Mandatory Drabek Observations

Courtesy of day life

The only person to take me up on my offer to watch the game chez moi was none other than the Nemesis Enforcer himself. His ETA was a little after game time, which was no problem thanks to the wonders of PVR, but meant I had to resist the urge to open Twitter and not respond to the 3 text messages I got asking me if I was watching.

My observations of the centre piece in the Halladay deal will be purely from a catcher's perspective. Here goes:

First off, the kid can move the ball. With respect to his fastball, I saw 3 different kinds.

The 4 seamer: straight and flat in the mid 90's.
The cutter: breaks in on left handed batters in the mid 90's.
The 2 seamer: breaks in on right handed batters in the mid 90's.

He threw these pitches early and often. Breaking bats and getting guys to look like basically Minor Leaguers. I especially liked the cutter, which did look like a slider at times.

He did not throw his curveball nearly enough early on, which I think we can attribute to the fact that John Buck had NO CHANCE of catching it. Dirty, filthy, sick, nasty.....call it whatever you want. A tight 12 - 6 break on it and appeared to be difficult to pick up by the hitters. Definitely his best pitch with big time swing and miss potential.

I only saw about 3 change ups all night. They looked straight and sat at about 86 - 87 MPH. 

Much was made by the announcers during the pre game and the game itself about his Cy Young award winning dad and what advice he may have passed along before the start. Here is what I think Doug said to Kyle: "son, you had better keep the ball down in the zone" 

The only pitch I saw that missed it's spot up, was the homer that Vernon brought back to earth off the bat of Adam Jones.

I do have a few things that I think may need to be worked on, although much of them can probably be attributed to nerves.

1: Holding runners on

Both Bautista and Buck had to gently remind our young fireballer to vary his times to the plate. The double steal in the first inning by Baltimore was evidence of this. You cannot, under any circumstances, get into a rhythm with runners on base. To his credit, Kyle was able to correct this very quickly.

2: Throwing the pitches he wants to throw, when he wants to throw them

I only saw him shake off his catcher once. And that was in order to throw the curve for a strike out. I totally understand why he was hesitant to do this but as he becomes more comfortable and familiar with the league, look for this to change.

3: Maintaining his velocity

From what I can see, his velo was down about 2 - 3 MPH by the 5th inning. It is the end of the season and this is common.


Overall, a wonderful performance from where I was sitting even though he took the loss. I think the hype may be warranted and I will most definitely be in attendance for his game against the Mariners at the Dome.

And you should be too.


  1. His stuff looks like ace material to me. Changing his sequences will definitely have to happen for him to succeed so he'll need to throw his secondary stuff for strikes early in the count.

    I was more than happy with everything. I believe he's a number one within two years. He's that special. That's my totally unqualified opinion that you can bank on.

  2. @Mattt,
    I think you are onto something right there bro. When he is able to show that curveball early in the count, the fastball will seem even harder.

    If I pull out the crystal ball, it tells me Morrow and Drabek are 1 and 2 in the rotation real soon. Certainly not next year but it's something to look forward to.....

  3. It's all but impossible not to be excited by this kid.

  4. I noticed a few different things in his start. I noticed his cutter was sitting around 91-92 most of the game, didn’t see the 4 seamer much, and his changeup looks like it does have some sink and tail action, but doesn’t look like he can command the pitch yet. Also, what I thought was a slider I guess could’ve been a slower cutter, as I saw the occasional 88-89 on the radar gun.
    But all in all, amazing stuff. This kid is truely going to be special. And looks like his command is already MLB ready.
    Oh, and lest we forget, but wasn’t that the shortest Jays game of the season? 1hr 55mins. Halladayesque (not that I’m trying to compare, or anything)

  5. @bleaf,
    He does look as advertised. You gonna check him out in person tomorrow or what? I got 1 voucher left and I think it's time I score a game from behind home plate. No booze, no heckling.....just baseball.

    Solid observations sir. Kyle threw a few pitches in the high 80's that appeared to be change ups. Coulda been a 2 seamer or cutter that he took something off of.
    Looking forward to seeing him in person and hearing the seams of the ball cut threw the air.