A Baseball Weblog

Friday, November 26, 2010

Diamondbacks get Duke

On Thursday, the Pirates traded Zach Duke to the Diamondbacks for a player to be named, five days after designating him for assignment.  Duke had a tough year, sporting a 5.72 ERA to go along with 15 losses - his ERA was second worst in the majors behind Scott Kazmir (among pitchers with a minimum of 150 innings).  However, his BABIP of .347 was second highest behind James Shields, and his HR/FB% of 13.7% was third behind Javier Vazquez and Shields, so it's probably unfair to assume that he'd allow that many runs in 2011.  His walks were up a bit this year (2.89 BB/9 in 2010, up from 2.07 in 2009 and 2.45 for his career), as were his strikeouts (5.43 in 2010 versus 4.48 in 2009 and 4.71 career). What might Duke provide for his new team in 2011?  The three charts below simply give a run-down on his stuff, showing pitch movement (both full and aggregated; values are in inches) and velocity distribution. 

Duke has the typical five pitches - a four-seam fastball, a two-seam fastball that he uses more frequently than the four-seamer, a curveball, a changeup, and a slider.  He doesn't have a whole lot of velocity, as his fastball doesn't usually get out of the 80s.  None of his pitches appeared to be particularly effective in 2010 (use this as your glossary for now, and this as a refresher on run values):

#%Swing RateWhiff RateZone RateChase RateWatch RateRV/100xRV/100


GB RateFB RateLD RatePU Rate


He won't miss many bats, and while his control is good, it's not good enough to make up for his low strikeout totals.  The two-seamer and changeup are on the ground a lot, and overall he's above-average at getting grounders; that's a good trait to have at Chase Field.  He doesn't have the most exciting profile, but he's certainly not as bad as he was last year and could provide stability in the middle of the Diamondbacks' rotation.

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