The Mockingbird

Cecil’s Other Offspeed Pitch

with 8 comments

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.

Location with Results Cecil

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.

Cecil Release Point


Written by halejon

October 2, 2010 at 1:30 pm

Posted in Seriousness

8 Responses

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  1. Great look at the kid’s stuff. Respect, dude.


    May 10, 2009 at 11:31 pm

  2. Just curious as to what makes Cecil’s curve a joke? He threw one that I saw yesterday that looked pretty good.

    ugly duckling

    May 11, 2009 at 9:55 am

  3. Well, he only threw two of them in his first start and one was at the very top of the zone and the other was above it – probably not where they were supposed to go. His curve was a lot better last night and he threw a lot more of them…


    May 11, 2009 at 10:05 am

  4. …will you chart it for us? I know it may seem redundant for back to back Cecil chartings, but it is an off day.

    ugly duckling

    May 11, 2009 at 11:28 am

  5. It’s nice to think that our “college closer” now may have five (2-seamer, 4-seamer, slider, change, curve) big league pitches. And all over 80mph. I like a guy who throws his offspead stuff hard.

    ugly duckling

    May 11, 2009 at 11:31 am

  6. Great work as always Mr. Hale.
    Cecil is looking great – there will definitely be some tough decisions for the Jays to make about the starting rotation. Give Cecil the ball every 5th day until he proves he can’t handle it anymore.


    May 11, 2009 at 12:09 pm

  7. […] Brett Cecil’s start was a lot more conventional. The auto pitch detector makes a meal of it, but if you compare the pitch movement to his first start just below: […]

  8. “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.”

    For the record, Dallas Braden usually gets a 15-20 mph difference between his fastball and change.


    January 4, 2011 at 2:43 pm

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