Everyone remembers their first and major league players are no different when it comes to their accomplishments on the diamond. No one is going to forget Slade Cecconi’s first strikeout with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The entire sequence will live on in Twitter highlights and, possibly, blooper reels. Cecconi had fired a fastball that rode in on Lamonte Wade Jr., a pitch that was originally determined to have hit the outfielder. However, on review, the pitch hit the knob of Wade’s bat before striking catcher Jose Herrera in the crotch. Or the glove, as the umpire stated after review.
Slade Cecconi’s first strikeout painful for Arizona Diamondbacks catcher Jose Herrera
It was certainly interesting that the ball just stuck to Herrera’s pants after he was struck in the groin. It just sat there, even while Herrera was moving, before he put his hand over to the ball to show it never touched the ground. Cecconi probably should have been checked for foreign substances right then. While that ball was likely saved for Cecconi, he may not have wanted to touch it considering where it got stuck.
That pitch overshadowed what was a solid debut. Cecconi allowed two runs on four hits and a walk over his 4.2 innings, striking out two batters. One could see a respectable major league debut in the offering despite his 6.38 ERA and 1.379 WHiP over his 103 innings. His peripheral numbers, including a 9.1 K/9 and a 2.5 walk rate, showed his potential. The problem is that the Pacific Coast League is an offensive haven, making even strong pitchers seem pedestrian.
It remains to be seen as to what the future holds. Cecconi is a solid prospect who is considered to have a plus slider and a fastball and curve that should be at least average. He has the profile of someone who should be a solid back of the rotation starter. It is a matter of continuing that momentum going forward.
Slade Cecconi had a solid debut for the Arizona Diamondbacks. However, his first career strikeout was unforgettable.