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Cody Cillo's Palmball

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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).

Cill02_medium

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.

 

Palm_medium

 

Palm2_medium

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