A Baseball Weblog

Monday, July 18, 2011

Cobb f/x

After getting beaten up in the first two games of the second half, the Yankees were able to salvage a series-split with Blue Jays in Canada.  They'll now begin an important four-game series with the Rays at Tropicana Field - if Tampa has a poor week, they could be forced to become sellers at the trade deadline.  The set will kick off with A.J. Burnett getting the ball against Rays' rookie Alex Cobb.  Cobb, who will be 24 in October, has been posting good minor league numbers, including a strikeout rate over 9 per 9 innings and a walk rate at about 2 and a half per 9 innings since 2010.  He's been in Triple A for most of this year, but has made five of his starts for the big club.  

Cobb is working with four pitches this year.  He'll throw two types of 91 mph fastballs, one that's pretty straight (four-seam grip) and another that sinks and tails (two-seam grip).  His primary offspeed pitch is a mid-80s splitter (picture here) that often dives straight down but sometimes moves more like a sinker (the few that appear to be cutting are due to some calibration offsets at Tropicana Field).  He also has a high 70s curveball in his arsenal.  He hasn't been great at missing bats, and his control is suspect.  He will, however, get the ball on the ground with all of his pitches but the four-seamer.  Charts and graphs are below; click the graphs to enlarge them.

mph#LHB%RHB%Swing WhiffZoneBallnsCallGB%



Looking at pitch heights split into five different zones (below the zone, low in the zone, middle, high in the zone, above the zone), we can see that Cobb keeps his four-seamer up, his sinker a little lower, and his offspeed stuff low.  

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