Every morning, the We Love Baseball crew reviews the Nastiest Pitches from the previous day’s games. If you see something you think should be included here be sure to tweet @PitcherList to let us know. Or, if you’re a PL+ Member and part of our Discord, shout it out in the Nastiest Pitches channel. If your suggestion is included the next day, you’ll be entered into a weekly drawing for a free t-shirt. If you’re not already a PL+ member, you’re missing out!
Edward Cabrera’s Changeup
Cabrera is known for his high-velocity changeup, which averages 93.4 mph. The MLB average is 85.3 mph. He also throws it an astounding 38% of the time. He’s been injured for much of 2022, but he’s gotten a 76% GB rate and just a 10% FB rate on it.
Brandon Hughes‘ Slider
Hughes got Aguilar to chase two similar sliders in this AB. His slider has an excellent 25.3 % Swinging Strike rate. When hitters make contact on it, though, they have some success, with a .301 wOBA and .300 xwOBA.
Corey Kluber’s Curveball
A Kluber curveball + Javy Báez AB = This. I don’t think the camera angle does this one justice. Kluber’s curveball has a 38% O-Swing in 2022. It’s still working for him at age 36.
Dylan Cease’s Fastball
Cease has been excellent this year, but it has been primarily due to his slider, not his fastball. It does have a bit more spin than most fastballs, however. Couple that with the location of this one and he earns a whiff.
Justin Steele’s Slider
Steele gets above-average horizontal movement on his slider. This has helped him hold batters to a .130 AVG, .172 wOBA, and 14.5% Hard Contact rate on it. He ended up with 16 total whiffs on the day.
Josh Winckowski’s Cutter
Winckowski has not used his cutter much this season, and it has been hit pretty hard when he has, holding a 50% Hard Contact rate. This one gets especially good movement on it, however. Movement-wise, it almost looks like it was actually a slider, but the velocity matches up with his cutter.
Josh Winckowski’s Sinker
It might be surprising to see Winckowski featured twice on Nastiest Pitches. When you tunnel two pitches in the same AB like this you’ve earned it. He throws it 41% of the time, and when hitters make contact its results are a bit below-average for a sinker, but not bad. However, he has thrown it over 300 times in 2022 and it has just a 1.7% Swinging Strike rate. Sinkers aren’t known for having high Swinging Strike rates, but 1.7% is abysmal.
José Berríos‘ Curveball
Sandy León somehow gets a piece of this wicked curveball. Berríos had a rough night to continue what has been a subpar year, but his curveball hasn’t been the problem. It has a .231 wOBA and .251 xwOBA.
Framber Valdez’s Cutter
Valdez only throws his cutter about 8% of the time, but it has been very effective. A 36% O-Swing%, 18.4% Swinging Strike rate, 63% Groundball rate, and .152 wOBA are all excellent. Valdez has the best overall Groundball rate in baseball and is having an excellent season.
Seth Martinez’s Slider
Martinez gets above-average vertical and horizontal movement on his slider. This in part has led to a .147 AVG, .176 wOBA, and .129 xwOBA. Just another weapon in the Astros bullpen.
Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns of Twitter)