New York Yankees
Mariano Rivera / RHP / closer
For a pitcher that has had so much success, it’s amazing that Rivera has thrown only one pitch over most of his career. 85-100% of the time, he’ll throw his cut fastball, a nasty, high velocity pitch that consistently breaks bats.
Mariano will mix it up just enough, by throwing a few running fastballs, usually inside to right-handed hitters. These fastballs have a tendency to duck under the bats of hitters looking for the cutter.
Rivera was a shortstop as an amateur player in Panama, and didn’t toe the rubber regularly until he was 20 years old. After signing with the Yankees, he steadily rose through their minor league system, and became a star when he was moved into the bullpen. 5/14/11
[cut fastball(90-95), fastball(90-95)]
C.C. Sabathia / LHP / starter
C.C. began his career as a hard thrower with a high walk rate. Now he has excellent control of his low to mid-90s fastball, hitting either corner of the plate with it consistently. Carsten has sharpened his slider in 2011, and he's now throwing it consistently around 82 mph. He has also added a true curve to his repertoire. The curve is only used as the first pitch of an at-bat, and usually against RHs. His old breaking ball was a hybrid slider/curve type pitch that he referred to as his "slurve". Sabathia's changeup is fairly straight, but he can fool hitters with it due to his good arm action on the pitch.
The California native is listed 6' 7", 290 lbs and looks much bigger than that on the mound. Sabathia has been a serious innings eater throughout his ten year career, topping out at 253 innings in 2008. 9/29/11
[fastball(90-97), slider(80-85), changeup(82-87), curve(75-80)]
Michael Pineda / RHP / starter
Pineda has arrived. They're calling him the "Prince" in Seattle, where King Felix still reigns. Despite the lesser nickname, Pineda is showing that he can equal Hernandez in pure stuff.
Pineda cranks a 95 mph fastball and a mid-80s slide piece. His delivery also gives the batter an awkward look at his flying elbows and intense scap-load, before he spins his hips hard, unleashing the Dominican heat in his right arm. He's listed at 6' 7"" and looks even bigger than that when he's on the mound. 6/9/11
[fastball(90-98), slider(81-88), changeup(83-88)]
Hiroki Kuroda / RHP / starter
Hiroki has a smooth, effortless motion. The ball flies out of his hand and moves all over the place before it reaches the catcher's mitt. Kuroda primarily works with a 2-seam fastball / cut fastball / splitter combination. His 2-seamer eats up the handle of RHs bats and induces plenty of groundouts to second base from LHs. Kuroda works the cut fastball on his glove side of home plate, going inside on LHs and away from RHs. The splitter can be a good strikeout pitch, diving toward the dirt as it nears home plate. For breaking pitches, Kuroda throws a slider and curveball. The slider will twist away from RHs and Kuroda has the ability to throw strikes with the curve.
Kuroda came to the USA after an 11-year career with the Hiroshima of the Japanese Central League. Hiroki won as many as 15 games in a season with Hiroshima before moving to LA. I rate Kuroda second, only to Hideo Nomo, in ranking the best Japanese starters who pitched in MLB. 10/25/11
[2-seam fastball(90-94), splitter(85-88), cut fastball(90-94), curve(75-80), slider(83-85)]
Phil Hughes / RHP / starter
Hughes has a good arm and compact delivery. His fastball seems very straight, but he can spot it well, inside and outside, with good velocity. Hughes' curveball looks like his number two pitch; a hard, 12 to 6 breaking ball. Phil has worked on improving his cutter, a pitch he has relied on often since 2009. It's a good, tight breaking pitch that moves just enough to break a bat or induce a weak groundball. A straight changeup rounds out Hughes' four-pitch repertoire.
Hughes dominated at every stop in the minor leagues, but hit a major bump with the Yankees in 2008. He returned to pay huge dividends out of the bullpen in 2009, and produced as a starting pitcher in 2010. 10/22/10 CSJ
[fastball(89-95), curve(74-79), cutter(86-91), change(83-85)]
Joba Chamberlain / RHP / reliever
Chamberlain has ridiculously good stuff. His fastball is often in the mid-90s and overpowering. What made him such a big prospect was the control he showed with that pitch. He has the ability to hit his target at 95 mph. In 2007, he coupled his fastball with a slider that was nearly unhittable out of the bullpen. In 2008, the Yankees enlisted a series of embarrassing "Joba Rules", which were supposed to limit Joba's workload and protect his arm. Over the next three years, they switched him from setup reliever to starting pitcher and back again. As a starter, Joba was mixing in a big curveball and tinkered with a straight changeup. All of this nonsense nearly led to Joba's demise. He had lost velocity and began 2010 so poorly that manager Joe Girardi had Joba throwing mop-up duty. It wasn't until September before Joba seemed to regain some of his old form. 7/4/11
[fastball(92-96), slider(85-88), curve(80-81), changeup(80-82)]
David Robertson / RHP / setup reliever
Robertson is a young pitcher with a loose arm. He throws a naturally cutting 90 mph fastball and breaks off a sharp 12 to 6 curveball. In rare situations, David has shown a straight changeup to LHs and has used a tight slider. Robertson was MVP of the 2006 Cape Cod League playoffs. 8/19/11
[cut fastball(90-95), curve(77-83), changeup(82-85), slider(85)]
Ivan Nova / RHP / starter
Nova is an excitable right-hander from the Dominican Republic. He's 6' 4" and has a power arm. Nova starts most hitters with a moving low-90s fastball. The pitch will normally get some sink, but will cut when thrown glove side. Ivan owns a curveball and changeup that both have potential. The curve can break sharply and is thrown with good velocity. Nova's changeup gets good sinking action, but is a bit erratic. Nova's fourth pitch, the slider, routinely backs up on him. It's such a bad pitch that he is able to fool hitters that are expecting the ball to break away from them.
Nova has a tendency to try and overthrow when he gets in trouble. The only time I've seen him hit 95 mph was with runners on base. Ultimately, the extra juice makes him wild, creating more problems. 9/15/11
[fastball(89-95), curve(78-82), changeup(83-87), slider(85-88)]
Boone Logan / LHP / reliever
Boone has the standard left-handed reliever repertoire of fastball, slider, and changeup. His fastball velocity is improving, and he's relying on it more often to get outs. Against LHs, he will consistently pepper the outside corner with a fastball/slider combination. While against RHs, he relies more on his changeup. Despite his improved stuff, Logan is basically Scott Schoeneweis, which doesn't bode well for him. 7/4/11
[fastball(89-94), slider(79-84), changeup(84)]