The change-up is one of the best pitches in baseball that has the look of a fastball out of the hand., but deceives the batter with a slower speed & obvious vertical break.
When I was a starter that was a must needed pitch. You’d face hitters multiple times, but as a reliever, you’re trying to get quick outs and prevent runs. Facing the same hitter more than once isn’t too common unless you’re going multiple innings.
Fastball and slider. That’s my one-two punch.
I focused this offseason on the change-up. which I believed would be a vital pitch to have. During a throwing program one day in spring training, I started talking to Hiram Burgos about the change. The key thing he told me was pressure on the fingertips. I had good change but not consistent. Mentally I always thought pronation to get that “change-up rotation.”
Think fastball, let the grip work.
Coming out of quarantine I wanted to get a consistent release. Throwing it over and over into a net was the answer.
Bullpens can show you placement. You don’t know how it is unless you have a hitter in the box.
Once we started to throw live hitters it was the test.
Don’t overdo it. The key thing with any pitch is to not try to make the pitch nastier.
The change-up plays well off the fastball and makes the fastball look faster. Continuing to master this third pitch is a new test that will keep the batter thinking.
At the end of the day, my Fastball/slider combo is good, but in the Major Leagues, the hitters will adjust. I needed to give them one more thing to think about in the box.
And to still respect my fastball.