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  1. Maybe you’re just not a very good scout.

    I joke, I joke. I would like to see Schwinden stick around just on the merits of having ‘Family Night’ as his nickname.

    Comment by Corvelay — September 8, 2011 @ 1:21 pm

  2. You know Corvelay, you might be onto something. I’m sure a number of scouts working in organizations this morning picked up the phone, called a friend in the industry, and said, “do you remember this Schwinden kid?”

    If you look at the Mets organization this season, a number of pitchers previously considered non-prospects including Schwinden, Gorski, McHugh, etc. are having excellent seasons. If learning a cutter has allowed these pitchers to take huge leaps forward as command/control guys, it’s definitely worth noting.

    Comment by Mike Newman — September 8, 2011 @ 1:30 pm

  3. “expect a number of other minor league development staff’s to begin incorporating the cutter into the repertoire’s of their soft-tossing organizational arms with a feel for pitching as well.”

    With the success the pitch is having at the major league level and the ease with which is taught and mastered, I would expect that to have happened long ago. I’ve was baffled growing up why more pitchers didn’t use the cutter, it’s devastating.

    Comment by Brad Johnson — September 8, 2011 @ 1:37 pm

  4. I’m actually quite curious about the cutter. It has been blamed for a drop in velocity for legit guys like Phil Hughes and Mike Pelfrey who teams invest high draft picks and substantial signing bonuses in.

    For late round command/control college picks who sign for a twelve pack of Pabst Blue Ribbon, organizations can churn and burn these guys through cutter use and it really doesn’t matter. The arms are expendable.

    For these players, a handful of years as an up-and-down guy or middle/long reliever is worth millions and the potential for injury is well worth the time and money being in the show provides.

    Comment by Mike Newman — September 8, 2011 @ 1:59 pm

  5. I’d be interested in seeing some empirical evidence that cutter use can lead to a loss of velocity with other fastballs.

    Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, and Cole Hamels all added cutters as major leaguers. Hamels velocity jumped last year along with his cutter use, and Lee’s seen modest gains in his fastball velocity even as he uses his cutter more and more frequently.

    I think what we have here is a red herring. Or for us statistically inclined types, correlation without causation.

    It deserves some study, but I can’t see how the argument that learning a cutter decreases fastball velocity can pass the smell test.

    Comment by Brad Johnson — September 8, 2011 @ 2:40 pm

  6. Family Night!!! ROFL! Love it! Can’t wait for your breakdown on Josh Satin.

    Comment by Chris Blessing — September 8, 2011 @ 3:15 pm

  7. You mean, Josh “Nights in White” Satin?

    Comment by Sean O'Neill — September 8, 2011 @ 5:03 pm

  8. didn’t pitch all that great today. oh well, maybe he’ll get another start.

    Comment by jts5 — September 8, 2011 @ 7:27 pm

  9. I don’t have a strong opinion either way, but I’m curious to know why a cutter would cut down on someone’s velocity? It doesn’t seem like an especially awkward movement.

    Comment by Franco — September 8, 2011 @ 11:53 pm

  10. He’ll probably amount to nothing, but I’d rather give him the starts over Miguel Batista.

    Comment by Franco — September 8, 2011 @ 11:54 pm

  11. It would make for a good study for sure. Maybe you can talk one of the more statistically inclined guys to look into it.

    Comment by Mike Newman — September 9, 2011 @ 9:23 am

  12. I honestly don’t think I could get away with another piece about a mid-20’s fringe Mets big leaguer for awhile. Plus, I really don’t have a great story on Satin.

    Comment by Mike Newman — September 9, 2011 @ 10:52 am

  13. As would I. Let the kids play when you are .500ish and not going anywhere fast.

    Comment by Mike Newman — September 9, 2011 @ 10:53 am

  14. Love your stuff on Scouting The Sally, Mike. I never, ever praise pieces on here because I figure if somebody is writing for public consumption they know they are a good writer, what they need is thoughtful criticism. This piece is an exception. Well crafted, great story, great info, even some nice dramatic tension. I hope there are many more of these to come on FG.

    Your report on Jose Altuve last December at Scouting the Sally should stand as perhaps the best example of why that site should be part of every baseball fan’s regular stops.

    Comment by Paul — September 9, 2011 @ 11:03 pm

  15. I agree Mike. There’s nothing to be gained and a lot to be lost from winning meaningless games in September. Because of the silly free agent compensation rules, the Mets have a lot of incentive to finish in the bottom half of MLB standings.

    Comment by hk — September 10, 2011 @ 6:56 am

  16. Thank you Paul for reading the piece, your response to the post, and for supporting Scouting The Sally. This Schwinden piece is something I’ve had in the back of my mind for quite awhile, but didn’t know if he would ever receive the call. One of the things about scouting is that it’s such an inexact science, there’s always something new to learn. Contacts I speak with actually get more out of the prospect misses I write about than the guys like Altuve who I wind up being a bit more bullish on than others. In Schwinden’s case, ignoring him (and pitchers like him) is something I should probably consider doing as I’m starting to think a feel for a changeup/breaking ball, even if they are average on a GREAT day, is enough to make me wonder if prospect Q could be something if he developed a cutter?

    Comment by Mike Newman — September 10, 2011 @ 7:51 am

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