Who doesn’t love a sidearm pitcher?
Adam Cimber came to us in a trade from the Marlins, along with Corey Dickerson for Joe Panik and Andrew McInvale. I think we can safely call the trade a win unless Andrew McInvale becomes a better player than I’m imagining. Panik? Well, he hit .172/.241/.221 in 53 games for the Marlins.
Cimber pitched in 39 games for the Jays and had a 1.69 ERA. He had a short lousy stretch. Over seven games, he allowed 6 runs, 4 earned, in 5.2 innings. Other than that, he was pretty amazing.
On the season, batters hit .234/.294/.310 against him. And, in his time with the Blue Jays, batters hit .226/.260/.307.
Generally, right-handed sidearm pitchers are much better against right-handed batters. Career RHB have had a .640 OPS, and LHB have had a .810 against Cimber, which is pretty standard. But this year, Adam was slightly better vs. LHP (.575 OPS) than RHP (.619). Maybe a sample size issue.
PECOTA figured Cimber to pitch in 56 games with a 4.50 ERA. Personally, if he has an ERA that high, I can’t see him pitching in that many games. But then I’d like to think he won’t post the worst ERA of his MLB career.
Sometimes I wonder why we don’t see more sidearm pitchers. They seem to have good success. They tend to be able to pitch in a lot of games. The large splits they tend to have might have some to do with it. But I think it is likely that it seems to be what pitchers try as a last resort. When they are failing to climb up the minor league ladder, that’s when some try it.
But then, they have to be convinced that they aren’t going to make the majors without a drastic change, and they have to have success with the new method pretty quickly since teams won’t have all that much patience. Part two is that pitching coaches tend to know how to help pitchers with more normal windups. Cimber has said that he calls his dad when he needs a little help with his windup.
And, of course, sidearm pitchers don’t tend to light up the radar gun. Adam averaged 87.1 MPH on his fastball this year. That isn’t going to excite a front office.
So, your average sidearm pitcher has a bit of an uphill battle to make it to the majors. But then some of my all-time favourite pitchers have been sidearm pitchers: Kent Tekulve, Mark Eichhorn, Dan Quisenberry (when he wasn’t pitching against the Jays), Chad Bradford and my father in law (well, he wasn’t a pitcher, but he threw sidearm).
There is a cute line in a FanGraphs story about Cimber. His ‘sinker’ arrives at the plate five inches higher than where it was when he released it. The pitch maybe needs a different name.
If the over/under on Cimber’s games pitched is 56 games I’d take the
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If the over/under on Cimber’s ERA is 4.00 I’d take the
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This may have been the best moment of the season: