What’s wrong with D-backs pitcher Brandon McCarthy?
The Arizona Diamondbacks acquired starting pitcher Brandon McCarthy in the offseason to provide some depth to the rotation, but he seems to be more of a liability than an asset so far. He has made five starts for Arizona this season and has struggled in each start, as indicated by a 7.48 ERA and 1.77 WHIP. McCarthy, on average, is allowing at least two base runners each inning he pitches, which makes it extremely difficult to have success.
He has pitched well enough to earn a victory in only one of his starts. The issues start with the inability to finish off hitters when he is ahead in the count, and there have been numerous times where he could not finish off a hitter with a two-strike count. When he is ahead in the count, opposing batters are hitting .323 against him and, overall, they’re hitting .360.
This problem seems more mental than physical. For starters, Brandon McCarthy should change how he attacks the opposition while pitching — primarily the overuse of his fastball. Throwing a breaking pitch more often would keep hitters honest and not have them sitting on fastball.
Another area of concern is pitch location. He has the ability to throw plenty of strikes, but sometimes this can be a negative as well. When pitchers have a propensity of throwing too many strikes, they can fall into a pattern of just locating their pitches in the strike zone. This is a problem because good hitters will focus on this pattern and exploit it to their benefit.
While Brandon McCarthy has had issues this season with finishing off hitters and locating his pitches effectively, there’s plenty of room for improvement as the season progresses.