Pirates' Jared Jones brings the velocity in his best start in a month

Los Angeles Dodgers v Pittsburgh Pirates
Los Angeles Dodgers v Pittsburgh Pirates / Justin K. Aller/GettyImages

The Pittsburgh Pirates need Jared Jones to continue and develop into the dominant starter he often shows flashes of being. While Paul Skenes has taken over as the face of the rotation, Jared Jones also will have a big part in making this team a contender.

However, Jones has struggled a bit lately. He recently had his worst start of the season against the Detroit Tigers. With that being said, the game was pushed back a day and made into a doubleheader, which is a bit of adversity for any young pitcher. In 4.1 innings of work, Jones gave up five earned runs, seven total, and only struck out two.

Still, he did not exactly pitch great two starts ago against the San Francisco Giants, either. He threw six innings and gave up three runs while striking out five. On the surface, it was not a terrible game, but obviously the strikeouts were bit down. Also, he gave up six hits and walked three batters, essentially leaving him to battle through some innings.

Luckily, Jones bounced back in his most recent start against the powerhouse Los Angeles Dodgers. On Tuesday, June 4, the rookie took the hill against the impressive lineup. Jones tossed six shutout innings and struck out six along the way. Something that stood out was that Jones was hitting triple digits with his fastball, in fact hitting 101 multiple times. Overall, Jones held his velocity deep into his start, with his final pitch hitting 99 miles per hour.

Overall, Jones seemed to have his fastball back. He threw the four-seam fastball 58 times and averaged 98.5 mph with an average spin rate of 2560 rpm. Compared to his previous two starts, this looked much better. Against the Tigers, he was averaging just 96 mph on his fastball, and against the Giants before that just 97.1 mph.

While it might seem obvious, it definitely is safe to say that Jones is at his best when he has his best fastball. Hitters have trouble catching up to it and squaring it up all at the same time. When he loses velocity on the pitch, hitters have slightly more time to adjust to the pitch, making it much less effective.