It would be very easy to just copy and paste Winkler’s cutter entry into this space, because the results were very similar. Compared to his excellent 2018, Winkler cut his total number of fastballs from 307 to 107, but doubled his home runs to two. He had a respectable .238 BAA, but saw a big jump in his SLG allowed on the fastball, from .361 in 2018 to .571 in 2019. The movement on the pitch was almost identical to 2018, but the zone rate rose 3.7% with the SwStr% dropping 2.6%. With the results not translating from 2018, Winkler’s season ended abruptly with a demotion to Triple-A Gwinnett.
The cutter is Dan Winkler’s most-used pitch. After an excellent 2018 season, Winkler struggled with elbow soreness in spring training and didn’t debut in 2019 until mid-April. He stuggled to keep the ball in the park, surrendering five home runs in just 21.2 innings, with two of them coming on his cutter. Not surprisingly, his SLG against was higher than 2018, but his BAA and BOBP allowed were both lower. Winkler’s cutter was generating a similar BB% and K%, and fewer hits, but the hits allowed were much more costly.
Despite it being the pitch he uses the least, Winler still threw his slider 21.3% of the time in 2019. Averaging 83.5 mph, the slider had a 37.5% O-Swing and a 14.5% SwStr% even though the pitch had less horizontal and vertical movement than in 2018. Throwing it in the zone just 36.8% of the time, Winkler’s slider is most effective when moving inside to outside the zone, generating whiffs or weak contact. The slider gave up a .222/.333/.444 slash line, but a home run was one of the four hits allowed on the slider.
For the majority of 2018, Winkler was a bright spot in the Braves bullpen, mainly due to his great cutter. He boasted a .091 ISO, .222 batting average against, and 7.3% walk rate with the pitch—showing his ability to control it and limit damage.
Winkler’s four-seamer is nothing special. Hitters batted .230 against it, which is good but not great, and while he had a 27.1% strikeout rate with the pitch, he did not induce a ton of swings and misses (9.1% swinging-strike rate). It is still a positive offering, but it is a run-of-the-mill 93 mph fastball from a right-hander.
This breaking ball is a piece of art: swinging strikes galore (21.2%), a large punchout rate (40.8%), limits baserunners (2% BB rate and .188 BA). Winkler threw this pitch around 100 more times than he did in 2017, and if 2018 was any signal, he should increase the usage.
Winkler should stick with a three-pitch repertoire and drop this pitch. This two-seamer does not have a ton of movement and did not fool any batters, as shown by the .556 OBP against it.