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New York Yankees Unlocking Brandon McCarthy’s Potential with 1 Pitch?

July 19th, 2014 at 7:26 PM
By Michael Moraitis

Brandon McCarthy had a sensational outing for the New York Yankees versus the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday, and it might be the result of adding one more pitch to his reportoire.

The pitch McCarthy added was the cutter. Yankees fans know this pitch well after the legendary career of Mariano Rivera was built on it. The team's current closer, David Robertson, learned from Mo and now uses the pitch himself.

Strangely enough it seems McCarthy was discouraged from using his cutter is Arizona. The Yankees were intent on bringing it back, per Bryan Hoch of MLB.com:

With the Diamondbacks, McCarthy posted a 5.01 ERA before coming to the Bronx. In two starts with the Yankees, McCarthy is 1-0 with a 1.42 ERA.

Chad Jennings of the LoHud Yankees Blog points out that McCarthy didn't have good numbers at Yankee Stadium in the past, so there are a few positive takeaways from just one start:

Despite what his ERA said, McCarthy did show some upside in his advanced statistics, which painted a slightly different picture of the 31-year-old than what was shown on the surface.

The only things that have changed for McCarthy since leaving the desert are his address and the fact that he is throwing his cutter again. That leaves motivation and/or the pitch itself as the reasons for McCarthy throwing two of his best starts of the 2014 season in consecutive trips to the mound.

Could it be a fluke? Of course that's always an option this early in the process and McCarthy's hot streak did start in his last two outings for Arizona, but Yankees catcher Brian McCann thinks McCarthy is as good as he's looked in two starts in pinstripes and can keep it up every fifth day:

Just by watching McCarthy you can tell he has better stuff than who the Yanks traded for him, Vidal Nuno. Erik Boland of Newsday shared what a National League scout said after the deal was done:

If he keeps this up, McCarthy could end up being a key piece to his team's postseason run and the potential steal of the century that cost the Yankees nothing.

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Tags: Baseball, Brandon McCarthy, Brian McCann, Cincinnati Reds, MLB, New York, New York Yankees, Vidal Nuno, Yankee Stadium

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