Sunday, February 07, 2016

Johnny Cueto and the 0-2 Count Walks

Fangraphs has a fascinating post explaining why Johnny Cueto is one of the leading pitchers in 0-2 counts that go to walks

It happened 19 times in 2013-15, according to August Fagerstrom. Here's part --

Whereas Bauer, Gonzalez, Jimenez and Wilson may lose their 0-2 counts to walks due largely to shaky command, Cueto’s lost counts may manifest themselves for the opposite reason — because his command is so exceptional. Cueto’s ability to work the outer edges of the plate is matched by few other pitchers in baseball, and so Cueto trusts himself to do so, regardless of the count. Cueto doesn’t blow hitters away; he finesses them. Sometimes, he’s going to narrowly miss those spots and it will lead to an exasperating walk in an at-bat that he appeared to have wrapped up after two pitches. But it’s by design. If you’re a Giants fan getting acclimated to Cueto’s pitching style this year and you find yourself getting frustrated after he loses an 0-2 count to a walk — don’t. Those very pitches that might have led to the walk are part of the reason why he’s so good in the first place.

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