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Dan Haren / RHP / starter

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Dan Haren has become one of the premier pitchers in the game, and it all starts with his excellent command. He helps himself by consistently posting low walk totals. Haren uses a heavy, sneaky fastball that he can paint corners with. Haren's signature out pitch is his splitter, which dives under bats. For a breaking ball, he'll throw a hard biting curve that he spikes with his index finger. Haren has experimented with a cutter and a changeup in the past, and seems to have settled on the cutter as his fourth pitch. He'll use it in typical fashion, which is inside to LHs and away from RHs. The changeup he used to experiment with hasn't appeared in at least two years.

Haren was a second round draft pick out of Pepperdine University, where he starred on the mound and as the Waves designated hitter. Then, despite succeeding at the professional level everywhere he has pitch, Haren has been traded twice in two of the higher profile deals in recent memory. 6/09/10 CSJ

*fastball(89-94), split(83-87), curve(77-82), cutter(86-89)

 

Esmerling Vasquez / RHP / reliever

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Vasquez is a young righthander from the Dominican Republic. He has excellent arm strength and I've seen him get his fastball up to 97 mph. His changeup has become his best pitch, a weapon he can use to get quick outs or swings and misses. Vasquez' slider is a non-factor, appearing to be somewhat flat and very hittable. 6/9/10 CSJ

*fastball(91-97), changeup(81-86), slider(81-87)

Leo Rosales / RHP / reliever

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Leo Rosales, a CSUN alum, throws a good fastball/changeup combination. His fastball is of the 4-seam variety, missing bats up in the zone. Rosales' changeup comes straight over-the-top like his fastball, but 12 mph slower. Leo's third pitch is a slider, a pitch I have seen backup on him often. 9/16/09 CSJ

*fastball(90-93), changeup(78-82), slider(82-84)

Carlos Rosa / RHP / reliever

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*fastball(93-94), changeup(86-88), slider(88-89)

Brandon Webb / RHP / starter

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Webb gets the most out of his pitches. He pounds his sinking fastball low in the zone, inducing numerous groundballs. He occasionally mixes in curveballs that he'll vary the velocity on. Webb's changeup has become a dominant pitch. He'll throw it often to both LHs and RHs, who can't touch it. The change acts much like his sinker, but at 10-12mph slower. In 2008, Webb has added a tight slider that he'll use inside on LHs a few times a game. On a side note, Webb once comped me tickets to a game at Wrigley Field. 10/23/08 CSJ

*fastball(86-91), changeup(76-81), curve(71-74), slider(83-85)

Aaron Heilman / RHP / setup reliever

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Heilman features his changeup as his out pitch. The changeup tails and sinks towards his arm side, getting similar movement to his low 90s fastball. Heilman threw a slider when he was a starter, and brought back a tight version of that pitch in 2008. He sweeps the slider away from RHs or tightens it up inside to LHs like a cutter. Heilman's fastball may be his best pitch. He can bring it in the mid 90s with tons of movement. With the sinking changeup in the back of their minds, hitters are often blown away by the heater.

Heilman is an Indiana kid. He grew up in Logansport and pitched for Notre Dame. The Mets drafted him in the first round in 2001 and brought him to the big city. Heilman became a force when the Mets converted him to a setup reliever. Heilman pitched a few effective seasons before losing command of his repertoire and becoming susceptible to the home run. 6/9/10 CSJ

*fastball(91-95), changeup(80-85), slider(80-85)

Blaine Boyer / RHP / reliever

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Boyer has a stiff delivery that unleashes a hard 95 MPH fastball. His breaking pitch is a 12-6 curveball that appears to get decent bite. Blaine's offspeed pitch is a straight changeup. Blaine does not practice magic in the offseason. 10/23/08 CSJ

*fastball(91-96), changeup(86), curve(74-75)

Clay Zavada / LHP / reliever

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Zavada, 25 years old, has already created quite a buzz around himself, even while pitching middle innings out of the Arizona bullpen. Zavada sat out the 2007 baseball season after the death of his father. He was talked into returning to professional baseball in 2008, and dominated his way from the independent leagues to AA, before reaching the major leagues in 2009. He's also created fanfare due to the Rollie Fingers type moustache he was sporting in the beginning of the seaon.

On the mound, Zavada deals a four-pitch repertoire, but seems to rely on his fastball/curveball combination. Clay shows good command and confidence. 9/16/09 CSJ

*fastball(89-91), curve(74), slider, changeup


 


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