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Sunday, June 05, 2016

Lance McCullers on Spin, Angles, and Embarrassing Batters | FanGraphs Baseball

I hope your head isn’t spinning.

On setting up hitters with spin: “A lot of people think about pitching as setting up the batter based on pitch location. I think more of setting up batters with spin. If I throw a good hard fastball with good backspin, and then rip over a curveball from that same slot, it’s going to be hard for the batter to tell the difference. It will be hard for him to tell the difference between the four-seam I just threw at the thigh, versus my hard, 12-6 breaking ball at the thigh.

“It doesn’t have to be the greatest location. It’s about fooling the batter. I’m trying to rip over my curveball as hard as I can to create as much downward spin as possible. I don’t want the batter being able to tell, based on the spin, which pitch is coming. A lot of hitters will talk about, ‘Oh, I hit in the cage with numbers on the ball,’ or ‘I hit in the cage with different color seams, because I’m trying to pick up the seams.’ Well, if you make your ball look like a cue ball, that’s going to give you the advantage even if the pitch wasn’t executed as well as it could have been. I got some outs last night on pitches that weren’t executed how I wanted. Because of the way I spin the ball, I was able to get away with them.

“I don’t know what my four-seam spin rate is, but my curveball is between 2,800 and 3,100 at any given time. I know my fastball spin could be better. Sometimes I get a little bit of a rifle spin to it, which is kind of the shape that a cutter would be, only it’s not cutting like a cutter.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 05, 2016 at 09:10 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: houston, lance mccullers, pitching

 

 

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