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  1. After his incredible start against the Rays on June 15th, I read somewhere that he has started using a new pitch (cutter I think) to help get lefites out. I picked him up in a league, and it has been a fun ride so far.

    Comment by Nate — July 10, 2008 @ 11:10 am

  2. Nate, according to the data here it isn’t a cutter, but he has thrown 3-4% Splitters this year after never throwing one before, so that’s likely what it is.

    Comment by Eric Seidman — July 10, 2008 @ 11:25 am

  3. http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/content/sports/epaper/2008/06/16/marlnote0616.html?cxtype=rss&cxsvc=7&cxcat=46

    Ricky himself says he’s throwing a cutter this year. It was also believed that before his 2007 injury he was hurt, which is why his velocity was down compared to 2008 and 2006.

    Comment by dmk — July 10, 2008 @ 2:50 pm

  4. Yeah the injury could do a good job at explaining the velocity fluctuation. Or it could be steroids!!!!!! Kidding.

    As far as cutter/splitter, if he says it’s a cutter I’ll take his word even if the BIS numbers here classify it as a splitter.

    Regardless, it’s a new pitch that wasn’t there before.

    Comment by Eric Seidman — July 10, 2008 @ 2:52 pm

  5. Yeah, it’s a new pitch. What’s weird is in that mid-June article Nolasco said he was throwing a cutter, but in spring training he said that he was throwing a splitter.

    http://www.fishstripes.com/2008/4/24/459924/ricky-nolasco-is-throwing

    Maybe he started the year with the split and moved on to the cutter? Or he’s throwing both? Who knows.

    Comment by dmk — July 10, 2008 @ 2:57 pm

  6. Who knows? I can probe my pitch f/x database and see if anything surfaces. A couple thoughts (completely off the top of my head without checking):

    1) Perhaps he’s throwing a splitter this year and it isn’t a new pitch relative to June 15, but rather a new pitch for this season.

    2) Going off of #1, the new pitch wouldn’t be a splitter but rather a Cutter being misclassified as a Slider. These two pitches are often mistaken for each other; Papelbon calls his a “Slutter” in fact.

    Those would be my initial thoughts. He began this season by adding a Splitter to his repertoire and then began throwing a cutter recently that is being classified as something else; which could mean it moves like a slider or splitter.

    Comment by Eric Seidman — July 10, 2008 @ 3:02 pm

  7. #2 is probably right, although that’s just based on watching him pitch on the tiny MLB.tv screens. It makes the most sense in terms of how his pitches are classified and his results.

    Comment by dmk — July 10, 2008 @ 3:27 pm

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