May 22, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Cole (45) pitches against the New York Mets during the fifth inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Gerrit Cole’s slider took a step forward in the Mets start, For the 2015 season, Cole’s slider has an average x-mov (Horizontal movement) of 3.2, yet on May 22, the slider was moving in on right handed batters at a 4.0 rating, which is at an elite level for a slider. Cole threw the filth 28 times in the outing, garnering 19 strikes in the process, making it a highly effective pitch that batters did not know what to do with. The Mets offered at the slider 13 times yet only put it in play twice. What more can you ask for in a secondary pitch?
As I said in my previous piece on Cole’s slider, by developing a secondary go-to pitch in addition to his fastball this early in a career speaks volumes of Cole’s ability and prospect of maintaining the elite level he is approaching.
In addition to fooling most Mets batters, Cole did a great job of neutralizing the big boys in the New York lineup.
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