It's super nice that Ned Yost is pitching Bruce Chen and Luke Hochevar in the same games. Since they're both competing for the fifth starter role and all that. I'm on Team Mendoza, but we all know how that is going to turn out - early returns have him as a lock for the long relief role. So let's take PitchF/X and look at how Chen and Hochevar fared on Tuesday afternoon. -- Chen threw 44 pitches in his three innings of work, but managed to get only a pair of misses on swings. -- His most featured pitch was his sinker, thrown exactly 50 percent of the time. According to FanGraphs, Chen threw a sinking fastball 23 percent of the time in 2012 and just over 20 percent of the time in 2010. It looks like his mission on Tuesday was to get a feel for his sinker in game conditions. Prior to 2012, I thought that was a key to his success as a starter. He was dropping his arm slot for his sinker and occasionally for his curve which gave him the deception needed to get batters out. Last year, the deception wasn't there. Maybe hitters knew what was coming and were able to wait and identify the sinker or the curve when he dropped his slot. Possible, although I don't know why if that was the case it didn't happen sooner.
Deconstructing The Battle For Fifth
Royals Review | Mar 6