Postscript on Figaro: Tipping pitches?
A day after the Astros roughed up Alfredo Figaro in his second Major League start, there was more dicussion about his pitch selection, and why a pitcher who made his mark throwing fastballs at Double-A Erie and in his Major League debut would go so often to a breaking ball.
“The normal reaction for a young pitcher when they see certain teams and names,” manager Jim Leyalnd said, “is that everybody up here can hit a fastball and they think you’ve got to trick them. And it’s the total opposite of that. He got caught in a trap.”
But there was also the thought that the Astros might’ve been picking up on something in Figaro’s mannerisms on certain pitches, in effect tipping his pitches. After all, if you look at the pitch selection, Houston pounded breaking balls and offspeed pitches, yet did next to nothing with Figaro’s fastball. It’s an amazing thought for somebody who just made his second Major League start.
Figaro talked about it after the game, but said he couldn’t tell.
Leyland dismissed the idea.
“He was trying to trick them instead of throwing the ball, but I don’t think there was anything they were picking up,” he said.
Still, just in case, Figaro might well end up doing some side work between starts to shore that up.
UPDATE: Any work Figaro does on that will have to come at Triple-A Toledo. The Tigers sent him down after the game and called up Lucas French to start in his spot Friday at Minnesota. Though no one would say it, they’re getting a lefty starter in there against a Minnesota lineup headlined by left-handed hitters.