Daniel McCutchen Unimpressive, Yet Somewhat Encouraging

Dan McCutchen can pitch a little bit. His fastball sits at 91-93. He threw 30 pitches those speeds, and 15 of those were 92. He threw 93mph on his 99th pitch before striking out Brock Peterson with an excellent change. He topped out at 95 (once) and threw 94 a handful of times. He got 16 swings and misses and most were on his low-80s change. He also threw a high-70s breaking ball. He threw strikes. I'm not disappointed Dan McCutchen is in the Pirates system. I don't think he's long for AAA, which is good because he's 25. It's not that I think he'll be super good, just that the talent in the org won't hold him back and he has the stuff to get a shot. I think he just needs some more refinement, probably with his fastball location.

He gave up back to back HR to two lefties, Howie Clark and minor league vet Garrett Jones. Fastball to Clark, breaking ball to Jones who destroyed it. After a mound visit, he retired the next three batters. He reminded me of pretty much all the Twins pitchers not named Liriano that have come through Rochester the last few years, Scott Baker in particular. Low 90's fastball, good stuff but nothing that really wows you. Baker got to the majors faster but has been a league average starter most of the time.

Kind of like his stuff and performance, I don't have much else *concrete* to report. He looked good, not great. The change looks like a plus pitch as 13 of the 16 swinging strikes were on the change.

Note: I just went and read WTM's D. McCutchen page for the first time, which basically says more concisely what I just wrote, but I'll leave it anyway. I wanted to know if McCutchen was throwing a curve or slider. Often, depending on where I sit, I'm not sure whether a guy is throwing a curve, slider or change, especially if their breaking stuff doesn't have severe downward movement. But sitting close today I was able to clearly make out the pitch types. Unfortunately, I noticed something else and I don't think it's good, but maybe someone can comment on it.

First of all, on his very first pitch, the guy I thought of was Wade Miller--throwing with a lot of arm, and across his body at that. I predicted surgery for Miller so much it became a running joke between a friend and me. I was finally right, but Miller had a few excellent years before it happened. We can only hope the same, at least, for McCutchen.

Second, I don't know if I can call it a "tell", but I was able to tell what he threw by watching his delivery. The change and fastball looked the same, though I could tell he slowed his arm down a bit. To a batter it may have been imperceptible as I was viewing from behind the dugout and it just may have been more obvious from that angle. But it looked to me like he really cut off his delivery on the curve. He doesn't seem to finish the pitch and stops his arm quickly. I've read that this is very bad for the arm.

This is a comment from another thread, but my thought on Andrew McCutchen is that he's underwhelming. He had a pretty bad game today, 1-4 with a walk. But the outs were two strikeouts and a GIDP with the game on the line. He smoked one ball in the three games I saw. A bullet off the wall in LF, but it bounced right to the LF and Cutch was thrown out at 2nd. He otherwise didn’t hit the ball with authority and had plenty of swings and misses. Six in the three games I saw, and he wasn’t facing any pitcher of note. Even his fielding wasn’t great. Twice he broke back on balls that landed in front of him, though both were day games for what that’s worth, though the sun never seemed to bother him.

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