Boston Red Sox Pitchers Threw Too Many Cutters in 2010?

Adam BernacchioAnalyst IIIFebruary 23, 2011

FT. MYERS, FL - FEBRUARY 20:  Josh Beckett #19 of the Boston Red Sox poses for a portrait during the Boston Red Sox Photo Day on February 20, 2011 at the Boston Red Sox Player Development Complex in Ft. Myers, Florida  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

I find few things more enjoyable during my day than scouring the Twitter universe and reading baseball updates. Tuesday’s lunch was especially enjoyable because I had leftovers from dinner with my parents the night before. Bringing home leftovers made me feel like I was back in college, which unfortunately for me was about 11 years go.

While I was eating my Virginia ham and mashed potatoes (seven out of 10 on the food coma scale afterwards), I came across a pretty interesting tweet from Boston Red Sox beat writer, Pete Abraham. Here was his tweet:

“So far I’ve had three #RedSox pitchers tell me they threw too many cutters last season. Was V-Mart too cutter happy? Sounds like it.”

That’s a pretty interesting tweet and certainly begs the question: Did Red Sox pitchers throw too many cutters last season?

While we don’t know who Abraham is referring to, we can do a comparison of pitch type percentage from one year to the next. Below is a chart that lists the Red Sox pitchers that were on the team last season and have returned this season, along with their *2009 cutter percentage and their 2010 cutter percentage.

While pitch type isn’t 100 percent accurate, it isn’t that far off either. And based on that, I kind of wonder what these Red Sox pitchers are talking about.

The only one that seems to have a legit case is Josh Beckett. Beckett saw his cutter percentage increase by 10 percent from 2009 to 2010. That’s a pretty big increase.

Jon Lester saw a three percent increase in cutter percentage from 2009 to 2010. Not a lot, but an increase none the less.

Clay Buchholz, John Lackey, Jonathan Papelbon, and Daniel Bard? If any of them felt like they threw too many cutters in 2010, the stats don’t prove that.

It might just be a “feel” thing for these three pitchers. Kind of like how I feel the NHL is irrelevant, but the numbers don’t prove that.

*Pitch type percentages courtesy of Fangraphs.com

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg


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