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  1. speaking of the cutter, I was looking at the pitch values, and I noticed that very few people throw “bad” cutters. this might be a survival bias, where only people who throw good cutters choose to throw them, but I’m wondering if there’s merit to the idea that the cutter is an incredibly effective pitch.

    buttressing my hypothesis is the fact that several middling pitchers have greatly improved by adding a cutter to their arsenal. namely Franklin and Feldman, as well as Jon Niese.

    something to chew on.

    Comment by big baby — September 11, 2009 @ 5:37 pm

  2. Ok I get Bailey being an excellent ROY candidate and realistically most years it’s his. Feldman takes the prize this year, but that’s not what I want to say.

    How is it that he got so much better from the pitcher he was coming up? I don’t think he will be as good next season because I think a larger sample size is necessary. Saying that, reading this article definitely swayed me closer to believing he was for real. So my ultimate question is who will Andrew Bailey be next season?

    Comment by Mark — September 11, 2009 @ 5:45 pm

  3. Very interesting observation about cutters. The other guy who picked up (actually brought back because he threw it in the minors) a cutter and is doing well with it is Brian Bannister. I might look into that.

    Comment by Dave Allen — September 11, 2009 @ 5:53 pm

  4. Are you taking about Scott Feldman in Texas? I don’t think he is a rookie this year.

    I do think Bailey’s numbers will be worse next year, just for regression to the mean reasons. Most likely he is playing above his true talent level. But one thing to think about with his minor league numbers is that most of those came as a starter. He switched to the pen at the end of last year in AAA. For what it’s worth he pitched 39 innings out of the pen with 9.4 K/9, 2.5 BB/9 and 1 HR, which works out to a FIP of 2.33.

    It looks like his stuff probably works much better out of the pen than the rotation and Oakland.

    Comment by Dave Allen — September 11, 2009 @ 5:59 pm

  5. 10 to 15 inches of rise on a fastball? Is there anyone else even close to this? Seems like something out of fast pitch softball.
    vr, Xei

    Comment by Xeifrank — September 11, 2009 @ 6:02 pm

  6. If you want to look at how to assemble a bullpen, follow Oakland’s blueprint. Instead of paying top dollar for saves or trading top prospects, they get a group of talented young guys and one emerges and then once he gets too expensive and reaches peak value is traded off and the cycle repeats.

    Comment by nick — September 11, 2009 @ 7:12 pm

  7. I’m sure their fans love this.

    Comment by Samg — September 11, 2009 @ 7:20 pm

  8. Bear in mind that is not actual rise. That simply means that the pitch dropped 10 to 15 inches less than would be expected for an object moving with that velocity with “neutral” characteristics.

    Comment by Basil Ganglia — September 11, 2009 @ 7:30 pm

  9. I think the disapproval would stem more from both their inability and unwillingness to spend on position players. I mean look at the terrible investments made (giambi, chavez, etc) and then they cheap out on the rest of the roster. If you take away the mistake of the chavez contract and add maybe 10M or so to that payroll they could very well challenge the angels next year. That won’t happen though. The bullpen has been consistently good however

    Comment by nick — September 11, 2009 @ 8:21 pm

  10. As an A’s fan, I both like it and dislike it. I like it in that you know going into the season that Beane will never overcommit resources to the bullpen and that he usually finds the right pieces to build an effective relief corps. However, I really liked Huston Street both as a player and as a person so it was tough to see him traded for a guy who has already been traded off the current team.

    It’s a wonder that Beane can continually tear down and rebuild his pitching staffs and basically always find the right ingredients to formulate a somewhat competitive staff, basically year in and year out, while at the same time he’s really struck-out in nearly every attempt he’s made to rebuild his offense from the heydays of the early part of this decade.

    Comment by Mike — September 11, 2009 @ 8:29 pm

  11. dallas braden also improved after adding a cut fastball

    Comment by brendan — September 14, 2009 @ 11:16 am

  12. Feldman is not a rookie this year, but he does owe a great deal of his success this year to a much improved-cutter.

    Comment by eric — October 5, 2009 @ 5:41 pm

  13. Scott Feldman and Tommy Hunter both added a cutter to their repertoire and have greatly improved from it.

    Comment by eric — October 5, 2009 @ 5:43 pm

  14. Actually, if you read athleticsnation.com (not necessarily a representative sample, but the only one I’m familiar with) their fans are mostly ok with this. What they do lament are the bad contracts (there are only a couple, but they are bad) and the lack of offense (Beane seems to be forever pulling pitching rabbits out of prospect hats, but he doesn’t appear to have the same talent for hitters — the A’s are kind of the anti-Rangers in that regard).

    Comment by joser — October 7, 2009 @ 2:02 am

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