Rookie reliever Esmailin Cardidad has thrown 225 pitches for the Cubs, so it's now time to dive into his stuff a little more. Updated plate location graphs at the bottom of the post
Caridad has been on the radar screen pretty much since he came over from the Hiroshima Carp, which was after the NPL's 2007 season. Caridad's big splash, for me, came in the Arizona Fall League in 2008.
Working out of the Iowa Cubs rotation, Cardidad did well against Triple-A competition in 2009 (7.8 K/9, 3.1 B/9, 1.2 HR/9). It earned him two separate call-ups and plenty of chances to show his stuff. Working out of the bullpen, he's had even better success (8.2, 1.3, 0.0).
His stuff is not hard to figure out. Labeling his breaking ball is rather subjective. Caridad's bread-and-butter is 93-95 mph fastball. He also employs a sinker, thrown more to lefties, and the aforementioned slider. The slider is really the out pitch to lefties, but will be used early in counts against righties.
The slider runs in the upper 70s, is a little loopy and a lot sweepy. OK, I may be making up words, but take a look at what I mean.
He rarely throws the change-up, just five of them. It runs about 85 mph.
He likes to work up, but no one has taken him deep yet. Yet.
That's a good, effective fastball. No matter how you slice it.