What Is A Cutter Pitch In Baseball

Cutter (FC)

Once the ball has reached home plate, it is supposed to slide slightly away from the pitcher’s arm-side as it travels down the middle of the plate. Most Major League pitchers do not use cutters as a primary pitch, but for those of those who do, it is one of their most effective offerings. A pitcher with a good cutter has the ability to shatter a lot of bats. When thrown from a right-handed pitcher to a left-handed batter, or from a left-handed pitcher to a right-handed hitter, a cutter will swiftly travel in toward the hitter’s hands and make contact.

It has been reported that switch-hitters have been known to swing from the same side as the pitcher’s throwing arm in situations where the pitcher throws predominantly cutters.

This is because to the distinctive movement of the cutter, which leads batters to get jammed when facing a pitcher who is the opposite handedness of the pitcher they are facing.


The ability to deceive is essential for a cutter. A fastball that is straight with four seams or two seams with a break toward the pitcher’s arm side is what most batters are accustomed to seeing in the major leagues. Unlike a two-seamer, the cutter breaks in the opposite direction of the pitch, and it does so late in the pitch’s travel to home plate. This action is intended to prevent the hitter from being able to smash the pitch directly in the face.


Despite the fact that the cut fastball has been around for more than 50 years, it was made famous by Yankees closer Mariano Rivera, who used it virtually exclusively during his career. Rivera’s cutter had such late movement that it became well-known for the large amount of left-handed hitters’ bats that it snapped in the process.

In A Call

“cut fastball” means “cutting fastball.”

What is a Cutter Pitch – What Made it so Effective to Throw?

When Mariano Rivera entered the game, there’s a strong likelihood that New York Yankees supporters were optimistic about their team’s prospects of victory. Because, after all, Rivera’s cut fastball was one of the greatest in the game, and batters had a difficult time squaring the pitch up in order to make strong contact with the ball on the ground. A lifetime WHIP of 1.00, Rivera’s cutter grip propelled him into the Baseball Hall of Fame, joining his other accomplishments, which included All-Star selections, five World Series championships, and MVP titles.

Find out the answers to these and other questions in the section below!

What is a Cutter / What Does it Do?

Cutting fastballs are baseball pitches that veer in the direction of the pitcher’s glove hand after they are released. In the case of left-handed batters, a right-handed pitcher who throws the cutter will have the ball break inside to the left side. Similarly, throwing a cutter to a right-handed hitter can cause the ball to break away from them, which seems to the batter to be a strike until the very last second. The late break or deviation that the ball takes as it approaches home plate is what determines the success of a cut fastball in this situation.

It is possible for batters who are unable to square up the ball with the barrel of the bat to miss the ball and/or break their wooden bat while making contact with the ball when they are hitting the ball.

How to Grip / Throw a Cutter Pitch?

The cutter grip, which is used by major league pitchers, is defined as having their index and middle fingers close together over the seams of the baseball. Following that, the ring finger will sit on the baseball seam, with the thumb resting below the index and middle fingers of the other hand. The next step is to throw the pitch consistently with the pitcher’s arm, which aids in deceiving batters because the late movement might appear to be a regular four-seam fastball that could land in the strike zone or just outside of it depending on the situation.

How Similar is the Pitch to Other Pitches?

A cutter is a pitch that is a cross between a fastball and a slider in appearance. The cut pitch is comparable to that of a slider in the break, but the angle is more flat upon release, in contrast to that of a slider. For example, a slider will go slower than a cutter, but the angle of the drop will be greater with the slider. Even though the speed of a fastball and a cutter are comparable, the cutter’s break is to the pitcher’s glove side, whereas a fastball maintains its straight trajectory.

The Best Cutter Pitchers in Baseball History

If you ask everyone in baseball who has or has had the greatest cutter, they will all reply it was or is Mario Rivera. When Mariano Rivera started his final season in the Major Leagues in 2013, teams would offer him presents as a thank you for having such an outstanding season. A rocking chair constructed out of broken bats was created by the Minnesota Twins in honor of Rivera, who destroyed 724 baseball bats throughout the course of his career, according to ESPN. Aside from Mariano Rivera, there have been a slew of outstanding pitchers who have thrown the cut pitch throughout their careers.

  • Dan Haren, James Shields, Mark Melancon, Andy Pettitte, Jerry Reuss, Kenley Jansen, Bryan Shaw, Yu Darvish, and Jon Lester are among the pitchers to watch.

Why Did Rivera Break So Many Bats with the Cutter?

The cutter causes the ball to go inside and to the side of the pitcher’s throwing arm that is opposite the cutter’s throwing arm. For example, because Rivera was a right-handed pitcher, his cut fastball would move into left-handed hitters as it approached home plate. It would have late movement as it approaches home plate as opposed to a regular four-seamer that would remain straight to batters. Because of the late movement (such as a breaking ball), batters would be unable to square the bat to the ball and make contact with the ball closer to where their hands were holding the baseball bat.

Conclusion on the Cutter Pitch

Finally, a cutter pitch may be an efficient way for starting pitchers and relievers to get Major League hitters out for both starts and saves. Just like with a changeup, curveball, slurvy pitch, fastball, sinker, splitter, and even knuckleball, altering the speed and location of the ball are all effective techniques to throw off a hitter’s timing and keep him off balance.

At the end of the day, it boils down to whether or not the pitcher has a good feel for the pitch and can record outs while delivering that pitch to hitters.

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Cut fastball – Wikipedia

An animated representation of a cutter A cut fastball, often known as a cutter, is a sort of fastball that breaks away from the pitcher’s glove-hand side as it approaches home plate in baseball. This pitch is a cross between a slider and a four-seam fastball in that it is often thrown quicker than a slider but with more movement than a standard fastball, and it is usually thrown in the upper 90s. Cutters are used by certain pitchers in order to keep batters from anticipating their usual fastballs.

A hitter hitting a cutter pitch will frequently make only mild contact with the ball and get an easy out as a result of the movement of the pitch, which keeps the ball away from the batter’s sweet spot.

According to PITCHf/x, the average speed of a right-handed pitcher’s cutter was 88.6 miles per hour in 2010, while the average speed of a two-seamer was 90.97 miles per hour.

Professional practitioners

It was ascribed to Christy Mathewson by The Day Bookin Chicago, who used a cut fastball grip. The cutter was made famous by the former New York Yankees closerMariano Rivera, who was one of the world’s finest practitioners of the pitch after the mid-1990s, while the pitch itself has been around since at least the 1950s, according to the National Baseball Hall of Fame. In certain situations, the cut fastball can crack and split a batter’s bat when it is pitched skillfully and quickly, particularly when it is pitched against the opposite-handed batter (that is, a right-handed pitcher facing an opposite-handed hitter).

Some switch hitters batted right-handed against Rivera, which was the “wrong” side because switch hitters generally bat from the same side of the plate as the pitcher’s glove hand, in order to alleviate the situation.

Among all major league starting pitchers in 2011, Dan Haren ranked first with over 48 percent of his pitches categorized as cutters, according to PITCHf/x.

Aside from Lester, other pitchers who depend (or have relied) significantly on a cut fastball include James Shields, Josh Tomlin, Will Harris, Mark Melancon, Jaime Garcia, Wade Miley, David Robertson, Jerry Reuss, andAndy Pettitte, to name a few.

In his professional career from 2010 to the present, Kenley Jansen has thrown his cutter 85.1 percent of the time, second only to Mariano Rivera’s 87.2 percent among pitchers who have thrown at least 30 innings during that time span.

Popularity and limitations

In recent years, the cutter has gained favor among pitchers, such Dan Haren, who have sought to compensate for a lack of velocity in their four-seam fastball. Pitchers such as Atlanta Braves third basemanChipper Jones and Cleveland Indians pitcherChris Perez both attributed the growing dominance of pitchers from 2010–2011 to the greater use of the cutter. When it first appeared in the baseball press in 2011, it was jokingly referred to as the “pitch of the day.” Because of worries that a pitcher who overuses the cutter would develop arm fatigue, some opponents of the pitch have established a strong stance against it (misuse).

See also

  1. ^abcd Albert Chen’s name is Chen (June 13, 2011). “This Is A Game Changer,” according to Sports Illustrated. Archived from the original on 2015-08-01
  2. Ellis, Steven. “Pitching Grips.” TheCompletePitcher.com
  3. “League Average PITCHf/x Data – TexasLeaguers.com”
  4. “League Average PITCHf/x Data – TheCompletePitcher.com”. Texas Leaguers are a baseball team based in Texas. Tom Verducci’s article from the 29th of May 2012 was retrieved (2009-10-05). “Mariano Comes to the Rescue.” Sports Illustrated. Tyler Kepner (2009-09-30)
  5. Retrieved 2009-09-30 (2004-03-23). “As far as the Yankees and Rivera are concerned, the case is closed.” The New York Times is a newspaper published in New York City. The following information was obtained on 2007-07-25: “Pitch Type Statistics (2011).” Fangraphs. abChristensen, Joe
  6. Retrieved on August 15, 2013
  7. (June 22, 2011). “Curve has taken a backseat to other breaking pitches,” says the author. The Star Tribune is a newspaper in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Curry, Jack (August 2012)
  8. Retrieved on August 20th, 2012. (June 6, 2012). “Andy Pettitte is having a revival in his career.” YES Network is an acronym that stands for Yes Network. Tyler Kepner’s article was retrieved on August 20, 2012. (October 29, 2013). “Lester once again seizes the opportunity to shine in the World Series.” The New York Times is a newspaper published in New York City. “Kenley Jansen – Stats – Pitching | FanGraphs Baseball”. Retrieved2020-11-25
  9. “Major League Leaderboards » 2020 » Relievers » 16 | FanGraphs Baseball”. Retrieved2020-11-25
  10. “Kenley Jansen – Stats – Pitching | FanGraphs Baseball”. Retrieved2020-11-25
  11. “Kenley Jansen – Stats – Pitching | FanGraphs Baseball”. Cutting to the heart of the action. ESPN, published on May 9, 2011. Obtainable on the 2nd of July, 2011
  12. Dennis Manoloff is the author of this work. The Cleveland Indians, who are currently atop the American League Central, are contemplating baseball’s dwindling 2011 offensive. The Plain Dealer published an article on May 15, 2011. Rogers, Phil (July 2, 2011)
  13. Retrieved on July 2, 2011
  14. (April 21, 2012). “Phil Rogers: Philip Humber of the Chicago White Sox gets a leg up on the opposition by switching from a cut fastball to a slider.” The Chicago Tribune published a story about this. retrieved on August 20, 2012
  15. Adam McCalvy’s full name is Adam McCalvy (March 22, 2012). “The cutter is the hottest pitch in baseball right now,” says one observer. MLB.com. Obtainable on September 19, 2012
  16. Steve Melewski is the author of this work (August 16, 2012). “We don’t like the cutter,” Dan Duquette says of the Orioles’ pitching style. MASNSports.com. Obtainable on August 20, 2012
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How To Throw A Filthy Cutter (10 Pictures Of Grips)

HomeArticles PitchGrips for Cutter Learn more about my pitchers’ exercise routines here. The proper method of developing functional strength should be used. Discover my pitching routines and throwing plans for athletes that are dedicated to their craft and refuse to accept defeat. More information may be found here. Do you have any experience throwing a cut fastball? Learn everything there is to know about throwing a cutter that is more than just “dirty” or “mean,” and which frequently entails embarrassment for the batter, in this article!

pitcherlist.com is the source of this image.

In terms of description, the cutter may be characterized as a combination of half fastball and half slider that moves horizontally to the throwing arm side of the plate, or a ‘cut,’ and is hence known by the titles cutter and cut fastball.

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Cutter grip

So, what exactly is the secret to becoming a good cutter? Consider the proper way to grasp and throw the cutter in greater detail. Baseball-pitching-tips.com is the source of this image.

  1. Apply greater pressure to the outside edge of the baseball by shifting your typical fastball grip slightly off center from its center position. As an alternative to throwing a slider, some pitchers choose to shift their thumb up and to the inside of the baseball. When thrown correctly, a cutter will have movement that is comparable to that of an aslider, but with sharper movement
  2. Similarly to how you would release a fastball, release the cut fastball. The wrist should not be snapped or turned in the manner of a curve or slider
  3. Instead, your arm action should match that of your fastball. As a result of applying pressure to one side of the ball, it should naturally generate the spin required to generate movement.

It is expected that the cut fastball would create a few inches of late movement when thrown correctly from a right handed pitcher, and that it will break away from right handed batters. The cutter’s delivery objective is to get the hitter to hit a groundout; therefore, don’t anticipate the cutter to be your strikeout pitch.

More images of cutter grips

Baseball-pitching-tips.com is the source of this image.

My favorite GIF of throwing a cutter

When you put everything together, it looks like this. Take a look at this fantastic cut fastball from pitcher Kenley Jansen: pitcherlist.com is the source of this image.

I mean, it’s just plainwow, right? It may be difficult to see in this GIF, so give it a few seconds and pay attention to the tiny shift this 94 mph pitch makes as it darts away from Jean Segura’s position. That’s what I call an unhittable cutter.

Learn more about my workout programs for pitchers

When it comes to baseball, one of the most common myths is that playing the game keeps you in condition to pitch. That would be fantastic if it were true. It is not the case. Preparation is critical in order to go to the next level. Pitchers in the major leagues spend significantly more time preparing to prepare than they do actually pitching. You may learn more about my fitness and pitching programs for baseball pitchers of all ages if you feel that increasing your velocity will be vital to your future success.

What do you think?

Let me know if there are any cutter grips, tips, or methods that I’ve overlooked in the comments section. Alternatively, perhaps you have an idea for how I might improve this post even further. In any case, please leave a remark and let me know. Next, check out this cheat sheet on pitching grips, which explains how to throw eight different baseball pitches.

How the Evolution of the Cutter Has Changed the Game of Baseball

Mariano Rivera’s unintentional discovery has sparked a revolution in the world of baseball. Photograph by Michael Heiman/Getty Images In baseball, it is widely believed that the best pitch is and will always be a well-located fastball. False. In reality, the best pitch in baseball is a well-placed cut fastball with a lot of movement. One of the most concerning aspects of the situation for hitters is that more and more pitchers are beginning to recognize exactly how deadly the cutter can be. Everyone is aware that the keeper of the finest cutter in Major League Baseball history is none other than the legendary Mariano Rivera, the long-time closer for the New York Yankees.

  • The Yankees’ Mariano Rivera was one of a small group of pitchers that used cutters in their arsenals for a period of time.
  • Pitchers who were already competent have adapted to throwing a cutter, and some pitchers have relied on the cutter to help them survive their professional lives.
  • The cutter is still making its way into the mainstream, and major league hitters are still attempting to figure out how to hit it effectively.
  • Is it possible that the cutter has evolved from being Mariano Rivera’s “not so hidden weapon” to being the secret weapon of multiple pitchers around the league?
  • Origins However, while Mariano Rivera may be known as the “keeper” of baseball’s most dangerous cutter, the pitch itself was not invented by him.
  • According to Chen’s report forSI, it is still unclear who was the inventor of the cut fastball.
  • We owe a debt of gratitude to Rivera for this.

Allen’s description of the pitch, taken from his 1953 instructional book, is as follows: pitched a fastball that was distinct in that it slipped or broke like a curve ball when thrown.

The break occurred as a result of the off-center pressure.

According to one expert, the pitch was most likely thrown incorrectly since it was misinterpreted for a slider.

Here’s what he had to say to SI: I’d be interested in seeing what Goose Gossage’s slider velocity was like.

Perhaps those are cutters these days.

Sliders feature greater downward and horizontal break than other types of sliders.

However, to the unaided eye, they appear to be the same pitch.

Today, the vast majority of knowledgeable baseball fans can identify a cutter when they see one, and it’s all because to one man.

That was enough for him; he simply threw really hard and consistently.

Bob Klapisch of The Record asked him about his reaction, which he described.

So, tell me, how do you convey it to someone else.

The pitch, in my opinion, was a gift from God.

Before he found his cutter in 1997, Rivera had already established himself as a capable reliever.

However, after he added the cutter to his repertoire, he set himself on a road that eventually lead him to the all-time saves record in Major League Baseball.

Against him, his opponents only managed a.208 batting average with a.285 slugging percentage.

His BABIP was.285 back in the days before the cutter.

It’s a fastball that breaks right in on their hands, making it extremely difficult for lefties to square the ball up properly.

Despite the fact that right-handed batters have had somewhat better results against Rivera (hitting.214 with a.315 slugging percentage), many managers have resorted to pinch-hitting right-handed players against him throughout the years because to his supremacy against left-handed batters.

The fact that he no longer throws with mid-90s velocity and still continues to dominate batters is due to the fact that his cutter does not require mid-90s velocity in order to be a devastating pitch.

It has been been stated that every batter who has ever faced Rivera was aware of what was about to happen.

When they confronted him, the batters were well aware that they were in for a tough time.

In this case, there is a scientific explanation.

Allow the Sport Scienceguys to explain why this is the case: The scientific explanation of the cutter’s lateral movement in the video doesn’t really do anything other than to reiterate what most baseball fans already know about the cutter’s movement.

By the time the ball begins to break, batters are already in the middle of their swing, and they don’t have enough time to react to the ball’s movement before it lands directly on top of their heads.

When he places his cutter in a position where it is virtually hard to hit, it is also almost impossible for hitters to take advantage of the situation.

Although this is common information at this point, it is important to emphasize exactly how distinctive the cutter is as a result of this dynamic.

It is also possible to toss fastballs in an attempt to persuade hitters to swing at air.

It’s similar to the sinker in that it’s a pitch that’s expressly meant to make contact with a hitter’s bat.

Furthermore, because the cutter is simply a modified fastball, it is a pitch that is very simple to control.

It’s a complete puzzle as to why more pitchers didn’t understand this earlier on.

By the time the 2003 season rolled around, Rivera had been employing the cutter for more than five years, but it was still considered a specialized pitch.

That is, until Esteban Loaiza demonstrated that this was not the case.

He had ERAs in excess of 5.00 in both seasons, and opposing batters batted better than.300 against him in both seasons.

While Loaiza was in Toronto, he began working on his cutter under the guidance of Gil Patterson, who was the Blue Jays’ pitching coach at the time.

During the 2003 season, Loaiza worked with White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper to refine his cutter, which he put to excellent use throughout the season.

Hitters went from batting over.300 against him to batting.233 against him, and he limited lefties to a.260 batting average in the process.

Tony Gwynn, a left-handed pitcher who was fascinated with Loiaza, published a story on him for ESPN.com the next year.

Loaiza began the American League’s All-Star Game that year, and he ended up coming second in the vote for the American League’s Cy Young Award.

It was all due to the cutter’s efforts.

After 2003, he never won more than 12 games in a season again, and he hasn’t played in Major League Baseball since 2008, when he was released.

A favourite pitch among Cy Young candidates and washed-up journeymen alike, the cutter has slowly gained in prominence over the last eight years or so.

Not unexpectedly, he began throwing the ball when he was under Patterson’s watchful eye early in his professional baseball career in Toronto.

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In 2001, he refined his mechanics and mastered the cutter.

According to FanGraphs, Halladay threw his cutter more than he had in any other year in his career in 2011.

Clayton Kershaw won the Cy Young Award, and he finished second in the vote.

The data from FANGraphs shows that Dan Haren threw his cutter approximately 48 percent of the time and that Brandon McCarthy threw his own cutter 36.4 percent of the time during the season.

On the contrary, both of them sought help from the cutter in order to save their respective careers from certain doom.

Everyone who tosses it falls in love with it, according to the pitcher.

As of that point, his average fastball velocity had begun to fall, and he admitted to SI that he was fully aware of this fact.

I was right.

I’m not as impressive as I used to be.

That is really risky.

He threw more cutters than any other pitcher in baseball, and he finished with a 3.17 earned run average and 16 victories.

According to ESPN.com, McCarthy was persuaded to turn himself into a completely different pitcher after looking at his sabermetric metrics, which all pointed out to him that he was a below-average major league pitcher, and he decided to take the risk.

In 2011, the fruits of his labor were reaped.

After all was said and done, the three pitchers who threw more cutters than anyone else in the majors last season—Haren, Halladay, and McCarthy—ended up finishing in the top ten among major league pitchers in FIP, a statistic that measures how a pitcher’s expected earned run average should look.

  • The Cutter’s Ascension to Power, as well as the Cutter’s Potential Demise Cutter pitches were thrown by 14 different starting pitchers and 16 different relievers more than 20% of the time in 2011, according to FanGraphs.
  • For the second time, 14 different starting pitchers (with a minimum of 70 innings pitched) are throwing the cutter more than 20% of the time, and 14 different relievers are also throwing it more than 20% of the time.
  • According to FanGraphs, right-hander Josh Beckett of the Boston Red Sox is one of the beginning pitchers who has increased his use of the cutter.
  • Since 2010, he’s been consistently tossing the ball.
  • In fact, it’s a trend that’s gaining momentum, and it’s a trend that should continue to gain momentum in the coming months and years.
  • Of course, the cutter is not suitable for everyone.
  • Haren himself admitted to SI that he had advised Weaver not to go too far with his experimentation: It has the potential to detract from your other pitches and cause you to lose your feel for the pitch.

You may notice a decrease in the velocity of your fastball.

He isn’t in need of it.

The lesson is straightforward.

If you are unable to, do not force it.

However, this is hardly the end of the world for hitters, nor is it a positive thing for them, either.

Louis Cardinals, he told Sports Illustrated: Everyone is now throwing cutters, and the more they throw them, the greater your ability to make corrections becomes.

Some are still good and unbeatable, but others aren’t quite as impressive.

Hitters have little option but to make the necessary modifications now that everyone is throwing a cutter in their direction.

The more they are exposed to it, the more accustomed they will become to cutter batters.

Hence, it is even more important for pitchers to begin using a cutter while the going is good. If you want to speak baseball, feel free to contact me over Twitter.

Slider vs. Cutter: Here’s the Difference

We rely on the generosity of our readers. If you make a purchase after clicking on one of our affiliate links, we may receive a commission. In addition, we get commissions from eligible Amazon sales because we are an Amazon affiliate. Mariano Rivera and John Smoltz both had Hall of Fame careers that included shutting out games in the 9th inning while their clubs were ahead in the standings. Smoltz accomplished this feat with his well-known wipeout slider, while Rivera accomplished it with his deadly cutter.

The difference between a slider and a cutter is the point at which the pitch breaks and how much it breaks.

In baseball, the slider is a variation of the curveball, while the cutter is a variation of the fastball.

What is a Slider?

Often thrown with greater velocity than a curveball but less velocity than a fastball, a slider is an offspeed pitch that breaks to the pitcher’s glove side and is delivered with less velocity than a fastball. When describing the break of an offspeed pitch, it is common to use the numbers on a clock as a visual cue. Using the example of a 12-6 curveball, it is a pitch that has a direct downward break. It appears to be breaking from the 12 o’clock position on the clock to the 6 o’clock position.

Using the same picture, a slider is commonly shaped as a 2-8 for a right-handed pitcher and as a 10-4 for a left-handed pitcher, according to Baseball Reference.

Here’s a video posted on Twitter by Rob Friedman, or “Pitching Ninja,” that demonstrates what a slider looks like and how it breaks apart.

What is a Cutter?

Cutting (also known as cut fastball) is an offspeed pitch that breaks to the pitcher’s glove side. A cutter is often thrown with more velocity than a slider but less velocity than a fastball and is delivered with greater velocity than a slider. The cutter often has the same 2-8 or 10-4 form as the slider, but there is considerably less of it. This is because the cutter is much smaller. While it emerges from the same tube as a pitcher’s fastball, the slider breaks far later than the fastball does.

“Depth” is the term used by pitching instructors to describe this downward break.

(See this video from YouGoProBaseball.com for a more in-depth explanation of depth and how it might be beneficial to pitchers). Unlike sliders, cutters have less depth than sliders, but they do have some depth that is meant to generate weak contact from hitters.

When Would a Pitcher Throw a Slider?

A good slider appears like a fastball when it comes out of the pitcher’s hand, but it breaks off before it reaches the batter at home plate. A slider is typically thrown by pitchers in instances where they feel the hitter is anticipating a fastball as a result of this belief. For the batter, the variation in speed and form of the pitch generates a great deal of uncertainty. The slider is sometimes referred to as a “swing-and-miss pitch” since it is so unpredictable. Most of the time, this occurs because the batter begins his swing at what he perceives to be a fastball, and by the time the pitch breaks, he is too far along in his swing to avoid being struck by it.

  • When the pitcher is ahead in the count (0-2 or 1-2), he will intentionally throw a pitch outside of the strike zone in an attempt to induce the hitter to chase it.
  • In contrast to the swing-and-miss or pursuit pitch, the slider can be utilized as a secondary pitch.
  • In order to induce the batter to freeze and accept the pitch for a called strike, this sort of pitch must be delivered repeatedly.
  • The objective here is to fool the batter into believing that the pitch is going to be a ball inside before it breaks in for a strike.

When Would a Pitcher Throw a Cutter?

Instead of being utilized as a swing-and-miss pitch, the cutter is most frequently utilized to induce poor contact from the hitter. It is similar to the slider in that it seems to be a fastball coming out of the pitcher’s hand then breaks late. As previously stated, the cutter is of the same design as a slider, albeit it does not have as much depth as the slider. Its lack of depth is what distinguishes it as a poor contact pitch rather than a swing-and-miss pitch in the first place. Cutter pitches are most often broken up after the batter has already committed to his swing, resulting in the ball flying beyond the sweet spot of the bat.

(This explains why pitchers who throw cutters tend to acquire a lot of broken bats on their hands.) Even yet, an above-average cutter has been known to induce some swings and missed pitches, as well as some called strikes, on occasion during a game.

Cutters are the most common type of pitching tool seen in a relief pitcher’s repertoire.

It is often most effective when used in conjunction with a fastball of high velocity, and since relievers these days are frequently required to pitch at high velocities, it is only natural for them to look for pitches that complement their own strengths and incorporate them into their pitch selection.

What Does a Slider Grip Look Like?

In the first place, there is no single correct method to grasp any pitch. Although there are considerable differences in slider grips, there are several characteristics that they all share. When it comes to throwing a slider, the middle finger and the thumb are the most critical fingers to use. When the middle finger is properly pressured, the pitcher is able to get on the side of the baseball and generate the glove side break on the pitch. The positioning of the pitcher’s thumb lets him to maintain control of the break.

It is via the use of the seams of the ball that the pitcher is able to produce the required spin on the pitch in order to get it to break.

On Twitter, Rob Friedman conducted an interview with Yankees pitcher Adam Ottavino regarding his slider grip.

It is explained how the angle of his wrist and the position of his fingers affect the break on his slider in the following video by the author.

What Does a Cutter Grip Look Like?

Even while the middle finger and thumb continue to play a vital part in holding a cutter, the index finger is becoming increasingly involved in this pitch. As a fastball variety, it is critical for the pitcher to maintain control of the baseball by remaining on top of it and slightly to the side of it. The index finger is utilized to assist in maintaining control of the ball. A cutter may be thrown in a variety of ways, just like any other pitch. A cutter is thrown by the majority of pitchers who employ their fastball grip and move their middle and index fingers together and slightly to one side of the ball when throwing their fastball.

Check out this video from Mariano Rivera, one of the greatest closers in baseball history, who demonstrates his cutter throwing technique.

Frequently Asked Questions

With its late break, Rivera’s cutter seemed to defy the rules of physics in some ways. He made it practically hard for batters to distinguish between his fastball and cutter since both pitches had the same amount of spin on the outside of the plate. This video shows the mechanics that allow him to deliver such a devastating pitch.

Are sliders and cutters safe for young pitchers to throw?

When thrown correctly, sliders and cutters are both safe pitches for inexperienced pitchers to throw. It is commonly assumed that throwing breaking balls at a young age might result in damage, and this is somewhat correct in some cases. Young pitchers are frequently unable of delivering breaking balls without rotating their wrists or elbows in order to cause the ball to break. The break in the pitch is created by the grip on the seams, rather than by the wrist snapping back and forth. The majority of coaches do not have confidence in their young pitchers’ ability to throw sliders or cutters accurately, so they just urge them to avoid throwing them completely.

Take a look at these more resources: What Is the Difference Between a Curveball and a Slider? What Is the Difference Between a Sinker and a Splitter? The Top 17 Slowest Major League Baseball Pitchers in History Is it possible for a pitcher to return to the mound in Major League Baseball?

What Is A Cutter Pitch In Baseball? [Filthy Fastball]

A cutter is also referred to as a cut fastball in some instances. Several alternative techniques of gripping a cutter are available to a pitcher. You may also look at our other articles on how to throw an eephus pitch and how to throw a sinker for further information. Using this method, you may expand the amount of pitches that are accessible to you!. The three cut fastball grip approaches will be discussed in detail later.

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The Cut Fastball Grip

After mastering the cutter, you may practice throwing it with two different cutter grips: gripping like a two-seam fastball and gripping like a four-seam fastball.

Grip Like a Two-Seam Fastball

Begin by grasping the ball as if it were a two-seam fastball. Using your index and middle fingers, press the baseball’s two narrow seams together until it snaps together. Then, move the two index and middle fingers slightly off center. The pitcher must make certain that his or her fingers are generally near to one another. In addition, you may arrange your middle finger such that it runs parallel to the seam or you can allow the seam to go directly through the center of your index and middle fingers.

  • Move your thumb over so that it makes a circle with your middle and index fingers, then release your thumb.
  • For the sake of clarity, let’s look at an illustration of a clock.
  • Finally, make a tiny adjustment to your wrist in the direction of your thumb.
  • For right-handed pitchers, your wrist would shift somewhat to the left, whereas your wrist would travel slightly to the right.
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  • “Wisecrack Edition” > “Wisecrack Edition”

Grip Like a Four-Seam Fastball

When you throw a four-seam fastball, you touch the ball four times in total — twice with the middle and index fingers, twice with the middle and index fingers, and once with the index finger. For starters, position the two fingers perpendicularly across the ball on the U-shaped seam, as shown in Figure 1. Second, move your fingers in the same manner as you would for a two-seam fastball. *** Maintain close contact between the fingers while sliding them to the right. As a bonus, apply extra pressure to the middle finger, which will be the last finger to make contact with the ball before releasing it.

Finally, make sure your thumb is in the appropriate place.

With addition, in this form of grip, you do not have to place the thumb in the same position as you would in the two-seam fastball version. All you have to do is make sure it’s a little bit off center. Obtain a grip that allows you to throw the cutter with the confidence of a professional pitcher.

How to Throw a Cutter

Listed below are recommendations for throwing a cutter, including the cutter grip, posture, and releasing. Pitchers in the league should release a cutter in the same manner as they would a fastball. When throwing a slider or a curveball, you should avoid snapping the wrists. In addition, your arm movement should be similar to that of a fastball delivery. It should result in natural spins being produced by your middle finger when you apply pressure to the outside of the ball with your index finger.

  1. Always keep your throwing grips hidden until you are ready to release the ball when you are playing baseball.
  2. Also, when you throw a sinker, make sure to completely extend your arm.
  3. Check out this video to learn more about Mariano Rivera and to see him demonstrate his skills.
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Throwing a Cutter – No Matter What Grip You Use

As a pitcher, you have a variety of grip options for your cutter. Regardless of whether you use a two-seam or four-seam fastball pitching approach, make sure you conceal your pitch with the glove. Do not show it to the batter since it will be simpler to forecast where the ball will land if he knows where it is going to. It is simple for a hitter to identify the pitch you are throwing since your middle and index fingers are close together and your thumb is off to the side. As a result, use caution.

  1. Avoid using any spin or snapping motions on your wrist when doing your motions.
  2. As the cutter pitcher, you should release the pitch by snapping your wrist down.
  3. The movement of a cutter is dictated by the arm side of the pitcher.
  4. Aside from that, the body crosses to the opposite knee to guarantee that the baseball is released at the optimum speed.
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The pitcher’s face lights up when he throws a good cutter in a game. In this section, you’ll find answers to some of the questions you might have about how to throw a cutter.

How did Mariano Rivera throw his cutter?

Rivera is well-known for his cut fastball pitch, which has a vicious cut to it. He grasped the ball by bringing his middle and index fingers together across the seam of the ball. If you want to have a flawless pitch, Rivera recommends applying pressure on your middle finger. The cut fastball pitch must have a four-seam fastball rotation, and you do not need to hold the pitch too tightly to get it to work. When done correctly, you will be able to throw the cutter like Mariano.

Is a cutter the same as a two seam fastball?

A cutter may be gripped in the same way as a two-seam fastball. The pitch, on the other hand, breaks in the opposite direction of a two-seam fastball, and the breaking action occurs late in the game as the ball approaches home plate.

What type of pitch is a cutter?

A cut fastball is a type of fastball pitch that falls within the category of fastball pitches. It travels at a high rate (95 to 105 miles per hour), similar to that of a fastball. Apart from that, a cutter ensures that the gripping style of four-seam and two-seam fastballs is maintained.

Is a cutter safe to throw?

Yes, throwing a cutter is risk-free for both young and experienced pitchers. With this technique, you will not injure your wrist or fingers, which are the most engaged portions of your body while throwing anything like this. Simply mastering the proper technique for releasing the cutter will ensure that your hand is protected.


Getting the hang of how to throw a cutter is important. When you practice, Mariano Riveracan become second nature. Once you have mastered the gripping approach and are comfortable with and confident in your ability to release the ball accurately, you will love this style of pitching. You will rise to the top of the baseball leagues as one of the finest pitchers if you use it. This page was last updated on

Cutters [and Sliders] w/ Roger McDowell & Randy St. Claire

Many baseball fans are familiar with the differences between a cutter and a slider, but what makes the two pitches so distinct is a mystery to many others. Roger McDowell and Randy St. Claire are well-versed in the intricacies of each. The Atlanta Braves and the Miami Marlins have hired them to be pitching coaches, respectively, after they were both big-league relievers. Recently, McDowell and St. Claire conducted separate interviews in which they explained the cutter — as well as the cutter’s hybrid cousin, the slider — in great detail.

Claire: It comes in on the left-handed hitter’s hands as he swings.

A slider is characterized by its rotation and, in most cases, a tight dot.

When hitting a cutter, the batter does not pick up on the ball’s rotation.

It is sliding to the right for left-handers, and it is sliding to the left for right-handers, respectively.

Cutters are contact pitches that cause batters to mishit the ball.” “Basically, you simply take a four-seam fastball and offset it,” McDowell explains.

You make a very little turn — I’m guessing it’s horizontal — before continuing.

A four-seam fastball would be gripped across the seams, and a cutter would be a small angle off the four seams; you get a natural movement from that without having to do anything at the end, like you would with a curveball or slider, which need a turn in your wrist at the finish of the pitch.

Claire explains.

It’s a pitch that takes some time to master, but there are always exceptions to the norm.

Another year or year and a half is required to learn for the other boys,” says the instructor.

When he throws a slider and doesn’t get on top of the ball, the slider has more of a cut movement to it than anything else.

Whether it’s in their delivery, where they throw across their body a little bit, or moving to their glove side, there’s a propensity for it to have some cut.

The lower arm slot is the most common type of slot.

Mariano Rivera is a cutter with a lower arm slot, while Carpenter or Wainwright has a higher arm slot, according to the stats on the page.

They’ve developed the appearance of a fastball throughout the years, thanks to their extensive expertise and ability to make such throws extremely precise.

Lefthanders such as Cliff Lee and Jon Lester are the ones that are throwing the cutter.

On our team, Tim Hudson throws the finest cutter of them all.

“I believe that you can throw a cutter from almost every arm slot.” CUTTER RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT “Most guys learn to use a cutter later in their careers,” says St.

There aren’t many people coming up from the lower levels that have cutters in their arsenal.

Guys who have been in the game for a long time will come up and throw it at the ball.

You start to get into the ‘How many pitches do you want a guy to develop?’ kind of thinking.

To develop five pitches takes time and effort, so you begin by honing two or three at the minor-league level and, as they grow, you may begin to incorporate the additional pitches.

Perhaps they are having difficulty getting balls into the hands of hitters, so they design a cutter to get the ball into the hitter’s hands.” “A lot of it has to do with the pitcher’s level of experience,” McDowell says.

It has depth, whereas the cutter often does not have depth.

Inexperienced young pitchers don’t usually have that insight.” Even in our minor-league system, we have some young pitchers who are learning how to use a cutter to improve their control.

A large number of young pitchers are looking forward to a break.

That is not how the pitch was intended to be used.

Similarly to a cutter, the goal is for the pitch until the last 10 feet to seem to be a fastball.

Claire says.

It’s simply that with a cutter, you can’t get away with a lot of wrist movement.

Their wrist movement is distinct from the point at which they begin to lose velocity on it. That is something you do not desire. When you start to lose velocity, it nearly feels like you’re playing with a slider. “They’re two completely distinct tones.”

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