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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

FSAZ: D-backs cut off McCarthy’s cutter controversy

McCarthy [digs] in.

Brandon McCarthy has two quality starts since joining the New York Yankees and he credits a return to the cut fastball, a pitch he said the Diamondbacks did not want him to throw.

After a 7-1 victory over Cincinnati on Saturday, McCarthy said his expanded arsenal made the difference. He threw about 20 cutters while giving up one run and six hits in six innings.

“It’s something I know that I need to be successful,” McCarthy said. “It was something I didn’t totally agree with.”

The D-backs would not be drawn into the discussion.

“Yeah, well, I wish him well,” Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said when McCarthy’s comments were relayed Monday. “People handle things different ways. The way I’ll handle it, let’s just say it was all my fault, OK?”

Greg Franklin Posted: July 22, 2014 at 12:46 PM | 28 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: diamondbacks, yankees

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   1. asinwreck Posted: July 22, 2014 at 01:28 PM (#4755739)
Most intelligent thing Gibson's said all year.
   2. Greg K Posted: July 22, 2014 at 01:33 PM (#4755741)
For some reason I read the head-line as "D-Backs cut off McCarthy's rotator cuff", which seems drastic.
   3. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: July 22, 2014 at 01:35 PM (#4755743)
Why would the D-Backs not want a pitcher to throw a certain pitch he wants to throw? That seems weird. Are cutters too unmanly for Gibson?
   4. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 22, 2014 at 01:46 PM (#4755753)
Why would the D-Backs not want a pitcher to throw a certain pitch he wants to throw?

Because they're a deeply dysfunctional organization?
   5. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: July 22, 2014 at 01:48 PM (#4755754)
I tend to believe McCarthy isn't lying since McCarthy is awesome so, yeah, I have to agree with you snapper. Arizona is a weird, weird team.
   6. PreservedFish Posted: July 22, 2014 at 01:49 PM (#4755755)
The DBacks seem to prioritize process over results.

Nice scouting by the Yanks on this though - sounds like they knew from the get-go that McCarthy had a good pitch that the DBacks were not allowing him to use. "McCarthy said Yankees pitching coach Larry Rothschild approached him about throwing more cutters soon after he was acquired July 6..."
   7. G.W.O. Posted: July 22, 2014 at 01:57 PM (#4755757)
However dysfunctional the D'backs, Gibson handled that well.
   8. Howie Menckel Posted: July 22, 2014 at 02:01 PM (#4755760)
McCarthy may have been the most highly-noted "skills belie his results" pitcher in baseball this year. BBHQ profiled him last month, pronounced selves mystified at his struggles.
   9. JE (Jason) Posted: July 22, 2014 at 02:18 PM (#4755768)
Nuno hasn't stunk up the joint yet. In three starts and 16 2/3 innings, he's given up seven runs, good for a 102 ERA+.
   10. Jeltzandini Posted: July 22, 2014 at 02:28 PM (#4755772)
However dysfunctional the D'backs, Gibson handled that well.


Sort of disagree. There's keeping a disagreement internal, and then there's "I'm going to make it very clear that I think the player is a jackass while officially keeping the disagreement internal."

   11. billyshears Posted: July 22, 2014 at 02:31 PM (#4755774)
However dysfunctional the D'backs, Gibson handled that well.


Really? Gibson's quote seems kind of pissy to me. It's not as if what McCarthy said was all that inflammatory - all he said was that he disagreed with the D'backs philosophy. Is that impermissible nowadays?

Edit: Coke to #10.
   12. PreservedFish Posted: July 22, 2014 at 02:36 PM (#4755775)
Gibson's comment means: "I'm annoyed at this, I know that I'm right, but I'll say that I'm wrong if it will get you guys to shut up."
   13. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 22, 2014 at 02:43 PM (#4755784)
Nice scouting by the Yanks on this though - sounds like they knew from the get-go that McCarthy had a good pitch that the DBacks were not allowing him to use. "McCarthy said Yankees pitching coach Larry Rothschild approached him about throwing more cutters soon after he was acquired July 6..."

More evidence that pitching coaches are little more than astrologers.
   14. Yoenis Cespedes, Baseball Savant Posted: July 22, 2014 at 02:55 PM (#4755795)
Perhaps more evidence that bad pitching coaches are little more than astrologers.
   15. Curse of the Andino Posted: July 22, 2014 at 03:10 PM (#4755811)
I'm in the "McCarthy is awesome and was ridiculously unlucky for AZ this year" camp.

####### Yankee.
   16. Ron J2 Posted: July 22, 2014 at 03:33 PM (#4755839)
#3 Ty Cobb wouldn't let Carl Hubbell throw his screwball. That was due to injury concerns, and maybe Gibson thinks cutters are hard on a pitcher.

Didn't make any sense in the case of Cobb/Hubbell (since Hubbell had no real value without his screwball), and McCarthy's version is equally strange.

EDIT: Cobb's on the short list of best guys to work with if you were a hitter, but John Thorn has him as the worst manager of pitchers. He has other odd or dysfunctional interactions with pitchers -- including a fight with Howard Ehmke (on the mound)
   17. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: July 22, 2014 at 03:36 PM (#4755841)
Why would the D-Backs not want a pitcher to throw a certain pitch he wants to throw?

TFA: The D-backs, as a rule, are not fond of the cut fastball. They believe the wrist adjustment needed to throw it effectively can be difficult to master, and that if not thrown properly, the ball has a tendency to flatten out in the hitting zone.

---

So, McCarthy threw the pitch ~35% of the time on his way to 121 and 120 ERA+ seasons, and the D-Backs decided he shouldn't throw it because he may not be able to throw it well.
   18. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: July 22, 2014 at 03:46 PM (#4755847)
I know Gibson has gotten a rep as being a bit pissy, but as a non-fan of the Diamondbacks, I haven't watched many games with him at the helm. I watched last night's game and was taken aback by how surly Gibson seemed with the umpiring. Is this a common thing? He seemed chirpy with the strike zone all night and looked like he was either complaining or restraining complaint any time the camera panned over to him.
   19. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 22, 2014 at 03:46 PM (#4755848)
all he said was that he disagreed with the D'backs philosophy. Is that impermissible nowadays?


Have you, you know, worked for an employer recently?
   20. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: July 22, 2014 at 03:53 PM (#4755852)
So, McCarthy threw the pitch ~35% of the time on his way to 121 and 120 ERA+ seasons, and the D-Backs decided he shouldn't throw it because he may not be able to throw it well.


To be fair the article implies he used it 35% of the time last year when he sucked as well...
   21. A Fatty Cow That Need Two Seats Posted: July 22, 2014 at 03:58 PM (#4755856)
implied, johnny, or implode?
   22. Norcan Posted: July 22, 2014 at 04:19 PM (#4755864)
The most disconcerting aspect of Gibson for me is his walk. He doesn't move his arms! I know he's been through multiple leg surgeries but does he have to walk like he's in a strait jacket? Imagine walking up in the middle of the night and seeing him shuffle towards you in a dimly lit hallway with your bleary eyes?
   23. valuearbitrageur Posted: July 22, 2014 at 05:01 PM (#4755904)
I watched last night's game and was taken aback by how surly Gibson seemed with the umpiring. Is this a common thing? He seemed chirpy with the strike zone all night and looked like he was either complaining or restraining complaint any time the camera panned over to him.


It's a pretty common reaction for those who live in a confusing world without strong causation, and they don't know what works and doesn't work to win at their game. They get mad at everything, and start using astrology, witch doctors, or grit-ology to give them direction. When that doesn't work, they yell obscenities at opponents and game employees.

At least in a poker room he could ask for a new deck because the current one is clearly unlucky. Every 20 minutes like clockwork the way he manages.
   24. The Yankee Clapper Posted: July 22, 2014 at 05:29 PM (#4755921)
The most disconcerting aspect of Gibson for me is his walk. He doesn't move his arms! I know he's been through multiple leg surgeries but does he have to walk like he's in a strait jacket? Imagine walking up in the middle of the night and seeing him shuffle towards you in a dimly lit hallway with your bleary eyes?

Perhaps the real Kirk Gibson has been replaced by a robot? Diamondback fans should investigate.
   25. Walt Davis Posted: July 22, 2014 at 06:59 PM (#4755955)
Diamondback fans should investigate.

Don't look a gift horse in the mouth.

Do the fancy pitch thingies back up the notion that McCarthy wasn't throwing it this year?
   26. billyshears Posted: July 22, 2014 at 11:08 PM (#4756067)
Have you, you know, worked for an employer recently?


A. The D'Backs are no longer his employer.

B. No employer should get huffy at the mere act of an employee saying "I disagree" in a reasonably respectful manner.
   27. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 23, 2014 at 01:47 PM (#4756318)

B. No employer should get huffy at the mere act of an employee saying "I disagree" in a reasonably respectful manner.


This is way down on the list of Things Employers Shouldn't Do But Do Anyway.

   28. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: July 23, 2014 at 02:02 PM (#4756324)
Do the fancy pitch thingies back up the notion that McCarthy wasn't throwing it this year?

Fangraphs claims he threw it:

2011: 3.7%
2012: 47.0%
2013: 37.5%
2014: 16.8%

In their Pitch Values area, it credits his cutter as giving him 14.3 runs above average for his career, by far his most valuable pitch.

Assuming I am reading things right.

http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=4662&position=P

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