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Luis Garcia, The Venezuelan Corbin Burnes?

Discussion in 'Houston Astros' started by Tuckmose, Jul 6, 2022.

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Should Astros pitching coaches push Garcia away from the four-seam and to the cutter?

This poll will close on Jan 6, 2023 at 2:10 AM.
  1. Yes, pitchers should trim the fat from their arsenal

    3 vote(s)
    42.9%
  2. No, It's not worth potential mechanical damage to a young, solid MLB starter.

    4 vote(s)
    57.1%
  1. Tuckmose

    Tuckmose Member

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    I look at Garcia's progression this year, and there's much to be excited about. His SO/BB ratio is up this year, thanks to cutting down on the walks. His Hits/9 is also down, but I can't help but notice a glaring flaw in his game, his HR/9 rate increasing 50% over last year.

    How could this be? He's gained a full mile-per-hour on his four seam fastball, his primary pitch by usage this year, thanks to a mechanical tweak during the postseason. Is it still a liability?

    [​IMG]

    Yes, yes it is.

    Then again, he's gotten unlucky this year, he's giving up far fewer "No Doubters" according to Baseball Savant, and his xERA is an improvement from last year, even with a regression in regular ERA. Even for his much maligned fastball, it's still an improvement over his prior, slower offering.

    But these struggles remind me of Corbin Burnes, another talented, albiet flawed flamethrower for the Brewers. Burnes had a horrendous 2019, but was incredibly unlucky with the juiced ball homers. His peripherials were still quite solid (3.80 xERA vs 8+ actual ERA). But instead of returning with the same arsenal that got him to the majors, he invented a brand new cutter in the offseason, and the rest is history.

    What's frustrating with Garcia, is that he already has an elite cutter. A Cutter so elite that half the team's starters tried to copy it, with Valdez using his new pitch to devastating effect against lefties.

    Garcia isn't stupid, he knows this as well, as reflected in his pitch usage.

    [​IMG]

    What's striking is that the Cutter seems to be replacing the wipe-out pitches, not the 4-seam fastball, and his cutter's location would back this up:

    [​IMG]

    This is by no means a bad thing, I'm sure this is a big part as to his decreased walk rate.

    Compare that to someone like Corbin Burnes, who throws his cutter as his primary pitch for strikes, with his primary wipe-out pitch thrown in for reference:

    [​IMG]

    Is Garcia's cutter good enough to throw it for strikes, or does he have the ability to do it at all?

    In an ideal world, he'd manage that and use his still solid slider and curveball as whiff pitches, dropping the changeup being part of dropping the four-seamer.

    Worst case scenario is he wastes a season or more in a failed experiment.

    Personally, with Garcia as a potential 5th starter with Lance's return, the Astros can take a risk in trying to turn him into a potential TOR ace.

    What do you think? Can Garcia make the adjustment, and is it even worth trying?
     
    cbass, Blake and Marshall Bryant like this.
  2. HeyBudLetsParty

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    Burnes cutter is 94.8mph so he can get away with not using his 4seam fastball. Garcia throws it at 85mph, if he scrapped his fastball the cutter would get timed up and crushed. I would like to see him mix his curveball in a little more, but overall if he stops throwing random cement mixer fastballs sporadically through his start, he will be fine.
     
    Snake Diggit likes this.
  3. Screaming Fist

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    Maybe they are worried that his walks would take off if fastball usage was reduced? One thing I would like to see is his traditional slider more often against RHB and the changeup against LHB as both have been effective but are hardly used.
     
  4. IdStrosfan

    IdStrosfan Member

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    I haven't dived into the data

    But to my eyes, it looks like he has bouts of dominance and ineffectiveness. Very streaky.

    To me this is just growing pains from a young pitcher.

    I think his multiple options help him overall but as he gets more experience he can tweak the usage.

    Very effective pitches can become less effective pitches if a hitter can gear up for them.

    Right now, a hitter can WANT the 4 seamer and look for it which makes him look silly on a secondary pitch if the tunneling is good.

    That goes away if the hitter does not look for the 4 seamer.
     
    Tomstro likes this.
  5. rockbox

    rockbox Around before clutchcity.com
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    Garcia's next progression is better command. If he threw the fast ball around the edges without walking a bunch of people, he would be close to unhittable. 95 mph at the edges would make his other pitches that more deadly since they would all look similar.
     
  6. Yordan The Great

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    I just think his ceiling is fairly low and that is about as good as it is gonna get for him.

    A solid starter in the majors but nothing special.
     
  7. HeyBudLetsParty

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    Unlikely to have 5 aces on the staff, we’re spoiled with the starting pitching. Garcia is only 25, it’s not too optimistic to think he’ll get better these next 3 years. If he can be a 125 ERA+ guy over 180innings, that’s extremely valuable. Pretty much a 2 or 3 on any staff - as our SP5, he’s great.
     
    everyday eddie likes this.
  8. arif1127

    arif1127 Contributing Member
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    Look at CJ this year for how improving fb command alone can take a pitcher from solid to elite.
     
    The Beard and Tuckmose like this.
  9. The Beard

    The Beard Contributing Member

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    LOL
     

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