You know how every year, half the pitching staff shows up to camp and claims they’ve learned a new pitch/improved grip/better motion/magic secret? And you know how, every year, it turns out to be hogwash, and they pitch like the same guy they have always been?
Well, it doesn’t always turn out that way. Just most of the time. However, throughout spring training, Jarrod Washburn kept talking about how he’d worked on his change-up and how he thought it had come a long way. Today, he had a chance to back it up – and he did.
Of the 96 pitches he threw, 20 of them were change-ups, all of them to right-handed batters. He got the following results:
Called Strikes: 4
Swinging Strikes: 2
Just watching on MLB.tv, his change had more movement than I ever remember seeing. He did a good job of keeping it down in the zone, and it was a quality off-speed pitch for him today. The Twins line-up isn’t very good, especially against LHP, so don’t go overboard in extrapolating from this, but so far, he’s provided at least some glimmer of hope that his off-season fix might actually be true.