For a lark, I became curious to understand what pitches in the entire Yankee arsenal are the nastiest. To do this I decided to use the Fangraphs pitch value data for the entire season, not the data adjusted per 100 pitches. This way the data give a better view of how a pitch will fare over time. Otherwise a pitch that isn’t used that often can creep up if it is only analyzed for every 100 thrown. Ivan Nova‘s slider, for example, is worth 1.96 runs for every 100 thrown, which is excellent, but he has only generated a total of 2.7 runs with it overall, meaning he hasn’t thrown it much. Those numbers could change. So, with that in mind …
CC Sabathia‘s changeup: 3.8 runs on the season, 0.99 for every 100 thrown. Don’t let the small over all run total fool you. Having a 0.99 wCH/C means that CC has a nasty change, but that he doesn’t use it as much as some of his other offerings. This isn’t the last time CC will be on this list.
Mariano Rivera‘s cutter: 8.0 runs on the season, 1.39 for every 100 thrown. Are you surprised? This would rank higher if Mo was more than a one inning pitcher.
A.J. Burnett‘s curveball: 8.8 runs on the season, 1.10 for every 100 thrown. As bad as A.J.’s fastball is, he also has one of the nastiest hooks in the game. Unfortunately he needs that awful fastball to set up this devastating pitch.
Bartolo Colon‘s fastball: 11.4 runs on the season, 0.76 for every 100 thrown. What’s most incredible about this is how effective the pitch is even though Colon throws it so often. Unlike Mariano’s cutter, batters are going to get a few trips through the order to look at Colon’s heater, and they still can’t do much with it. (These data exclude last night’s game.)
David Robertson‘s fastball: 11.5 runs on the season, 1.72 for every 100 throwN. Robertson‘s fastball is almost unfair. Think about it this way, he pitches a fraction of the innings of Bartolo, and has a fastball that is just as valuable, overall.
CC Sabathia’s slider: 13.5 runs on the season, 2.37 for every 100 thrown. This is why he’s generated relatively fewer runs with his changeup. Clearly this season CC is turning to his slider to get guys out, and with good reason!
CC Sabathia’s fastball: 14.4 runs on the season, 0.88 for every 100 thrown. It may not be as devastating as his slider, or his changeup, but CC’s heater is the most reliably nasty pitch the Yankees have.
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