Today’s edition of Penning Bull consists of my breakdown of the Red Sox’s trade for erstwhile Orioles righthander Andrew Cashner. Here’s a brief excerpt:
Cashner still throws that heater at roughly 94 miles per hour, so he has some ability to overpower opponents. His changeup works off that pitch much better than it worked off the sinker, because it creates much more movement differential (as you would guess, Cashner’s sinker both drops more and moves more to the arm side than does his four-seamer) and a greater velocity differential. He can also change eye levels better with the pitch, because he’s both more confident and more effective in the upper half of the zone with the four-seamer than with the sinker.
The same things largely true of the changeup are even more true of Cashner’s revamped curveball, which he’s throwing with less speed but greater vertical movement. That means that he’d be getting more of a movement differential even if he were still throwing the sinker, but with the switch to more four-seamers, it’s been especially pronounced. He’s getting a lot of ground balls with that pitch this season, which helps explain his success despite a low strikeout rate.
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