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Dan Duquette on O's pitching philosophy: "We don't like the cutter"


Orsino

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First of all, at least we have a philosophy.

BINGO.

Argue it, debate it, piss on it whatever. As you and others have pointed out there are some points against it (mainly loss of vel of on the FB). I could also see how it could be an issue with development (Tommie Hunter). Anyways I'm willing to bet DD and company did some due diligence and did a fair amount of research and analysis on this.

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Here's one for DD: how about one of the best (if not THE best) pitchers in baseball the past 10 years, Roy Halladay?

He has thrown 24% cutters in his career, to the tune of a .236 BA against it. I agree it's one thing to force a prospect to develop his secondary pitches, but to organizationally boycott an entire pitch is pretty hard headed if you ask me.

http://www.fangraphs.com/pitchfx.aspx?playerid=1303&position=P

Well, I think everyone agrees w that. And I don't think that's what DD said either.

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Also in that article, from Al Leiter,

I guess that about sums up the concerns, which seem legitimate.

I think it is a legitimate concern especially when discussing developing a 19 yr old pitcher who has said his cutter is his best pitch. That said, considering his velocity and talent, you would think that they would at least take a look at it. I do agree with you about not seeing anything necessarily definitive in DD's comments. I assume at some point Bundy will be allowed to throw it.

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Here's one for DD: how about one of the best (if not THE best) pitchers in baseball the past 10 years, Roy Halladay?

He has thrown 24% cutters in his career, to the tune of a .236 BA against it. I agree it's one thing to force a prospect to develop his secondary pitches, but to organizationally boycott an entire pitch is pretty hard headed if you ask me.

http://www.fangraphs.com/pitchfx.aspx?playerid=1303&position=P

I don't think he's boycotting anything. Tillman and Hunter still throw it and they spent time in AAA. He's right that the cutter has a reputation of being a better pitch than it actually is, and there's plenty of correlation of cutters contributing to reduced velocity. If he and Peterson think it's causation, they're more qualified than anyone here to make that decision, I think. I think his overall goal is to make younger pitchers understand that it is a secondary pitch, and should be treated as such.

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I think it is a legitimate concern especially when discussing developing a 19 yr old pitcher who has said his cutter is his best pitch. That said, considering his velocity and talent, you would think that they would at least take a look at it. I do agree with you about not seeing anything necessarily definitive in DD's comments. I assume at some point Bundy will be allowed to throw it.

If you believe the reports, he appeared to throw a few in Bowie the other night.

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Here's one for DD: how about one of the best (if not THE best) pitchers in baseball the past 10 years, Roy Halladay?

He has thrown 24% cutters in his career, to the tune of a .236 BA against it. I agree it's one thing to force a prospect to develop his secondary pitches, but to organizationally boycott an entire pitch is pretty hard headed if you ask me.

http://www.fangraphs.com/pitchfx.aspx?playerid=1303&position=P

I didn't read that at all from the article.

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Gentlemen, I point you to exhibit A: Tommy Hunter.

He throws a ton of 88-91 MPH cutters, and he used to be able to hit 95 on his 4-seamer. He still can, but the starts in which he does that are seemingly completely random. His fastball velocity is inconsistent and I don't know if that's because he uses a cutter, but all I know is that he uses a cutter. And he's not very good.

Also, who else uses a cutter whose velocity is up and down? Chris Tillman.

And we've seen his velocity go from 95 back to 91 again.

Just stop. Seriously. You have no idea what you're talking about here.

You've got some serious causation/correlation issues. Ugh.

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I didn't read that at all from the article.

Sorry, maybe a slight exaggeration on my part. The direct quote was "We don't like the cutter. We don't like the cutter as an effective pitch." I'm just pointing out that it has been quite the effective pitch when used properly.

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I see nothing wrong with banning the pitch forever if that's the organization's decision. You have to have the courage of your convictions and if we think Bundy will end up throwing 90mph with a good cutter and 95 without one, don't let him throw the cutter, ever. If we think Tilman's erratic velocity is a result of the cutter, why would we ever allow Bundy to throw it? Either Bundy is going to rely on it or not. It is very difficult to have a dominant pitch you rarely throw. The more you do something, the better you will be and if you throw 1-5 cutters a game, how good will the cutter be?

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I see nothing wrong with banning the pitch forever if that's the organization's decision. You have to have the courage of your convictions and if we think Bundy will end up throwing 90mph with a good cutter and 95 without one, don't let him throw the cutter, ever. If we think Tilman's erratic velocity is a result of the cutter, why would we ever allow Bundy to throw it? Either Bundy is going to rely on it or not. It is very difficult to have a dominant pitch you rarely throw. The more you do something, the better you will be and if you throw 1-5 cutters a game, how good will the cutter be?

I can guarantee that almost no one thinks any of this.

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Yes, and he says as much in the article when he challenges Melewski to look up numbers vs. the cutter in the big leagues.

No, he intimates that it doesn't work in the majors.

"Why don't you take a look at the chart with the average against cutters in the big leagues, batting average against and then come back and tell me that that's a great pitch," Duquette said.

"We don't like the cutter. We don't like the cutter as an effective pitch. Name me all the great pitchers that used it as their primary pitch in the big leagues."

He makes no reference to how it plays in the minors. My point being that if he has some analysis that shows that cutters work in the minors but do not work in the majors, meaning Bundy could get away with it in the minors but will get shelled with it in the majors, then I get it.

However if his his analysis shows that cutters do not work in either the minors or the majors than I do not see why we wouldn't let Bundy throw some. If his premise is correct, then Bundy will quickly learn that "his best pitch" isn't sufficient. Or, DD may find that Bundy's cutter is simply better than most and would be successful. Either way it would be a way to go about figuring out what appears to be a dilemma between Bundy and the O's.

All of that said, if the real reason he's not throwing it is because DD wants him to develop other pitches and that he is concerned with over reliance or loss of fastball velocity then again I get it, but then he should have made that his primary argument. It appears his primary argument is that the cutter doesn't work in the majors (ie "Its not an effective pitch")

It's always good to read things twice. After reading it again, I picked up that DD does not believe the cutter is a good primary pitch. I think that may hint that any concerns that this is some sorta dogmatic approach are unfounded.

We will see.

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I'd be interested in your actual analysis rather than your snide remarks.

Tillman's velocity was inconsistent before he ever used the cutter. Tillman's velocity went up this year while using the cutter. That's all you need to know (to know you can't make some - sorry, lazy - causation determination.) It's fine to support DD, but it would be great if we could do it in a way that doesn't distort fact or disrupt logic.

I've been pretty happy w/ DD recently, but in this article he sounds defensive in a fairly off-putting way to me. And this is faulty in all kinds of ways:

"Why don't you take a look at the chart with the average against cutters in the big leagues, batting average against and then come back and tell me that that's a great pitch," Duquette said.

Well, you have to look at it relative to other pitches, how it's used, and what kinds of pitchers generally use it. Tillman went to a cutter when he was struggling as a means of trying to minimize contact, for instance. If it's often a go-to pitch for struggling pitchers, then it's no wonder that its values would be lower. That doesn't mean it's a terrible pitch.

And, sorry, but "at least they have a philosophy" is a pretty terrible rationale for embracing some brave new order. It is what it is, but I think you have to have some give with Bundy.

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I'd be more interested in your actual analysis refuting my posts rather than your snide remarks dismissing them.

No, you can't prove that's the reason we see velocity flucuations from Tillman and Hunter, but anecdotal evidence suggests it's at the least possible. Let's see if that's conceded.

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