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


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Well, the point was that not a lot of pithers are effective with it.

I wish they had asked DD about Halladay. Most cutters don't typically have the movement that Halladay/Rivera have and DD was pretty exact in in pointing that out, and that he considers Mo's pitch to not be a cutter. There's obviously a pretty big difference between a Tommie Hunter cutter and a Halladay cutter.

The corollary to this is that, cutter aside, there's also a pretty big difference between Tommy Hunter and Roy Halladay.

Tommy's always had difficulty keeping the ball down, even during his best seasons in Texas he was also fairly hittable and homer prone with a subpar K rate. I'm willing to entertain the notion that his ineffectiveness of late can not be squarely placed at the feet of the cutter.

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So, is the argument that it can't be your No. 1 pitch? And if there aren't many good pitchers who relay primarily on their cutter, does that mean that no one should ever throw it? I'm actually a bit confused.

Maybe I am mis-reading this but it appears he has thrown 4 seamers more that cutters over that span 44% to 24% and in arguably his best season in that span. 2008 (given him pitching the AL East) his ratio was 47% 4 seam to 16% cutter...

Wouldn't that make his cutter not the primary pitch?

Eh. 2008 is pretty arguable. The point is, he uses the cutter in the range of 25-41% of the time. That's a ton. It makes it his primary secondary (ha). Saying that pitchers can't be successful w/ the cutter as a primary is one thing. Saying that having it in your arsenal defeats "long-term yield" seems a bit of a stretch.

CJ Wilson is another one, I believe. Throws his cutter more than any off-speed or breaking pitch.

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Maybe I am mis-reading this but it appears he has thrown 4 seamers more that cutters over that span 44% to 24% and in arguably his best season in that span. 2008 (given him pitching the AL East) his ratio was 47% 4 seam to 16% cutter...

Wouldn't that make his cutter not the primary pitch?

The funny thing is, you actually are mis-reading it. In 2008 (2.78 ERA), it says 40.7% FB to 33% CT, followed by 2009(2.79 ERA): 31%FB to 41%CT, and 2 of the next 3 years more CT than FB

I'm really not trying to get into arguments, just saying it has been done.

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The funny thing is, you actually are mis-reading it. In 2008 (2.78 ERA), it says 40.7% FB to 33% CT, followed by 2009(2.79 ERA): 31%FB to 41%CT, and 2 of the next 3 years more CT than FB

I'm really not trying to get into arguments, just saying it has been done.

I think the difference is using FG's "pitch type" and using its PitchFX. I'm not sure which I'd rely on more. PFX certainly has some recognition issues.

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DD may be technically correct if he says that no successful major league pitcher relied on a cutter as his primary pitch, in the sense of throwing the cutter more often than any other pitch.

Then again, if we use this definition, I would conjecture that no successful major league pitcher ever relied on his curveball or changeup as his primary pitch, either. Almost all pitchers throw fastballs more than anything else.

But it would be silly to conclude from this that nobody should throw a curveball or a changeup. What's hard to discern is whether DD literally believes that his young pitchers shouldn't mix in a cutter here and there, or whether he just doesn't want his young pitchers to overuse the cutter.

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So, is the argument that it can't be your No. 1 pitch? And if there aren't many good pitchers who relay primarily on their cutter, does that mean that no one should ever throw it? I'm actually a bit confused.

Your confused because his statements are confusing... On one side he states the pitch is not effective but in the next breath qualifies it by challenging Steve to name a pitcher who is successful with it as a primary pitch then goes on to further muddy the waters by not even agreeing with what the pitch is given he states that Rivera doesn't throw it despite it being widely accepted that he does.

The whole interview is awkward to me. Plus, the more I read it the less I understand it. That's never good. I guess I will have to wait to see what actually happens.

Eh. 2008 is pretty arguable. The point is, he uses the cutter in the range of 25-41% of the time. That's a ton. It makes it his primary secondary (ha). Saying that pitchers can't be successful w/ the cutter as a primary is one thing. Saying that having it in your arsenal defeats "long-term yield" seems a bit of a stretch.

CJ Wilson is another one, I believe. Throws his cutter more than any off-speed or breaking pitch.

Hey I said it was arguable.. Nonetheless it was a very good season and I can agree that it is a secondary primary pitch.. ;)

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On Halladay - From April of this year.

Halladay is throwing more cutters than sinkers because the cutter is a pitch he said he can throw with consistency to both sides of the plate. Last April, Halladay threw his cutter 48 percent of the time with an average velocity of 91.3 m.p.h. according to Pitch F/X data. He's thrown the cutter 51 percent of the time with an 89.5 m.p.h. average velocity this April.

On Monday, the drop was even more pronounced. He averaged 87.9 m.p.h. on his cutter and topped out at 90.8 m.p.h. with his sinker. But few of the pitches were straight.

http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/phillies/Halladays-velocity-is-down-results-are-not.html#ixzz23ixabWP4

However, I think this is all overblown since it is obvious the Orioles will eventually let him use the cutter. Tillman uses one, Hunter uses one. The Orioles don't outlaw the pitch, they just don't want him to rely upon it at a young age.

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Lost in the discussion of the cutter is DD's other interesting statement in Melewski's piece, which is that he believes that success at AA is sufficient evidence that a young player is ready for the majors. Hence the Machado callup, and we should expect Bundy to skip AAA as well.

I wonder if DD would apply this rule just to the blue chip prospects, or whether he believes it's true for all prospects.

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keithlaw ‏@keithlaw

Wow. Insane. RT @andrewchelton: @keithlaw Duquette "doesn't like the cutter"....great philosophy, isn't it?!

No real surprise here, I guess. All aboard the hater train.

You know, I've never crapped on Law like some just cause he disses the O's, but he really is a douche. Is it really an "insane" statement that DD made? Of course it isn't.

"

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On Halladay - From April of this year.

Halladay is throwing more cutters than sinkers because the cutter is a pitch he said he can throw with consistency to both sides of the plate. Last April, Halladay threw his cutter 48 percent of the time with an average velocity of 91.3 m.p.h. according to Pitch F/X data. He's thrown the cutter 51 percent of the time with an 89.5 m.p.h. average velocity this April.

On Monday, the drop was even more pronounced. He averaged 87.9 m.p.h. on his cutter and topped out at 90.8 m.p.h. with his sinker. But few of the pitches were straight.

http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/phillies/Halladays-velocity-is-down-results-are-not.html#ixzz23ixabWP4

However, I think this is all overblown since it is obvious the Orioles will eventually let him use the cutter. Tillman uses one, Hunter uses one. The Orioles don't outlaw the pitch, they just don't want him to rely upon it at a young age.

Yeah, if he'd "banned" the pitch, people might have more of a point. What they're doing is extrapolating it from comments that don't merit it, and then railing against that.

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keithlaw ‏@keithlaw

Wow. Insane. RT @andrewchelton: @keithlaw Duquette "doesn't like the cutter"....great philosophy, isn't it?!

No real surprise here, I guess. All aboard the hater train.

I guess we shall see how insane DD is. Law HATED the Guthrie trade. Who was right on that one? Law didn't like bringing up Machado. You could argue that Machado won the Orioles at least one, and maybe two games. So far, the results back DD. Maybe that is luck. Maybe the Orioles don't keep it up. Or maybe the Orioles are onto something about young pitchers using the cutter and pitchers, in general, using it as a primary pitch. Halladay and Wilson could be outliers. Both also could be struggling now because theybecame too reliant upon the cutter.

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I just don't really understand why you'd want to disarm a ballplayer from using a strength.

It'd be like if you had high average hitter coming up, a highly regarded prospect who was extremely adept at going to the opposite field for base hits. You'd never tell that guy "We don't want you to hit to the opposite field anymore, our organizational philosophy is that you should pull the ball all the time."

If Bundy thinks the cutter is his best pitch and doesn't rely on it too heavily, there's no good reason why he shouldn't be able to throw it in a key situation. I don't think he should necessarily throw it to every batter but Frobby made the point earlier that Bedard used his when batters were looking for something else, like his hammer.

If you're a starting pitcher and starting to go through the lineup for a third time, to me it'd be beneficial to have another pitch in your back pocket that you can rely on and keep hitters who haven't seen it much (if at all) off balance.

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