Kevin Gregg's Transformation

I know how early it is in the season, but considering Sky's infatuation with cutters and his belief that every pitcher should learn to throw the pitch, I thought we should look at the case of Kevin Gregg.

For us in Chicago, Gregg is known as the douchebag with the glasses that can't keep the ball down in the zone. For the first seven years of his MLB career, he was a fastball/slider pitcher that occasionally used a curve, splitter and a change as show-me pitches, but he came to depend on his best two pitches more and more. But according to the Pitch F/X data for this season, Gregg appears to be recasting himself as a whole new pitcher in Toronto.

2009: 62% fastball, 29% slider, 8% splitter

2010: 45% fastball, 11% slider, 19% splitter, 24% cutter

He's using his fastball and slider significantly less, although he's throwing both pitches at identical velocities to last season. In their place, he's begun to use a cut fastball and his splitter at significantly higher rates than ever before. His cutter comes in at 86.9 MPH compared to his 91.9 MPH fastball, and frankly, the results have been nothing short of beautiful.

2009: 9.31 K/9, 3.93 BB/9, 1.70 HR/9, 38% groundball rate, 4.16 xFIP

2010: 9.95 K/9, 0.00 BB/9, 0.00 HR/9, 64% groundball rate, 1.66 xFIP

Look at that difference in his groundball rate. He's been killing hitters with his new arsenal, showing improved command, a continued ability to miss bats, and a newfound ability to churn out ground balls.

Before the season, there seemed to be almost no chance that the Jays exercise one their two options on him, the $4.5M option for 2011 or their $8.75M option for 2011/2012, but if he keeps on pitching this way, it could end up being a steal.

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