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THE HEAT INDEX
Albert Chen
June 13, 2011
What makes a good cutter so effective is its late movement—it looks like a fastball, then darts for the outer reaches of the strike zone or off the plate. That effectiveness can be tracked with a heat map, a color-coded graphic that shows how productive batters are when a pitch hits a certain spot. Areas in dark red are hitter-friendly, with pitches there belted at a .500 clip; dark blue represents a batting average of .100; green areas are around .300. The following pages show cutter heat maps for seven pitchers who rely heavily on the pitch. (Pitch frequency data from Fangraphs.com.)
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June 13, 2011

The Heat Index

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His cutter usage has jumped to 41.9% this season, from 27.2% last year, and opposing batters are hitting .192 against it.

THE VETERANS

ROY HALLADAY

Phillies

No starter has thrown the cutter more often this season (45.2% of his pitches); he holds batters to a .246 average when he throws it.

JOSH BECKETT

Red Sox

After a subpar 2010 season, he's throwing the cutter more than ever (17.1%) and has the best overall batting average against (.188) of his career.

JOSH TOMLIN

Indians

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