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!
Nestor Cortes Jr.’s Cutter
Thus far in 2022, Nestor’s cutter has had above average movement and he has done a nice job spotting it along the edges. This one is beautifully executed and Chris Owings gives up on it. Nestor is the definition of a crafty lefty and has become a fan favorite in New York. He had the year’s first immaculate inning and finished the game with 12 Ks.
David Peterson’s Slider
In 2021, Peterson used his slider 25% of the time and had a solid 19.8% swinging strike rate. However, it was hit hard with a .396 wOBA and .408 xwOBA. He will need better results from it if he is going to continue to rely on it so heavily.
Felix Bautista’s Splitter
Bautista is a 27-year-old rookie and the Orioles 30th ranked prospect. In the young season, he has a 38.5 K%. His four-seamer has a good pedigree. If he can consistently pair it with splitters like this, he may carve himself a late-inning role.
Alek Manoah’s Slider
Manoah is off to a strong start. He has only allowed 5 hits in 12 IP and has a 30.4 K%. In 2021, he threw his slider 28% of the time and it had strong metrics across the board. Standing out was the 26.4% groundball rate. Coupling that with an above-average swinging strike rate leads to a dominant pitch.
Andrés Muñoz’s Slider
This was Muñoz’s 9th consecutive strikeout. A 73 K% is pretty good. His fastball averages about 100 mph, yet he has thrown it 40% of the time and his slider 60% in 2022. This is the same pitch usage in 2022 as the former Mariner Edwin Díaz. The Seattle bullpen could be a real strength this season.
Jeff Hoffman’s Changeup
This pitch was well-located and Bellinger seemed to be looking fastball. Hoffman only threw his changeup 12% of the time in 2021, but it resulted in a low 3.2% barrel rate. His most effective pitch is his slider, but he has to mix up his usage to keep hitters off balance.
Matt Brash’s Slider
While not well-located, this slider had some pretty wicked movement. Brash surprised many by winning a spot in the Seattle rotation and has been good so far against very good White Sox and Astros lineups. Brash, Robbie Ray, Logan Gilbert, and eventually George Kirby are the makings of a very good rotation.
Josh Hader’s Slider
Hader picked up his 100th career save in this game. He has been dominant since he entered the league in 2017. Relievers’ peaks usually aren’t that long. With a slider like this it is easy to see why Hader is becoming one of the best of all-time.
Jake Diekman’s Slider
It is difficult to figure out the Boston bullpen situation. They seem to just be playing it by ear each game and Diekman has been good his last few outings. He throws his slider 54% of the time. He has always had good results on it, but he is throwing it about 3 mph slower this season than in the past.
Jordan Hicks‘ Sinker
Unsurprisingly, Hicks had the highest velocity of the day with this 102.1 mph sinker. St. Louis is trying to stretch him out. It seems unlikely he will be able to maintain this kind of velocity as a full-blown starter, which is a shame for Nastiest Pitches.
Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns of Twitter)