How To Throw A Cutter

By Steven Ellis former Chicago Cubs pitching pro

Al Leiter and Mariano Rivera bury hitters with their cutters.

The cutter is a sort of half-fastball and half-slider pitch that moves horizontally to the pitching-arm side of the plate. In other words, the pitch "cuts," which is why the cutter is also called the cut fastball.

One of the most important aspects of how to throw a cutter is that there isn't any snapping of the wrist involved with this cousin of the slider. This pitch is basically the opposite of the sinker - you will throw the outside of the baseball.

Again, throw this pitch with your fingers over the seams.

Most pitchers concentrate too much on the break of their cutter. They will snap the wrist, which results in a loss in velocity. Doing that results in a slider.

For a true cutter, like Mariano Rivera's cut fastball, add extra pressure on your middle finger when released. You can even place your finger a bit off centered, to the outside.

Then, when you throw a cutter, you want to follow through so that your fingers go past your landing leg and your thumb is on the outside of your body.

If you concentrate on this follow through, this will force you to through the outside of the ball, making this a very effective pitch.

Conclusion with how to throw a cutter or cut fastball: Most baseball pitching coaches teach the follow through with the fingers going down, then up. Yet this will not give you any movement, making your fastball very vulnerable. When throwing a cutter, the reverse - fingers in, thumb out.

You can try alternating when you practice pitching a cutter.


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