We’ve Got a Nasty Litsch
Ok, I’m a day behind…remember this quote from the Royal’s manager?
“If you’ve never stood in there against the stuff that Litsch has,” Royals manager Trey Hillman said, “then you don’t have an understanding of just how nasty it can be.”
Was he giving due credit or defending his swooning team from a terrible performance against a run-of-the-mill 5th starter? Let’s see…
I usually clean up the pitch types a little, but I thought I’d leave them in just to show what a god awful time a multi-million pitch tracking apparatus has of figuring out what kinds of pitches Litsch throws. It flips between slider and fastball for what we know are all cutters in the middle, and then doesn’t really have a clue about whether he’s throwing a sinker or not. I’m not sure does either, really. It’s amazing to see that the difference in movement on the fastballs he throws (which all sit at about the same velocity) stretches about 2 feet from side to side. I don’t know about nasty- how about awkward?
Before the season started, I was pretty adamant that Litsch wasn’t ready for the big time. In my defense, that was mostly due to him not having a consistent breaking pitch from one start to the next like we saw yesterday, and throwing a cutter 80% of the time. He still leans on it more that is generally considered acceptable, but maybe we’re seeing a new kind of pitcher here- a “cutterballer” atarter? (A la Mariano Riviera).
The cutter is certainly the new splitter- it’s saved/created more than a few Jay careers I can think of off the top of my head (Hentgen, Chacin, Loaiza) — at least until it turns the pitchers arm into goo…