Wednesday, March 26, 2014

C.J. Edwards Cubs Pitching Debut Analysis

I touted CJ Edwards a lot last year, so I figured I'd check out the Pitch Fx on his Chicago Cubs pitching debut to see what happened...

If you google CJ Edwards, all you'll see are articles talking about Edwards' nerves during his pitching debut on Tuesday.  I think the nerves show -- the Pitch Fx shows a kid who may have been a little overwhelmed on the big stage, lost control, then unsuccessfully tried to fix the lack of control with lowering his fastball velocity.  Nothing too earth shattering here, but it's just a little example of how checking out the PitchFx for a minute or two could give you a clearer picture of what happened.

In all, Edwards pitched:
2.2 IP - 4 H - 3 R - 1K / 3 BB
14 batters faced - combined to hit 4-for-9, 2 SF, 3 BB
49 pitches (26 strikes, 23 balls)
But, he was more wild than that:
16 pitches were in the zone vs. 33 that were out of the zone

38 FB - 11 in the zone
9 CU - 3 in the zone
1 CH - in the zone
1 SI - out of the zone

Edwards was fine in the first, topped out at 93 with his 4-seamer, needed only 5 pitches, and got an inning ending double play.

But, then the second inning rolled around:  Edwards topped out at 93/94 and gave up a leadoff single by Nady who reached third on an error.  This clearly rattled Edwards.  He doubled up on his curve and left the second one up and out over the plate (an awful pitch with a man on third, less than two outs), which resulted in a sac fly.  After that, Edwards couldn't find the plate.  His velocity dipped to the high 80's while he walked the next 2 on 9 pitches, as he may have been aiming for the zone, instead of throwing.  He ended up getting out of the inning, grounding out the #8 hitter and striking out the opposing pitcher.

In the third, hitters took advantage of getting ahead in the count.  Amarista fell behind to lead it off and flew out.  But then, Seth Smith singled on a 2-1 count, Blanks walked on 5 pitches, Nady doubled in a run on a 2-1 count, and finally Rivera knocked in a run on a 2-0 count.  The final two hits were on those slower 88 mph fastballs.

It was a disappointing outing, and I'd chalk it up to nerves.  He was all over the place...

CJ Edwards pitch location pitch fx

Mechanically, it looks like Edwards was ok, with consistent release points.

CJ Edwards release point pitch fx

He clearly has great stuff.  9.26 inch vertical upward movement on his fastball ranks right there with Matt Harvey's 4-seam FB 9 inch vert movement (average vert movement is probably about 7.5 inches for qualified SP)

Pitch Type Count Freq Velo (mph) pfx HMov (in.) pfx VMov (in.) H. Rel (ft.) V. Rel (ft.)

And here's the declining velocity (93 down to 89), probably caused by a conscious effort to get it over the plate.

CJ Edwards velocity

He still has plenty of talent, and a bright future.


  1. Awesome analysis. Can an analysis be done as well for hitters like this?

    1. Thanks. Sure. Any requests?

    2. Not at the moment. Maybe Bubba Starling if he fixes his swing could be an interesting analysis.Thanks Again