachary’s screw ball, when working right, has at times had every team in our league looking like monkeys and, after looking at the Pirates, I do not rate them as superplayers at all.” Source: World Series column in The Washington Post (10/10/1925) (Above supplements Zachary’s entry in book, which lacks good specifics.) Carlos Zambrano (2001 2009) Report: “The movement on his pitches, especially his two-seam sinker, is so severe that he often ditches the idea of hitting spots. Instead, he’ll simply throw that pitch over the center of the plate and let nature take its course. The ball, traveling at up to 95 mph, moves like it’s on a string.” Source: ESPN The Magazine (Tim Keown, 6/19/2006) Oscar Zamora (1974 1978) Description: “He is only 5-9 and 175 pounds. But he has a strong arm, absolutely beautiful control, and a good variety of off-speed pitches which include a screwball which he often feeds to lefthanders.” Source: The Sporting News (8/24/1974, Jerome Holtzman) Brad Ziegler (2008 2013) Pitches: 1. Sinking Fastball 2. Slider 3. Change Ziegler: “I throw my fastball the same as I did my overhand four-seam; I throw my curveball the exact same, and I throw my changeup the exact same. I’m just releasing it from a different angle . . . I call [my curveball] a slider, but it’s essentially my curveball grip and my curveball release. It’s just that it moves horizontally, so it’s more of a slider pitch than a curveball. Source: Baseball Prospectus (David Laurila, 8/10/2008) Charlie Zink (minors) Pitches: 1. Knuckleball (65) 2. Fastball 3. Cut Fastball Report: Zink threw his knuckleball roughly 90 percent of the time. Source: The Boston Globe (Nick Cafardo, 8/18/2006) Barry Zito Note: In his third 2005 start, Zito threw a slider for the first time in his professional career — the pitch had been a part of his college repertoire — and continued to throw it occasionally throughout the season. Source: ESPN the Magazine (9/30/2005, Dave Albee) Report: “LHP Barry Zito has modified his dramatic and distinctive windup, trying to limit the amount of motion to give him better control. Zito’s velocity has dropped in recent years and probably isn’t going back up, so figuring out how to pitch with more finesse is a good idea.” Source: The Sporting News (3/31/2008) Sam Zoldak (1944 1952) Note: Zoldak usually threw sidearm, but added an overhand curve in the spring of 1950. Source: The Sporting News (4/05/1950, Ed McAuley) Story: “Veeck, desperate to win a pennant, once had to pay DeWitt $100,000 for a journeyman pitcher named Sam Zoldak. Veeck still cannot get over the deal, and Zoldak himself was so flabbergasted that he took to standing up in the Indians’ locker room and shouting at teammates, ‘And how much did they pay for you?'” Source: Sports Illustrated (6/13/1966, Robert H. Boyle) Joel Zumaya (2006 2009) Anonymous Scout: “You can’t sit on his fastball because he has a very good curve and a very good changeup, which is highly unusual for a guy who throws 100.” Source: The Sporting News (Matt Crossman, 9/22/2006)