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Cody Cillo's Palmball

The WBC has been a blast for PITCHf/x analysis.  One of the more interesting targets is an American-born Italian leaguer named Cody Cillo.  Cillo plays in the Italian pro league, and has some interesting stuff.

Here's what Josh Kalk had to say:

Cillo is another sinker/slider pitcher with very good vertical drop on his sinker. Unfortunately, he throws it only around 87 mph or it could be a major league pitch. It also has a lot of horizontal movement in to a right-handed hitter, so he is likely a lot more effective against them. Cillo's slider is also a decent pitch with good movement both horizontally and vertically. The pitch that is really interesting to look at, though, is his change-up, which has less horizontal movement than his sinker.

While some other sinkerballers have similarly moving change-ups, Cillo is taking this to the extreme and it likely isn't in the same plane as his sinker.

No, not even close to the same plane.  When I first looked at his flight paths, I wondered if he was throwing a screwball.  Josh is right, it is a change-up.  To find out what kind, I sent my question and these images to Max Marchi in Italy (that link goes to his English site, but he has one in Italian, too).


Max asked around, eventually spoke with "Cillo's left fielder" who confirmed the junk ball that Cillo throws is a palmball.  Go figure.  Let's look some more at this freak of a pitch.  Or, Palmballs, I guess.  Cillo threw a handful during his first WBC appearance.  Two views of each of the five - catcher's view (psuedo 3D) and the flight paths, after the jump.





For some reason, I'm hungry for Lucky Charms.