Taking a deep dive into CJ Van Eyk’s first outing in 619 days

Ryley Delaney
1 year ago
619 days.
The last time CJ Van Eyk pitched in a professional baseball game was 619 days before Sunday’s return to action with the Single-A Dunedin Blue Jays.
The 24-year-old right-handed pitcher threw his last baseball on August 26th, before receiving Tommy John surgery on his right elbow, as he stated in an interview with CsPlusBaseball’s Niall O’Donohoe.

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The 2020 second-round pick made his return with the Dunedin Blue Jays on Sunday. Let’s take a look at the play-by-play of that game.

Taking a deep dive on Van Eyk’s first game of 2023:

He generated a swing and miss against the first batter he faced. On the fourth pitch, the batter lined out to right field. Van Eyk walked the next batter on six pitches, before getting the next batter to flyout. Up next was Carlos Aguiar, who singled to Jaden Rudd. Danny De Andrade, who had walked, made a foolish decision to run on Jaden Rudd, who threw him out at third.
In the second inning, he got Minnesota prospect Ricardo Olivar to ground out. The next batter struck out looking on a 92.6 mph pitch which Savant considers a curveball, but it was likely the fastball with a ton of sink. The next batter reached on an error, before Van Eyk generated his second ground out of the inning.
In the third inning, Van Eyk got a flyout, before Jorel Ortega had the only extra-base hit of the inning. A wild pitch and a walk put runners on the corners with one out, before the 24-year-old got a timely ground ball to end the third inning and his first outing in 619 days.

The metrics:

Anytime you can confuse Baseball Savant into thinking you are throwing a 93.9 mph curveball, you’re doing something right.
Van Eyk threw 25 fastballs, which averaged 92 mph. Moreover, the hardest fastball he threw was 94.4 mph, which also had the highest spin rate of 2292 RPM. The slowest fastball was at a velocity of 89.7 mph.
The right-handed pitcher also threw 12 curveballs (Baseball Savant says 31, but it’s wrong). There wasn’t one curveball with a vertical break below 50 inches, as the lowest was 52 inches. Moreover, the most drop he got on the pitch was just a tick under 60 inches, and he maxed out at 81.5 mph with the secondary.
The 24-year-old also used 12 slider. It sat anywhere from 82.2 mph to 86.2 mph and generated his highest spin rate of 2413 RPM.
Furthermore, Van Eyk only generated two swings and misses the entire game. One on an 86.2 mph slider, and the other on a 92.2 mph heater.
Overall, it was a good 2023 debut for Van Eyk and if I had to guess, he’ll find his way to Double-A before the season ends.
As always, you can follow me on Twitter and Instagram @Brennan_L_D.


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