Time For Chris Archer To Step Up And Be That Ace

Pirates broadcaster John Wehner says time is now for Archer turnaround

The Fan Morning Show
May 21, 2019 - 11:31 am
Chris Archer

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan)- Things didn't go so well for Pirates starting pitcher Chris Archer in Arizona when he returned from the 10-day IL. 

He'll get an another chance to right things Tuesday night at home against the Rockies and Pirates broadcaster John Wehner believes there is one thing at the heart of his potential success. 

"For me, it's his fastball command. It's been inconsistent since he's been a Pirate," said Wehner when he joined The Fan Morning Show in his weekly spot on Tuesday morning at 9:30. "I think his third start of the year against Washington he had great fastball command and he was awesome. He went deep into the game and he's a different pitcher when he can throw it where he wants to. He was working the edges with it, he was able to go up and down with it. Obviously his last time he had no fastball command, we've seen it be sporadic throughout his short time here with the Pirates." 

"He's a guy with pedigree, he's a guy that's been on All-Star teams, he was a guy in the Cy Young voting and that's the guy we were hoping to get from Tampa Bay. I think it's important for him, especially with the injuries, to kind of step up and be that ace or that top of the rotation guy you've been looking for." 

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Wehner went through the different weapons in Archer's arsenal (no, we won't say quiver) to start getting hitters off balance and what the approach is like for a Major League hitter against him.  

"You still have to respect the velocity, so I think any hitter that goes up there, they're probably going to have that in the back of their mind that [if] he throws a fastball for a strike, you can't be looking slider and trying to catch up to 94-95 mph." 

"His slider, having said that, is one of the better pitches in the game. He has one of the best sliders in baseball and that's kind of been his bread and butter, his go-to. He's confident enough to throw it in any count, we've seen him throw it behind in the count, we've seen it throw it with three ball, two strike counts. Maybe if he's unable to throw his fastball for a strike, maybe you can go up there and have enough guts to just sit slider but that doesn't mean you'll hit the slider. I mean, you could look up for a slider, you're chances are a little greater if he leaves it up but it's still a great pitch for him."

"Having said all of that, if he doesn't throw strikes, he doesn't throw strikes. You definitely have to be disciplined against him as a Major League hitter. He's got to be able to command all his pitches to be successful consistently. You might get away with it here and there if you don't have command but for him to have a good year and for him to go out there and compete and give his team a chance to win, he's got to throw the ball over the plate." 

You can listen to the entire interview with Pirates broadcaster John Wehner, including his thoughts on Joe Musgrove and Josh Bell's success, on The Fan Morning Show below.                                  

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