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Bleary-Eyed Eyeball Scout On Trivino, Cahill

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MLB: Chicago White Sox at Oakland Athletics
“Pleased to make your acquaintance. And you are...?”
John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

Still optically reeling from a 6-hour, 14 inning marathon, yet still unable to provide an expert eyeball report on pitcher Jake Smolinski — and for that we are thankful — the Eyeball Scout has recently seen a couple of season debuts (one a career debut). So without further adieu, here are some notes from the last series...

Lou Trivino

There are many aspects to a pitcher, from raw stuff to command of said arsenal to how they handle certain situations. Amongst the more challenges situations to handle would be to follow your major league debut with an outing the next day, and have that appearance unexpectedly require you to go 3 IP in a tie game that has already been going for 4-5 hours and 22 runs.

That Trivino was able to toss 3 scoreless innings under these circumstances, without being wild or seemingly daunted in any way, speaks well to his chances of succeeding long term at this level. You can teach a new grip more easily than you teach the temperament needed to thrive, and all indications are that Trivino has already passed, with flying colors, one of the more difficult challenges he will face.

As for the stuff, there is a lot to like. Trivino’s fastball is more than solid at 97 MPH even if it doesn’t seem to particularly play up — it is still plenty quick to force batters to look for it and adjust from there. His curve alternated freezing hitters as it dropped into the zone and lopping high and outside, but it complemented the fastball well in that hitters consistently were not successful in trying to time or track it.

Perhaps the most exciting development, though, came with the lead run at 3B and one out, when kind of out of the blue Trivino unleashed a tidy cutter to strike out gangster/cleanup hitter Nicky Delmonico, and then Matt Davidson, to escape trouble.

That cutter came in at 92-93 MPH, offering a change of speeds from the 97/82 fastball/curve combo, and as a result it proved to be a swing and miss pitch to batters looking for a tailing fastball or big breaking curve.

It wasn’t all a slam dunk, as Trivino’s control was not impeccable and his fastball did not appear, to the Eyeball Scout, to be an especially high RPM offering, but the Eyeball Scout still a saw 4 tool pitcher: fastball, curve, cutter, moxie.

It will be interesting to see how Trivino fares going forward, and how soon he gets chances to continue pitching in the big leagues and in high leverage situations, but all I can say is “So far so good,” and you earned that first MLB win.

Trevor Cahill

For fans and managers just hoping for 5 quality innings, they had to be thrilled with 7 shutout frames from the “baby-faced assassin”. Was it real and sustainable or an anniversary mirage?

What the Eyeball Scout saw was excellent fastball command combined with poor command of the off speed stuff. What saved Cahill is that off speed pitches (knuckle curve and changeup) were not consistently bad, just inconsistent. Cahill threw some beauts and got swings and misses a plenty, but only when he threw his fastball did he have a clear idea where the pitch was going.

Moving forward, I would say that Cahill will need to command his curve and change in order to sustain success in the big leagues, but given his late spring training start and only 2 AAA tuneups there is reason to hope that better command is ahead. At the very least, as a sinker ball pitcher who is always “one pitch away from getting out of a jam,” good fastball command should help him survive better either way, as we saw when a first pitch 6-4-3 DP quickly ended the most promising inning against him.

Is it time to party like it’s 2010? Probably not. But might Cahill be a much needed shot in the arm as a legitimate #4 SP? Quite possibly. Watch the BB column because if Cahill is walking 4 batters per 9 IP it will likely all fall apart for him, but if he can throw enough strikes his stuff is good enough that he can make it work.

Thoughts? Eyedrops? Care for a mint?

Poll

How does the Eyeball Scout’s report compare to what you saw?

This poll is closed

  • 7%
    Right on Trivino, but off on Cahill
    (27 votes)
  • 2%
    Off on Trivino, but right on Cahill
    (9 votes)
  • 87%
    Right on for both of them
    (312 votes)
  • 2%
    Off on both of them
    (9 votes)
357 votes total Vote Now