It seems that the Reds have a new pitching prospect in the system, though he is a bit older than most. Ok, so Hernan Iribarren isn’t really a pitching prospect, but he has thrown three innings, faced the minimum number of batters in that span and the only guy to reach was on a hit-by-pitch. After two appearances in the last two weeks, I thought it would be fun to give a little scouting report on him, as a pitcher. We are also going to look at Tim Crabbe, who we looked at earlier as a starter, but is now working out of the bullpen and right handed reliever Shane Dyer.
The infielder by trade has seen time on the mound this season for Louisville and after his last outing I decided to go back and take a look at his pitching given how successful he has been this season in the role. We often hear about the “hitting speed” for professional hitters. It’s usually in that 85-95 MPH range as far as fastballs go, and guys can typically adjust from there a little bit. Aroldis Chapman works above the hitting speed. Hernan Iribarren….. he works below the hitting speed. WAY below the hitting speed. The announcer said he was throwing a knuckleball, and I honestly couldn’t tell if he was or not. It didn’t seem to have that “dancing” that the knuckleball typically does, but looked more like an eephus that came in in the upper 50’s and topped 60 MPH once, at 61 MPH. It was fun to watch though. Guys were swinging for the fences and simply couldn’t time it right, hitting lazy pop up’s and fly balls.
His fastball hasn’t seemed to pick up any velocity despite moving to the bullpen. As a starter he was working 89-91 and touching a bit higher every now and again, and it seems that out of the bullpen that remains the same. The curveball is still an above-average pitch when he can throw it for strikes. One thing does seem to have changed from the move as a starter to the move as a reliever though.
As a starter Crabbe was throwing a slider around the 85 MPH range, and it had a pure cutter look to it, with more horizontal plane movement to it. As a reliever the cutter picked up some velocity, mostly at 87 MPH and it’s showing more breaking action on the vertical plane now, almost showing more slider like action than pure cutter action. We can see guys do that often as the cutter and slider can be similar pitches for a lot of guys, with the slider just showing a little more depth to it. The cutter/slider/whatever you want to call it that he is showing as a reliever is an upgrade to the one he was throwing as a starter. It flashed above-average and was average at other times, a nice looking pitch.
Dyer has spent his entire season with Pensacola his year, posting a 3.13 ERA in 23.0 innings with 11 walks and 21 strikeouts. 2014 is his first season working exclusively out of the bullpen. He works with a fastball in the 91-92 MPH range, but can touch 95 every now and again. He throws a slider for his main secondary offering and he will mix in a change up every now and again. The slider can be a little inconsistent, but when it’s at its best, it’s at least an average offering if not slightly better. Where he runs into problems is when he can’t locate the pitch, which varies from appearance-to-appearance. The change up is a below-average offering.