Dan Haren threw his first bullpen session of spring training today, which for both observers and the Nationals provided the first chance to gather insight on how Haren goes about his craft. It would be foolish to draw grand judgments on Feb. 15, but Haren looked great. He “stood out” to Manager Davey Johnson, and he peppered catch Jhonatan Solano’s mitt.
In the middle of Haren’s session, pitching coach Steve McCatty walked by and stopped him for a moment. “He’s trying to get to know me, and I’m trying to tell him just kind of how I like to pitch,” Haren said. “I’m not going to put the ball by too many guys. My game is command, keeping hitters off balance. Even not throwing 95 miles per hour any more, I can still get a decent amount of strikeouts.”
As Haren’s bullpen session showed, he tries to achieve that with sinkers and cutters. He didn’t throw anything else, holding off on his splitter and curveball. Last year, according to data collected by FanGraphs.com, Haren threw 40.1 percent sinkers and 35.6 percent cutters. He mixed his splitter 18.3 percent of the time, and threw curves and just six percent of his pitches.
What Dan Haren’s bullpen session revealed
Washington Post | Feb 16