Kyle Ryan might be the most interesting reliever the Cubs have called up in recent memory. I know that sounds weird since he didn’t even make the club out of camp and even his name is completely unassuming. But the reason I’m intrigued by Ryan is because of his unorthodox release point, which was on display when he struck out Milwaukee’s Eric Thames.
After seeing him pitch, I went to the data and had to blink a few times just to make sure I was seeing it correctly. Sure enough, Ryan’s release point on fastballs is more toward the first-base side than any other lefty in the sport. Wow.
It’s clear from that scatter chart that Ryan is off by himself, but we can really see just how unique he is with a different visualization. As you notice below, the distribution of all other lefties’ release points is way less towards the first base side than Ryan’s. It’s a mountain vs. molehills.
Of course, just having a unique release point isn’t enough. Showcasing strong command and effective sequencing is ultimately going to determine Ryan’s future with this club. The Cubs need bullpen help, and seeing these encouraging signs from Ryan at least gives me a little bit more hope.