Monday, April 06, 2009

Someone Has To Be Kevin Gross

Do you ever get the feeling that Brett Myers is the Kevin Gross of this generation?

Like Gross, Myers has a plethora of major league pitches- but somehow the sum is less than the whole. Consequently, he is sort of sentenced to kick around .500- with some upside as an innings eater when healthy.

Most starting pitchers seem to sort into two categories- guys who pitch off a superior pitch (Hamels and the change-up, Kendrick and the sinker) or guys who try to mix and match three/four quality pitches. Myers is the latter obviously- which leads me to the two problems with Brett Myers.

First, it makes me crazy when people say he should throw his fastball more. I don’t get it. He isn’t a power pitcher- his fastball features okay velocity, very little movement and does little to set up his average change. He has to spot it- because it is real hittable. Who doesn’t cringe when Myers has to challenge a good hitter? He should throw the fastball less- and really mix pitches.

Saying a guy should "mix pitches" more is easy of course. But Myers is a decent strike-out pitcher- but he fans guys by throwing the fastball in non-fastball situations and throwing quality off-speed stuff. Like a lot of strike-out pitchers, he’s going to walk guys because of deep counts. Fine- but since we’re okay with him walking a few extra guys- then fewer fastballs please- because he has real problems throwing the fastball in hitter’s counts.

Second, again, he does strike people out. But most plus big league starters have that “bury you” pitch. They get ahead in the count and you’re fishing after that slider away or chasing high heat. Myers doesn’t have that drop dead pitch that he can throw off the plate, somewhere un-hittable, when he’s ahead in the count.

I don’t know how you fix that problem- moving him up from 7Ks per nine innings- to an elite level. I guess that is why he is a .500 pitcher.

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