Throwing a cutter involves pitching a four-seam fastball with a grip that is adjusted slightly off-center, allowing the baseball to cut away from the bat's barrel. Although a cutter grip is slightly different from a fastball grip, the mechanics of the pitch are similar.
- Grip the baseball
Place the index and middle finger over the baseball so that the middle finger lies across a U-shaped seam. Move the thumb up a little so it is on the inside of the ball rather than on the bottom. If the pitch results in elbow pain, leave the thumb on the bottom of the ball to avoid stress on the elbow.
- Hold the ball loosely
As you prepare to pitch, hold the ball loosely, providing a small space between the ball and the palm. This light grip keeps the ball from rubbing your hand as it leaves, giving the pitch maximum speed.
- Release the pitch
Begin the pitch with your normal fastball windup. As you approach the follow-through, use the middle finger to apply slight pressure on the ball. Snap the wrist as you release the ball. With these grip and release techniques, the ball approaches the batter like a fastball and cuts away from the barrel just as the pitch reaches the plate.