Luke French’s Debut


So I wrote earlier today that the Royals probably weren’t going to be the team that started hitting home runs off of Luke French – never mind. In his five innings of work, all four of the runs he gave up came on long balls. He allowed a two run shot to Billy Butler in the third, and a two run shot to Alex Gordon in the fourth.

Aside from the unsurprising home runs, he pitched  fairly well.

His results looked like this:

3 line drives

7 fly balls

8 ground balls

He also struck out two and walked one. He threw a lot of strikes with all of his pitches – 68% with his fastball, 68% with his change, and 62% with his slider. One thing I noticed, though, was that he was leaving a lot of pitches up in the zone – that’s something he’ll need to cut down on, especially when facing lineups that aren’t awful.

As for his velocity, his fastball was averaged at 90.15 – slightly higher than what I expected, but due to the fact that Miguel Batista was clocked at 97 on one of his pitches tonight, I’m inclined to think the gun was off. With his change up coming in at around 78, French gets good separation between those two pitches. He also distributed his pitches nicely – 51 fastballs, 19 changes, and 16 sliders.

With an extreme fly ball pitcher like French, the home runs are going to come, but Safeco field will be a really nice fit for him. You also have to consider the fact that he hadn’t pitched in eight days, which certainly could have thrown him off a bit. He didn’t look fantastic, but he definitely showed some promise.

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