Cecil’s Other Offspeed Pitch
With Brett Cecil making his second major league start today, here’s a look at his first game – which was pretty stellar despite him drilling three people (he reminds me of me!). The pitch that Cecil is known for, his slider that was “major league ready” when he was drafted is in green, but it looks like he has picked up a few tricks during his one (1) season in the minors so far as well…
It’s not a Brandon League sinker sinker, but along with his 93-95 four seam fastball, Cecil threw a 90-92 mph 2-seamer about half the time in his first start. His slider comes in at a standard 85-86, and his Curve loops in at 80. But the wacky thing is so does his changeup. He threw a LOT of them, and they were down at 80-83.
That’s a difference of about 15 mph from his fastball, which is very unusual. I’m pretty sure John Walsh was right when he wrote this:
The change-up, despite was you sometimes read, is not the slowest pitch thrown (the curveball is). I read recently a claim that somebody’s change-up was 20 mph slower than his fastball—no way! The average difference between fastball and change-up is 9 mph. I haven’t checked, but I’m confident that nobody has a 20 mph difference between the two pitches.
I don’t even think anyone else regularly has a 15 mph difference between their changeup and fastball – I can’t find anyone off the top of my head. He threw it exclusively to RHB and threw it for strikes or grouped it well off the outside corner.
That has to be an annoying pitch coming from the left side, especially because his change almost cuts, unlike most changeups that tail away. Otherwise he mostly worked the inside of the plate with his slider and fastball to both right and left-handed batters. (Let’s not mention the pair of curveballs he eephused up there).
Here’s that same chart with where Cecil got misses and where he allowed hits. It would be more obvious broken down by L/R, but he threw his changeup exclusively to RHB, and his slider more often breaking away to lefties. They didn’t like that at all. His hits came (yawn) on fastballs and sliders left up and over the plate. And his beanballs? Two fastballs and a slider.
One last thing no note is Cecil’s release point- other than his curveball, which is again a joke, it’s consistent. Most pitchers come from a slightly different place with their offspeed stuff, but the only thing you can really notice with Cecil is that he gets under his 4-seam fastball an inch or so lower for that extra 3-4 mph, and releases his changeup about that much higher than his slider and 2 seamer – which move in completely opposite directions but come from the exact same place.