The Death of a Cutterballer
Litsch is gone! Demoted to AAA in favour of David Purcey (who has been quietly having an amazing season in AAA). Cito had this to pass along from Arnsberg about what could have been causing his recent struggles:
“We’d like him to work on sinking the ball away a little bit more and not throwing as many cutters as he’s been throwing in the past,” Gaston said. “I think he’s got to use his fastball a little bit more.”
This is pretty much the same thing that they’ve been saying about Litsch since he came up – you can’t throw a cut fastball as your main pitch. I wonder if it’s true, though; the big difference between the really good Litsch of the start of the season and the really terrible one lately has been a complete lack of command, not any change in pitch selection.
Maybe too many cutters wears out your arm and affects control? Or maybe it just took slightly longer for hitters to adjust to him (since he’s pretty much the only one of his kind), and then he started getting rattled when his bread and butter started being hit hard. Anyway, it would be great if Jesse could find a consistent sinker (or rediscover his change) – contrary to popular belief he isn’t really a soft tosser, just incredibly inconsistent over his career so far. But thankfully, A.J. Burnett has decided to take him under his wing and give him some tips on how to unlock his full potential:
“It’s time for him to figure himself out,” said Burnett, who added that he planned to talk to Litsch before he left.
Dear god. Oh well, the kid had a good run…