Paxton's Foshball
Zeus has a few hidden bolts for the AL in 2017


Lookout Landing has an article up on James Paxton.  This creates three reasons to call EDITOR'S CHOICE on it:

(1)  Anything about Zeus, very obviously

(2)  Lookout Landing

(3)  The intersection of Zeus and Lookout Landing

Mr. Novak starts out on the right track by noting that James Paxton was #5 in both leagues for WAR per start which means, if I understand the implication, that Paxton pitched good.  

Pitched good LAST year.  Novak then accelerates onto his correctly-grokked destination by declaring Paxton a "juggernaut."  Myriad sabermetric analysis lines ensue.  We encourage such attitudes about James Paxton.

Now, as you know, there is one place to grok a Unified Theory of Everything and you are currently in it.  But there is nothing wrong with simple chemistry, either, and Dr. D would not have you ignorant of the more primitive forms of science out there.  So, 'ave at it.  The article, that is.



LL did post one image that breaks news to even you, the estimable SSI reader.  It was Paxton's foshball location:



All of a sudden it hit me!  Paxton's natural foshball location is gloveside in the dirt!  Which, yeah.  In your own mind's eye you will remember how low, and how inside, to righties he threw that thing all year.  "Natural" means when you do it wrong, that's what happens accidentally.

Just to prove to you that the above graphic was not posted by a spambot, we will point out that little place where it says "against RHH and LHH."  Say what?  He used the exact same location against either kinda hitter?!

Just to prove to you that we take your intelligence as lightly as does a spambot, we will remind you that left hand hitters are not going to do anything with a low-away offspeed pitch even if they guess it.  And, Aroldis Chapman travails notwithstanding, he same tends to be true for righties also.  They can't get their arms extended to put the ooooomph into a pitch that isn't supplied by the pitcher.  Mortar shots on offspeed happen on those that hang, spin, and are otherwise in a batter's eyes.


Zeus' mushy little 90-MPH foshball is not going to be the reason that he leaps three more plateaus, AFTER posting a WAR rate in excess of Scherzer's, Kluber's and Sale's.  I'm saying *HE'S ALREADY GREAT.*  :: seth rogen ::

The fosh isn't his key.  But slap me silly, what a firewall that pitch is for him.

Here is a video of Zeus using that other pitch, the one that is actually going to be the reason he leaps a couple of the three coming plateaus.  Enjoy.

Be Afraid,

Dr D




It still annoys me that you call it a foshball, Doc. :)  The fosh was coined when it was David Cone pitching, and that pitch, in particular, was a blend of forkball/change-up.  FO-CH.  Fosh.  That pitch ran armside and down...not gloveside and down.  Slashball makes WAY more sense...SL being how they refer to's a cutter with some extra sink...a slider that's a bit flatter but has more gloveside run.  Plus...slash is way cooler than fosh.

But w/r/t the slashball, the key about that pitch isn't that it is his best pitch...the key is that he commands it beautifully and effortlessly and that it is a vastly more reliable pitch than the hammer curve.  The hammer, we say, is a better pitch, but if he didn't have the slashball, he would be volatile and prone to walks and's hard to be consistent with a curveball and the umpires frequently screw you if you throw it too much.  The thunderbolt is Paxton's second pitch, but good hitters can square it up if he doesn't have a second pitch that slashball to guarantee that he always has two pitches.


:: slaps head :: THAT's the image I was trying to come up with, a la 



Get across the ideas that it's not the most visually attractive thing in the world.  And that it's only going to be blonked, not struck.

SLASH ball is way cooler but may give the pitch more credit than it deserves.  Of course Paxton's cutter is not held with an actual fosh grip.  Also, with the revelation that it's a Charmander-type rake across the strike zone, maybe that flies.

Taking suggestions in the Semantics Dept.  ...


His Slashball gets recorded as a cutter by Pitch F/X and Inside Edge...but it is enormously valuable.  His fastball is league average for's SUPER-fast but it doesn't have much run.  Having the thunderbolt gives the slashball more life, obviously, but it's a great pitch for him...not merely a cute/useful/good pitch.

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