Not that too many people are concerned about the exploits of Randy Keisler given the Cardinals many problems, but I have been tracking Keisler's starts for the VEB pitch charting project. Let's hope Carpenter is back in a couple of weeks, but in the meantime here are my observations of Randy's 2 starts.
Pitching lines in first 2 starts:
4/10 (PIT) 6.0 IP, 5H, 2R, 2ER, 1 BB, 3K
4/18 (SF) 5.0 IP, 6H, 4R, 3ER, 3 BB, 2K
Interestingly enough, each game went 12 innings with the Cards winning 3-2 in Pittsburgh and losing 6-5 in San Fran. Keisler gave us a chance to win each game, but is he anything more than a stop-gap, AAAA starter? Let's take a closer look.
What weapons does Randy have in the bag?
Fastball- 88 to 90 mph
Cut Fastball- 84 to 86 mph
Curveball- 70 to 74 mph
Changeup- 79 to 81 mph
Keisler's fastball is not your typical lefty 2-seam, tailing pitch to right-handers. In fact, he has been able to get inside on righties with success. I am not fond of his cut fastball. It doesn't appear to have much movement. His standard fastball is much more effective at jamming righties. His curve was much better in the second start versus SF and can be effective as long as he doesn't over use it. Keisler's changeup is above average and is a good complement to his fastball. All in all, he does has the stuff to be an effective 5th starter, imho.
The concern over Keisler's career has been control. In his 133.1 career major league innings before this season, his walk rate was about 5.3 per 9 innings. So far in his 11 inning Cardinal career, he has walked only 4. A closer look shows that Keisler has thrown 181 total pitches in 2007, but only 104 for strikes. Of the 47 batters faced, only 25 saw a first-pitch strike. The 25 who saw a first-pitch strike could only muster 4 hits and 1 walk. If your left-handed, throw strikes, and have a pulse, you can be a successful big league pitcher. Throw strikes Randy, Babe Ruth is dead and Albert is on your team!
There are dozens of ways to breakdown this pitching data. After Keisler has a couple more starts, I'll work on shifting through some more details. Let me know if there are any suggestions or requests.