Thursday, December 12, 2013

How to throw a cutter

In this baseball training video, Steven Ellis shows you how to throw a cut fastball. The grip is like a two-seam fastball but with the index and middle fingers shifted toward the seam. When thrown by a RHP, the cutter will have late movement away from a right-handed hitter. 

How to throw a cutter - by Steven Ellis former Chicago Cubs pitching pro

To throw a cutter or cut fastball, you will throw a fastball but get a slight amount of side spin that makes the ball move in or out a few inches.
This gives you a pitch somewhere between a fastball and a slider, and, thrown properly, that's how the pitch will move, like a very tight slider. You do this by moving your fastball grip (usually the 4-seam fastball grip) slightly off-center. Some pitchers bring the thumb slightly up the inside of the ball and the index and middle fingers slightly toward the outside. 

Switch pitcher Henry Knight throws a cutter to a lefty batter

Throwing a cutter like Mariano Rivera 

Rivera used a four-seam grip, with the index and middle fingers shifted a little off center. He throws the cutter like a fastball, but with more pressure on the middle finger. 

For a RHP, the cutter actually cuts into a lefty batter. For a LHP, the cut fastball will have late movement into a right-handed hitter. The pitch looks like a fastball to the hitter, but the late movement makes it difficult for the batter to put the sweet spot on the ball. 

The Buzzsaw
The sharp movement on Rivera's cutter frequently results in hitters breaking their bats. Chipper Jones called the pitch a "buzzsaw" after witnessing teammate Ryan Klesko break three bats in one plate appearance against Rivera in the 1999 World Series. (Wikipedia)

Former Yankee's closer, Mariano Rivera, throws a cutter with lots of movement - making it very difficult to hit.

Nicknamed "Mo", Rivera has served as a relief pitcher for most of his career, and since 1997, he has been the Yankees' closer. A 12-time All-Star and five-time World Series champion, he is MLB's all-time leader in saves (608) and games finished (892). 

How Mariano Rivera Dominates Hitters

The closer has confounded hitters with mostly one pitch: his signature cutter
Read "Mariano Rivera, King of the Closers"


Ryan Perez, a college switch pitcher, uses a cutter as an out pitch when throwing right- or left-handed.

Henry Knight, a high school switch pitcher, throws the cutter from both sides. The cutter has late sideways movement, so the catcher needs to stay focused when receiving the ball.

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