Much has been made of the Cubs’ acquisition of Eddie Butler. Jason McLeod said he is a perfect “change of scenery guy,” and Jed Hoyer confirmed that sentiment, going so far as to suggest Butler could benefit much like Jake Arrieta did when he came over from Baltimore.
The similarities between Arrieta and Butler, though, are scarce. The former is a dominant figure who whips sliders and curves across his body like no sane baseball instructor would teach, all while mixing in sinkers at velocities upwards of 97 MPH. He’s a freak. But there is one similarity between the two pitchers that makes you sit up and take note: slider velocity
Arrieta throws his slider faster than 98% of the league (90 MPH). Not far behind him is Butler, who throws his slider faster than 92% of his colleagues (88 MPH). Maybe this is what caught the Cubs’ eye. Despite the similarity, it’s important to keep in mind that Arrieta generates twice the movement Butler does in addition to those two extra ticks of velocity. Man, Arrieta is a freak.