Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Ventura "adds" a Cutter

Last week, Fox Sports' Jeffrey Flanagan brought us this article on Yordano Ventura. In the article, Flanagan discusses with Ventura his approach for hitters in 2014. It is also revealed that Ventura will be adding a cutter to his repertoire in 2014. Here is Ventura's response when asked about his arsenal:
"I'm not throwing a slider, I'm throwing a cutter. I'm working on it hard. I'm hoping it's a pitch to get guys out."
I find it interesting that Flanagan describes the pitch as though it is a new addition to Ventura's collection, when according to Fangraphs, the Dominican threw a cutter 9.9% of the time in his 15.1 big league innings. While it is an incredibly small sample, Fangraphs rated the pitch 2.4 runs below average.

I find it hard to believe that Fangraphs would have miscalculated every slider that Ventura threw as a cutter, but perhaps the reason that Ventura has shelved a slider in favor of a cutter is that his slider wasn't getting the bite that he wanted. My guess is that there is a bit of translation issue here and that Ventura didn't mean that this offseason he has decided to add a cutter.

Regardless of the pitches Ventura throws in 2014, he will be a key to the team's success. Prior to the Bruce Chen signing, J.J. Picollo stated that a spot in the rotation was Ventura's to lose. At this point I would guess he heads to Kansas City at the first opening, assuming that doesn't occur until mid-May. Ventura has the upside to totally change the complexion of Kansas City's rotation.

Here's a few of projections for Baseball Prospectus's Jason Parks' pick for the 2014 AL Rookie of the Year:

  • Steamer: 77 innings, 8.14 K/9, 4.24 BB/9, 0.84 HR/9, with a 4.18 ERA, worth 1 WAR
  • Oliver: 117 innings, 7.55 K/9, 3.78 BB/9, 1.16 HR/9, with a 4.55 ERA, worth 0.9 WAR
  • Fans: 143 innings, 9.19 K/9, 3.59 BB/9, 1.01 HR/9, with a 3.83 ERA, worth 2 WAR
Follow me on Twitter @Landon_Adams

No comments:

Post a Comment