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Cahill's Curveball Conversion...Part Three?

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We now have a week and a half of game data to dissect and analyze. Now, of course, pretty much every normal statistic is worthless due to sample size issues (say hello to Andy LaRoche and his .417 batting average!), but why not take a look at PitchFX? First up? Of course, Trevor Cahill.

The big story throughout the offseason was whether or not Trevor Cahill's low strikeout rate would mean a heavy regression for 2011. Now? Well, it might all be moot. Trevor Cahill has whiffed 15 batters in 12.2 innings, almost doubling his strikeout rate from last year. Now, I obviously don't expect his K/9 rate to remain in the double digits, but a significant increase over 2010's 5.40 would be fantastic, both for the A's and for our new 30 million dollar man. How is he doing it?

Cahillcomp500

Look at the change in those purple dots!

First off, he seems to have nearly cut out throwing his normal four-seam fastball, and he's also completely dropped his slider this year. And what did he replace them with? Yet another curveball tweak. This one seems to be a little less slurvey, more closely resembling a 12-6 curve. It also, amazingly, seems to have picked up about an inch and a half of drop from last year, on average. If that increase in drop is correct, it's an inch away from Gio Gonzalez and his curveball. He's throwing it twice as much as he did last year, and the results have been fantastic. Out of 57 thrown so far, 39 have been for strikes.

Cahill will take the mound tonight at 5:10 PM PDT, facing a resurgent Edwin Jackson (2011 K/9 of 12.86).


Current Series

Athletics lead the series 1-0

Mon 04/11 WP: Tyson Ross (1 - 0)
SV: Brian Fuentes
LP: Jesse Crain (0 - 1)
2 - 1 win

Oakland Athletics
@ Chicago White Sox

Tuesday, Apr 12, 2011, 5:10 PM PDT
U.S. Cellular Field

Trevor Cahill vs Edwin Jackson

Mostly clear. Winds blowing from left to right field at 5-10 m.p.h. Game time temperature around 55.

Complete Coverage >

Wed 04/13 11:10 AM PDT