The Baltimore Orioles stripped the cutter from Dylan Bundy‘s repertoire early in his pro career. “We don’t like it as a pitch,” Dan Duquette told MASNSports.com’s Steve Melewski in August 2012.
I guess that means, the Orioles don’t like the cutter as anything.
In an article written in 2010, Baseball America’s J.J. Cooper cited scouts that said that the development of the cutter leads to decreased arm strength and lower velocity. Some added that it’s “hard on arms”.
Yesterday in Sarasota, 20-year-old O’s prospect Hunter Harvey impressed during his second bullpen session and Buck Showalter noticed he added a new pitch this winter.
Buck on Hunter Harvey, son of former MLB closer Bryan Harvey:
He threw a few splits today, so that’s new. I wonder where that came from.”
— Roch Kubatko (@masnRoch) February 23, 2015
No, it’s not the cutter, but it is the pitch most commonly associated with shoulder and elbow problems, the splitter. In an article about the increasing number of pitchers undergoing Tommy John surgery, Tyler Kepner of the New York Times pointed to the splitter as a culprit:
[quote_box_center]They are fundamentally vulnerable to modern pitches like the cutter, which typically requires more torque on the forearm. The splitter — Tanaka’s out pitch — is considered the most hazardous of all (spread your second and third fingers far apart, and you will feel the tension). The hard fastball, though, is dangerous enough on its own.[/quote_box_center]
Harvey’s father, Bryan Harvey, was a two-time All-Star and 1991 Rolaids Relief Man of the Year, who relied heavily on the splitter during his career. It’s no surprise that his son has picked up the pitch, but it should raise some red flags as Bryan Harvey’s career ended with an elbow injury.
Unless he starts throwing it at a high clip (>15%) and high velocity (88+), I’m not going to worry. Jimenez throws one as well (16.51%), but folks aren’t worry about him. Gausman does as well (17.63%), but it’s a split change/fosh that doesn’t have the speed/torque.
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