The slutter is real, and it’s fabulous. But the somewhat-new MLB term gave Atlanta Braves analyst Jeff Francoeur some pause Thursday night.
While MLB’s rules are changing and modernizing, so are some of the sport’s pitches. The sport that uses terms such as WHIFF, VORP and LIPS, is also giving credence to the word “slutter.” It’s a pitch that’s considered a combination of a slider and a cutter, the type of breaking ball that has more horizontal movement than vertical. The slutter!
The pitch is also commonly known as the “sweeper.” But when the Atlanta Braves scoreboard at Truist Park opted to label the pitch a “slutter” during the seventh inning of their game against the San Diego Padres Thursday night, it caused Francoeur to proceed with caution.
Padres pitcher Steven Wilson relies heavily on the ol’ Slutter. pic.twitter.com/dr9poyyeyB
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) April 7, 2023
“That’s an interesting term for the sweeper,” Braves play-by-play voice Brandon Gaudin said as the Bally Sports Southeast camera zoomed in on the scoreboard.
“Well, I saw that, and I didn’t know if I was supposed to say that on TV,” Francoeur added.
Francoeur is the analyst who ignored biting at Gaudin’s joke about men wishing they were more well-endowed earlier this week on a Braves broadcast. Surely, he was going to hesitate before uttering the dirty-sounding pitch on live TV.
For many baseball fans, Thursday night was the first time they heard of the innuendo-filled pitch, believing Truist Park fell victim to some sort of typo when they plastered “slutter” all over their scoreboard. But the term slutter has been used to describe the hybrid pitch since at least 2007, when then Boston Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon debuted his slider-cutter combo.