Alex ColomeThe New York Yankees teed off on Alex Colome Sunday, hitting four home runs off of the young starter, and they may have had some help.

After the game, Colome and manager Kevin Cash noted that the Yankees seemed to be “right on his pitches, even ones he threw in unexpected counts,” according to Marc Topkin of TampaBay.com. In other words, the Yankees were a little too comfortable at the plate even on pitches that should have fooled most batters.

Cash was asked if he thought Colome was tipping his pitches.

“No, I don’t think so,” Cash told the media. “You scratch your head a little bit over some things.”

So if Colome wasn’t tipping his pitches, what would be the explanation. Cash suggested that Colome may not have the same difference in velocity between his fastball and off-speed pitches, suggesting it was easier for the Yankees to react to the different looks.

But is that the case? Here are the average velocities for Colome’s pitches from each of his three starts. The actual numbers are not as important as the distance between the green line and the other lines:

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All of his pitches have gotten a little faster. The differences between the fastball and the curveball and cutter haven’t changed much, if at all. The difference between the fastball and the changeup did go from 10.8 mph in his first start to 9.9 mph in start No. 2 to 9.2 mph on Sunday. Typically you just want to make sure the difference is more than 7-8 mph so I am not sure that dip is really that significant, but it can’t be ruled out either.

Still, the velocity evidence is far from overwhelming.

So, if Colome is not tipping his pitches and it is not the velocity, what else might lead a manager to “scratch [his] head a little bit.”

The only other logical possibility is that the Yankees were stealing signs.

Cash isn’t going to come out and say that without evidence. But he has been around the game long enough to know it can’t be ruled out.

It will be interesting to see if the Rays switch things up tonight.

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10 Comments

  1. David says:

    If the Yankees are cheating, just throw at them until they stop. Pretty simple.

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  2. edward williams says:

    What a yankee cheating, noooooo I don't believe it. lol

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  3. OriginalTom says:

    Is stealing signs considered cheating?

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    • Drew S says:

      No. Almost everyone attempts to do it. But some also get pissed when they find out someone stole their signs.

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  4. Alex says:

    Why is it that the Yankees are absolutely mauling the Rays every game this year? We used to make them look old and slow. Now they are teeing off on us

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    • Dave L says:

      We are missing our Kryptonite.

      Pitching.

      More specifically LHP. For years we have been able to throw 2 quality lefties in every series at the Yanks to nullify thier productive lefty bats.

      See all those balls being deposited in the Trop right field bleachers last night? Looked like New Yankee stadium jet stream.

      This year we are down zero quality LHP (starters) then later to a surgically repaired MM at maybe 80% effectiveness at best for a while and by the time he gains peak form, it may all be over but the crying.

      We need the LHP against NY and Boston specifically and thats why Smyly may be a more painfull loss than Cobb!

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  5. Mr. Smith 1980 says:

    This will not be a popular statement and it makes me gag to type it, but A-Rod's swing is absolutely flawless right now. The Phantom Cam shots of his HR were epic. In fact, I went and got my 2 eldest sons and played it for them over and over to show them how to load up, fire the hip, tuck the elbow and explode the hands. What a shame that he's become such a tool.

    There is a chance that they've got some sign-stealing going on, but it's just as likely that they are a group of highly experienced players who are still fresh early in the season and are mashing because they can make in at-bat adjustments.
    My assumption would be that as the season wears on they will wear out.

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    • edward williams says:

      I tend to think some people forget how great of a hitter arod was before all the roid stuff. Was he using when he was starting , I don't know but I do remember a great hitter. The same was said for Bonds, when he was a part of the killer b's, it is a shame what these gifted players did. Now you can't , well I can't help but look at any player that is mashing and think they are on roids. I always though that josh Hamilton was, what a waste of talent. GO RAYS!!!!

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      • Dave L says:

        Who says hes clean now?

        He's probably on some new exotic stuff nobody is looking for. The roiders always have better paid and creative pharmacologists than the testers and are always one step ahead. And Arod has more money than anybody in desperate need of an edge. He's on the same sh*t Papi is. Lance Armstrong never failed a test, remember.

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