The Mockingbird

Accardo’s New Pitch

with 8 comments

Confession time: when Jeremy Accardo saved his first game of the year, I almost cried. Yeah, he got two outs on five pitches, but they were almost unbelievably straight down the middle, he was hit hard, and didn’t even hit 91 mph. He threw one slider, and none of his once-incredible splitter. Great. ANOTHER Jays pitcher completely broken, explaining why he’s been rotting in AAA after his mysterious forearm troubles and revamped delivery.

Then he came out in his second outing and threw his fastball at 95-96, with a nasty splitter like the old days, and struck out 4 rather quality Phillies. What the hell?! Turns out that pitch he was throwing on in his first inning was actually a new cut fastball:

All Pitches

In my completely unprofessional opinion, it looks like a really good one – hard and closer to the Rivera/Halladay style that moves straight from side to side than the Jesse Litsch version that was like a mini-slider and dropped and was inevitably figured out. The fact that every Blue Jays pitcher not named Roy that has thrown/learnt a cutter from Arnsberg recently has had serious arm surgery within the next few years is a little worrying, but considering that Accardo’s slider was a bit of a joke even during his excellent closer season, along with the return of his splitter this has to make him even nastier — at least until it fries his arm.

  • I would vote Albert Pujols into the Hall of Fame right now, even if he is 10 years older than he says he he is and juiced to the gills – but it was a pleasant surprise to hear that that major leaguers consistently named Halladay as the pitcher they would most rather watch him face off against, as opposed to someone with more flashy stuff that just isn’t as good. Evidently the pros have more refined taste than your average media tool (even the Onion makes slam-dunk jokes about him being completely ignored).
  • DJF sums up my feelings and repeats my profanity about the fake umps that have been behind the plate for too many Jays games lately. Undeniable appeal? Seriously? If watching their shtick was entertaining to you for more than a few innings, you care less about baseball less than Adam Dunn. Props to Darren Fletcher for getting crotchety and not playing along with Sportnet’s picture-in-picture infatuation with these bores. And why the hell do they make foul tip signs on every foul ball? Like I find myself yelling far too often at the dome these days with ever-increasing baseball curmudgeonness: siddown and watch the damn game. You might learn something.

Written by halejon

June 23, 2009 at 3:18 am

Posted in Seriousness

8 Responses

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    Here’s hoping you didn’t jinx him.


    June 23, 2009 at 10:31 am

  2. You might want to delete that RotoInfo trackback–they just ripped off the content of a Bluebird Banter post.


    June 23, 2009 at 1:50 pm

  3. […] of the once and future Jay, Mockingbird takes a look at a new pitch that Accardo has been throwing with success – a cut […]

  4. I was wondering about that…didn’t put it together. That’s low.


    June 23, 2009 at 2:03 pm

  5. It really has nothing to do with Arnsberg, pitches like cutters and sliders that involve high speed supination leave your elbow and forearm susceptible to injury, combine that with poor mechanics = DL stint.

    Jesse Litch despite having pretty good mechanics pratically only throws cutters.

    Dr. Beej

    June 23, 2009 at 7:16 pm

  6. That’s actually not true any more. They turned Litsch into something approaching a normal pitcher when he was sent down at the end of last year.

    I shouldn’t have called out Arnsberg specifically, but I think it’s a legitimate question whether the number of cutters that the pitching coaches in the Jays system allow to be thrown has something to do with the number of arm injuries lately, or if there’s something about the particular way of throwing it they teach that gives mediocre pitchers a brief flash of success and then ruins their arm.

    Arnie was asked if there was anything he would have done differently with Litsch and seemed to express a twinge of guilt over not stopping him earlier. Chacin was an identical case, and I can’t think of anyone who pitched the way they did from other organizations. Now one of our live young arms comes back from forearm troubles having been taught, and kind of leaning on, that same pitch. I think that’s at least somewhat under Arnsberg’s control and questionable.


    June 23, 2009 at 7:29 pm

  7. The main reason I don’t blame Arnsberg is that pitching coaches are simply the most sedentary group of people in the world, they never make changes to pitchers mechanics or pitch selections unless something terrible happens and even then they still won’t do anything.

    Mark Prior and Kerry Wood pitched there entire career with mechanics that go against everything successful injury free pitcher do and to this people still claim Prior’s mechanics are fine.

    Marcum and McGowan are both very similar cases, Marcum whos mechanics are damn near the spitting image of Prior and McGowan who has some large Kerry Wood influences, if Mcgowan does comeback a bullpen roll would be the best case scenario unless they make some changes to his delivery. (Which rarely ever happens in baseball)

    Dr. Beej

    June 23, 2009 at 9:24 pm

  8. Marcum looks like Prior? Really? When Prior first came up everyone said he had perfect mechanics. I’ve never heard that about Marcum. Wood’s were certainly changed a few times because he was throwing across his body.

    And I’m not sure I get the defense of pitching coaches…in the past they have done nothing and really messed up some huge talents, therefore we shouldn’t blame our guy if that’s what he’s doing too?


    June 23, 2009 at 10:38 pm

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