We are now less than a month away from the release of PiratesGuide 2019. Currently, the book is slated to have around 30 pieces of unique content for Pirate fans to dig into. Something that PiratesGuide 2019 will not have, however, is GIFs.
I’m a big fan of GIFs. I love making my own GIFs or seeing the GIFs that @PitchingNinja and @PitcherList post on Twitter. GIFs are a great tool for baseball especially. A 3 hour game of baseball is just around 18 minutes of live action. And that live action isn’t always the most exciting. But GIFs, they are the highlights of the best or the worst of what you see throughout a season. I’ve spent a lot of time creating GIFs this year and spent some more time filtering through @PitchingNinja’s and @PitcherList’s tweets to find the best of the Pirates pitching GIFs that have been created this year. This comes at a perfect time, as Alex Stumpf has just written ‘What is the Best Pitch On The Pirates’ Staff‘. Of course, Alex’s piece is a prerequisite to this article.
I’m going to keep this one loose. Alex already dove into the numbers, so I won’t touch too much on that. But I will post GIFs. Lots of GIFs.
Let’s start out with some sad GIFs. I’m still relatively new here, but if you followed me on Twitter or ever read the stuff I posted to my personal website, you probably know I am a huge Chad Kuhl and Tyler Glasnow fan. These last few months, I’ve been quiet. But it’s been hard. I miss them, and the GIFs are all I have left (for now, at least). So, I have no choice but to share these GIFs with you. Then we’ll get into the current Pirates roster stuff. So without further ado, enjoy my GIF collection!
— Cannonball Corner (@CannonballCrner) April 8, 2018
I have quite a few Chad Kuhl GIFs in my arsenal, but this one is a good summation of what Chad Kuhl is. His pitch count is elevated, he loaded the bases, but then he made Scooter Gennett look ridiculous on a slider. A long time ago I wrote about how Kuhl was going to breakout if he threw his slider more. He ended up adding this to his arsenal instead:
mmmmmmmmmmmmm. yes. pic.twitter.com/ihm9gW9Q5S
— Cannonball Corner (@CannonballCrner) May 6, 2018
A nasty curve. Now, this also depicts Kuhl very well. Good movement, ahead of the batter, but a curveball that was placed center-center in the strikezone isn’t an ideal 1-2 pitch. We won’t see Kuhl pitch for a while, but hopefully, when he comes back he will be able to maintain the power while being able to command the ball a little better.
— Cannonball Corner (@CannonballCrner) April 8, 2018
Yeah, filth. I wrote about Glasnow earlier in the year before my TPOP days and thought Glasnow had a legitimate shot, if he got a legitimate shot, at being a big league starting pitcher. Unfortunately, he never got that with the Pirates. I think the Rays will have a very good pitcher in some form, whether it’s a starter or a reliever is yet to be seen. But with a hook like that one, he’s going to get plenty of chances.
Jameson Taillon with a curveball looking just like Jose Berrios' deuce from Sunday.
Absolutely beautiful. pic.twitter.com/ql42nExFJG
— Pitcher List (@PitcherList) April 2, 2018
Jameson Taillon’s curveball didn’t make it as a finalist on to Stumpf’s recent article. We all miss one occasionally, but come on Alex, that thing is nasty.
Two seamer from Taillon gets a swinging strike 3 pic.twitter.com/djvmjiPIyr
— Cannonball Corner (@CannonballCrner) June 2, 2018
This is a GIF that I think got overlooked. First off, swinging strike 3s are always beautiful. Making a St Louis Cardinal look silly in the process, now that’s just special.
Chris Archer, Nasty 90mph Changeup. pic.twitter.com/srmBHdCkz4
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) August 15, 2018
Chris Archer is the new guy in town, so I don’t have as many GIFs on him as the other guys, but do I need more than this? I mean, that changeup is unhittable. The results weren’t spectacular, and people were on edge about the trade at the time, but I think 2019 will be a very nice year for Chris Archer.
Despite giving up 5 ER last night, Joe Musgrove K's Tyler O ?Neill reaching for this 85 mph Slider. pic.twitter.com/h5dSYOKGyf
— Pitcher List (@PitcherList) August 31, 2018
I couldn’t find many GIFs for Joe Musgrove. I’ll have to remember that for next year and make twice as many for him. Fortunately, I did find him making a fool out of a St Louis Cardinal, which is always worth mentioning.
Trevor Williams, Filthy 82mph Changeup (grip/release). pic.twitter.com/7Bwd79ZDHR
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) June 19, 2018
Trevor isn’t really a flashy guy. He kind of just does it. Not sure how. But this GIF of his changeup shows that a little movement here and a little movement there can go a long way.
Beautiful slider from Nick Kingham to Rhys Hoskins pic.twitter.com/XuLScDUBhW
— Pitcher List (@PitcherList) July 8, 2018
Kingham came up in 2018 after being granted an extra year of team control (congrats, Nick). He sort of came out of nowhere in his first start with a slider that he threw a whopping 32% of the time. It destroyed hitters in that start but really struggled to do much in all of his other starts. It does look good, and his arm is still young.
Kingham's changeup pic.twitter.com/rPxdPmuUrv
— Cannonball Corner (@CannonballCrner) May 5, 2018
Between the slider and the changeup, at least one of them need to be working in order for Kingham to pitch a good game. The curve is nice, but you need more than that to get by in the MLB. I’m a bigger fan of his slider, but hey, both of these pitches are pretty sick!
Edgar Santana, 87mph backup Slider (spin axis). pic.twitter.com/hq688twRRY
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) June 23, 2018
Unfortunately, another victim of Tommy John. If you ever see Rob Friedman use a thinking emoji, chances are you’ve thrown a pretty nasty pitch. We won’t see it for some time, but it’s here to see, forever. Stumpf noted that hitters managed only a .193 wOBA against this pitch.
— Cannonball Corner (@CannonballCrner) September 27, 2018
— Cannonball Corner (@CannonballCrner) July 25, 2018
Kyle Crick, Filthy 81mph Slider (release/spin).
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) July 29, 2018
He’s not Andrew McCutchen in his prime, but he was one of the most productive relief pitchers the Pirates had last year. The slider is an absolute killer, which leads the league in spin rate. Crick, Kela, and Vazquez are going to make a ridiculous backend for the Pirates.
— Cannonball Corner (@CannonballCrner) August 8, 2018
This, whatever this was, was nasty. Curveball, splitter, screwball, changeup, whatever it was, was one of my favorite pitches of the year. In Coors Field, no less.
Here is the pitch that Alex called, along with Crick’s slider, the best pitch on the Pirates staff. The best way to appreciate this pitch, in my opinion, is by not looking at it at all. First, look at the batter Scott Schebler. From the moment he swings, you can tell whatever he’s about to do isn’t going to work. He takes one of the most awkward looking swings imaginable, at a pitch that was caught in the opposite batters box. Scott Schebler, I’m sorry. Alex is right, this is the nastiest pitch on the Pirates staff.
— Cannonball Corner (@CannonballCrner) May 31, 2018
But hey, that changeup is pretty nasty too.
Now, remember, reading this is a prerequisite to enjoying this article. That is the brains article, this is the beauty article. A beautiful face without personality isn’t anything special.
So, what pitch is your favorite?