Jesse Shows Off the Heater
Catching up on some housekeeping here…During his last start on Saturday, Jesse Litsch surprised a few people (and possibly a few Chicago White Sox) by flashing up to 93 on the radar gun which he only did for one start last season (with lousy results).
He really can throw that hard, it’s just that he never, ever, throws his 4-seam fastball, relying instead on an endless stream of cutters. On Saturday, he threw about 9 pitches that averaged 92.2 mph (marked in red). There was also a difference between his slider/curve/cutter, instead of one bleeding into the next as earlier in the year when he was not as sharp. He also mixed an a sinking fastball and change.
I’ve opined before that Litsch should be in the minors right now, but it’s because of a lack of consistency, not potential. Litsch gets confused with a crafty soft-tosser just because the radar gun stays in the high 80’s, but he actually throws pretty hard and has a plus cutter. The only problem is that (as was the case last year), Litsch brings a totally different bag of tricks from one day to the next. His change, 4-seamer, even the ability to throw his breaking pitches come and go. When he has more than half of them working, he’s not as predictable and can put up starts like his last two.