Toronto Blue Jays moribund offense decided two losses in a row was enough as the Jays stomped the Baltimore Orioles by a score of 9-2. The club received big hits from Brett Lawrie (first home run to go with 3 RBIs), Jeff Mathis (2-3, big 2-out RBI) and Edwin Encarnacion (2-4, 1 HR, 2 RBI). But the biggest star for me was once again starting pitcher Kyle Drabek.
Drabek gave the Blue Jays 7.1 IPs, scattering six hits, allowing only one earned run, walking one and striking out six. A solid 103-pitch outing that inspired even more confidence from Blue Jays fans that perhaps Kyle Drabek has indeed turned a corner. If the young hurler can continue developing and provide the Jays consistent innings, it would be a huge boon.
Let’s have a look at how Kyle Drabek attacked the Baltimore Orioles hitters.
|Type||Count||Avg Speed||Max Speed||H-Break||V-Break||Strikes|
|2Seam FB||40||93.7||95.2||-8.04||4.86||27 / 67.5%|
|4Seam FB||34||93.4||95.3||-3.64||7.19||21 / 61.7|
|Changeup||11||84.9||86.8||-6.80||1.19||6 / 54.5|
|Slider||9||80.6||81.7||4.39||-4.44||5 / 55.5|
|Curve||5||80.4||81.6||4.06||-4.31||3 / 60.0|
|Cutter||4||90.9||91.9||0.21||4.09||1 / 25.0|
Drabek has a dynamic arm with great stuff. Both his two and four seam fastball have great velocity and movement and he was attacking the strike zone with both. He is similar to Henderson Alvarez in the sense they can both generate a lot of groundballs (12 today versus the Orioles) but Drabek also shows the ability to miss bats and rack up strikeouts as well.
Drabek probably has a higher ceiling than Alvarez given the better off-speed pitches at his disposal. He has not been afraid to throw them in any count, at least early in the 2012 season. Drabek was mixing his pitches well and kept the Orioles off balance most of the game with some of them taking feeble hacks at pitches that would move a foot outside the zone.
For those curious I had a look at Roy Halladay’s two seam fastball movement from his last start (H-Break -9.15, V-Break 5.12) to show the type of movement Drabek has. Drabek also throws his about 5 MPH harder, not to compare the two of course but just showing the serious talent that potentially lies within Drabek’s right arm.
Throwing a 95-mph fastball with movement is one thing, adding the changeup, slider, cutter and curveball at various counts is another. Kyle Drabek could be a breakout starting pitcher if he remains diligent and focused on his recently altered mechanics. The changes have allowed him to drive through his pitches with a more balanced lower half and the results thus far have been impressive.
A look at how he mixed in his pitches by inning:
If he can continue to couple decent control with his natural movement and velocity we may be seeing the progression of a premiere pitcher in the American League. As a key piece that saw Roy Halladay traded to the Philadelphia Phillies Blue Jays fans can only hope.
What do you think?