Monday, September 10, 2012

Roger Clemens as a Skeeter

Roger Clemens threw 2 outings with the independent Sugarland Skeeters, as I am sure you know. There is speculation that he is trying to pitch again in the Majors. I don't know if he is or not, but I watched both of his outings and took some notes.
The first thing you notice is his really easy mechanics. If a guy can survive at his age, he has to have mechanics that he can repeat and won't put extra strain on his arm. 
His fastball was at 87-88 MPH with really solid command. He could locate it low but I don't think he can throw it high or it will be easy to hit hard. Nothing was real straight, he had a little bit of cut or late movement on everything, which can help a little bit with the clearly below average velocity.

He threw a 75-79 MPH curve/slider tended to hang in the zone. He could throw it for strikes, but it is pretty soft. Needs to locate it low, but when he was throwing it below the zone he was being chased. He tried to to locate it low and away to righties but it really wasn't effective.

He got down to 71 MPH on what looked like a separate slow curve. He could throw it for strikes in his first outing, but didn't seem to try to in the 2nd outing. It has big break, but he didn't throw it very often.

In the first outing, he threw an occasional change/split at 83-84 MPH with quite a bit of drop. He threw it in the dirt, and really only against lefties. In the 2nd outing, he threw it a lot more and his control of it was better and it looks like a pitch he may be able to get ground-balls with it. It was basically his feature pitch in the first inning of his 2nd outing. 

I could see Clemens as a AAA All-star as a starter or a middle relief type in the big leagues. He can locate well, and mixes his pitches, so he can definitely keep undisciplined hitters off-balanced. However, he will be hittable for patient hitters.
One could see him making a MLB start and surviving, but he simply pitches to contact too much with inferior stuff to be someone who can get guys out consistently in the big leagues (although I would take him over Jamie Moyer, who started the year in a big league rotation, in a heartbeat).

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