This is not a statistical showdown. Furbush would win a statistical showdown. This is not a scouting showdown. Furbush would win a scouting showdown. Furbush would win pretty much any conceivable showdown against Anthony Vasquez, save for a went-to-USC showdown, and even there Furbush would come close, since Furbush went to LSU and LSU is only one letter off.
This is just a side-by-side of their pitching motions, since I think they occupy opposite extremes. That's a warning to you that you'll find a pair of .gifs after the jump, but they are pretty small .gifs, and they're interesting .gifs when you see them next to one another. See for yourself! Become interested in Anthony Vasquez and Charlie Furbush!
We'll start with Furbush, even though he's on the right, because I'm too lazy to go back and switch the images. And that's a really easy thing to do, by the way. I could've done it in the time it took me to write this sentence. That is how lazy I am.
Furbush is kind of a max-effort guy. You can see that from the way he finishes, falling off to the right. He slings his left arm around as his right arm pulls his upper body. There's a lot going on in there, and though I'd say his delivery is pretty consistent, I don't think anyone would say that he's polished. It's a rougher motion.
And then you have Vasquez. Vasquez is the main reason for this post, because, just look at him. If Furbush is just about max-effort, Vasquez is just about no-effort. His motion is smooth and polished because it's hardly a motion at all. He might as well be having a catch with his nephew. Watch that motion and you expect a knuckleball to come out of his hand. Which, given his velocity, isn't that far off, I guess.
It's just...okay, obviously, Vasquez has made that motion work. He's pitching in the Major Leagues, after all. But is it any wonder that he can't throw 90 miles per hour? It's like every pitch is a warm-up pitch before the real pitches get started. He makes it look effortless, but not in the way that we say Ichiro and Albert Pujols make it look effortless. Anthony Vasquez makes it look effortless in that it looks like he isn't putting forth any effort.
Anthony Vasquez throws like a high school coach told him how important it is to finish in good fielding position, and Vasquez made that priority number one. He could throw 95 if he wanted to, but he doesn't want to, because, fielding position. You gotta field your position! Especially if you aren't throwing 95.
Vasquez throws slowly, relative to the Major League pool. And with his delivery, and the way he gets little extension towards home plate, his perceived velocity must be even slower. You could say that his average fastball is a slow 85. Which doesn't bode well. This is why people say he has to be perfect. If he's imperfect, he's fixing* to get slaughtered.
* an American term
Two very interesting motions, for two very opposite reasons. The Mariners are nothing if not diverse.