Milwaukee Brewers starter Shaun Marcum is holding opposing batters to a .218 wOBA on his cutter, fourth lowest among all pitchers that have thrown the pitch at least 150 times in 2011. Marcum is throwing it at about the same rate as he did last year, but with much better results.
In 2010, Marcum threw 466 cutters and batters hit .244 with a .407 slugging percentage off them. Overall, they put up a .293 wOBA against Marcum’s cutter last season. This season, however, Marcum has already thrown 587 cutters and batters are hitting just .173 against them with a miniscule .228 SLG.
One of the biggest reasons for the improvement has been a reduction in home runs coming off the pitch. Last season, Marcum had an 8.2% HR/FB rate on his cutter; this season it is down to just 1.8%, as he’s yielded just one cutter induced HR in 177 plate appearances decided on the pitch.