(Courtesy of Texas Leaguers)
That's Brandon McCarthy's pitch location plot from yesterday's start. You'll notice that there are 2 very distinct locations on either side of the plate for 2 different types of fastballs. I knew McCarthy was a sinker guy when he came over from Arizona. What I didn't know was that he used to be a much bigger cutter guy and had gotten away from it during his time as a D'back. Via Chad Jennings, McCarthy talked about that transition and the transition back to throwing his cutter more since joining the Yankees:
“It wasn’t something I totally agreed with. Now, coming here, and them going back over everything I’ve done and realizing that was a big part of my success, we decided to add that back in. It’s been a nice change.”
The disagreement McCarthy is referring to is with the D'backs, who requested that McCarthy not throw the cutter as much when they acquired him. Why an organization would feel the need to tell a pitcher to stop throwing a pitch he likes to throw and throws well is beyond me, but I guess it makes sense that Arizona is where it is right now when those types of decisions are being made.
The Yankees have been home to some of the greatest cutters in baseball history, including the originator of the pitch. If they're going to let, and even encourage, McCarthy to throw it more, that's a very good thing for him and them. He showed what he can do when he's commanding it yesterday, and if he can keep throwing it like that and mixing his sinker in effectively, this trade could turn into a steal for the Yanks.