Originally Posted by JB98
Meh. He may get there, he may not. What's important is his ability to command the cutter and change to right-handed hitters. If he can do that, he can get hitters out even if his velocity fluctuates in the 88-91 range.
We spend way too much time worrying about velocity on this board.
I agree; I get why people do place a lot of emphasis on it, it's a good overall indicator of health and it does have some value to watch velocity trends more than just one game's worth of data. That said, you're right, the difference between 88 MPH and 91 MPH is barely a millisecond to the hitter. At this level, command and movement are much more critical to a pitcher's success or failure. A well placed 88 MPH fastball is much more devastating than a 92 MPH beach ball over the heart of the plate.
If, in his first real baseball action since last May, he's getting his fastball up to 91, I'm not going to worry about a few 87 MPH heaters in the first inning. This is still a major step in his recovery.