Last year Baseball Prospectus ran an advance scouting series towards the end of the season that focused on specific players. The work was tremendous and it inspired me to do something similar for Cubs Den. You can read the BP series archives here. Special thanks to John Arguello, Joe Hamrahi, Jason Parks, Nick Faleris and Chris Mellen for letting me do this.
The purpose of this article and the ones that come after are to serve a few different purposes. I'll be breaking down specific players and their strengths, weaknesses and tendencies in the month of September. For the most part these will be key players and the occasional prospect from opposing teams. I'll be mixing in Cubs reports when applicable (it's applicable now)
Player Name: Felix Doubront
Pitch Mix: Four Seam Fastball, Curveball, Cutter. Threw a Sinker in last start, looks to have scrapped the changeup.
Season To date
- IP: 59.1
- ER: 40
- H: 69
- K%/BB%: 15.5/9.4
- WHIP: 1.60
- ERA: 6.07
- IP: 10
- ER: 6
- H: 12
- K%/BB%: 25.0/6.8
- WHIP: 1.14
- ERA: 5.40
Context: Doubront was acquired from the Red Sox for a PTBNL. He was in Iowa for most of the year and will be making his Cubs debut today against the Cardinals.
Pitch break down
The Hard Stuff:
- Doubront has a fastball, sinker, cutter combination. He's been playing with the pitch mix all year and hasn't quite settled on one that he prefers.
- Four Seam Fastball: Soft fastball. 88-91. Straight, ok command. Needs secondary offerings to be on for this pitch to be effective. Ideal mix would be Fastball Change Curve. When he misses with the fastball he tends to pull it down and to the arm side of the plate. Will elevate the pitch against RHH.
- Sinker: 89-91 MPH with arm side run and sink. Used it sparingly against LHH and RHH. Pitch has promise as it mirrors the fastball deep through the zone. Uses it early in the count, doesn’t typically go to it as an out pitch. Against LHH likes to bury it down and in, against RHH he tries to work down in the zone with it but can miss up in those situations.
- Cutter: 86-88 MPH. Looks like a slider with some dip. Likes to use it against lefties and righties. Against lefties Doubront will use the cutter more as a set up pitch. Against righties Doubront has used it as an out pitch. Loves to bury it into RHH with two strikes. Tries to go down and away with it against LHH, likes to go down and in and up and away against RHH.
- Doubront has a curve and a change that he uses as his out pitches. The curve can operate as a strikeout pitch when it's on. The Change is more intended to induce weak contact but it can miss some bats as well.
- Curve: 74-76 MPH. Inconsistent curve that has sharp break but gets loopy when he loses it. Doesn’t have firm command of it, really likes to nip the bottom portion of the zone. He pounds down and away to LHH especially with 2 strikes. Doubront will sometimes backdoor the breaking ball against RHH but it leaves him prone to elevating the pitch where it becomes very easy to hit.
- Change: 83-84 MPH. Has downward movement, can miss up with it in the zone. Likes to bury it down just under the strike zone. When he leaves it up it’s extremely hittable. Used it as an out pitch with 2 strikes.
- Mechanics: Slow, deliberate worker. Takes his time out on the mound, can be difficult to watch work. Falls off a bit to the third base side from the wind up. Doesn't get into a good fielding position out of the wind. From the stretch he stays straight through to home plate better but he still is prone to falling off to the third base side. Cannot stress how slow of a worker he is on the mound.
- Fielding: Didn't see him make many plays off the mound, looks like he has slow feet.
- Pickoff move/running game: Got him at 1.5 - 1.55 to home, didn't see the good pick off move if he has it. Pacing and time to home aren't conducive to controlling the running game.
- Doubront is deliberate and he likes to tease the zone rather than attack it. The curve can be very good and he needs both that and the change to be on to be effective. He likes to nibble which gets him into trouble via the walk and forcing him into bad counts. The fastball is very hittable and he can elevate the change. He shows the ball for a long time via his delivery. He drops the ball below his trunk and gives the hitter a good view. Doesn't hide the ball very well. Based on his previous work I would jump the fastball and wait the curve out.