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March 5, 2014

Rumor Roundup

A.J. Griffin Cuts His Cutter

by Daniel Rathman


A.J. Griffin cuts his cutter
Some of the most interesting stories to come out of spring training surround players who make material changes and are open about them with the media. A.J. Griffin, who ate 200 innings for the Athletics last year but served up 36 home runs along the way, is one of those players.

Griffin told reporters, including MLB.com’s Jane Lee, that he intends to scrap his cutter and replace its role in his arsenal by using his changeup more often. The 26-year-old is working to improve the changeup in Cactus League play, in hopes that the renewed approach will bring down his gopher-ball rate and solidify his spot at the back end of the A’s rotation. PECOTA, which has no knowledge of the adjustment, is already bullish about Griffin’s chances of breaking out, projecting him to be worth 2.7 WARP, a considerable hike from his -0.2 WARP effort last year.

After reading Lee’s tweets, I ventured over to Brooks Baseball to see if Griffin’s claims matched the numbers in his profile—and, initially, they did not. According to the PITCHf/x data, Griffin’s cutter was fine; it was his slider (and middling fastball) that caused most of his trouble. Players sometimes have short memories or lead reporters astray, but what Griffin was saying almost directly contradicted the numbers, which suggested that something else was afoot.

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Related Content:  Billy Butler,  A.J. Griffin

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<< Previous Article
Fantasy Article Fantasy Three-Year Pro... (03/05)
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Premium Article Rumor Roundup: Santana... (03/10)
Next Article >>
Premium Article Minor League Update: S... (03/05)

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