“It’s the second-best pitch in baseball after the fastball” said Braves catcher Gerald Laird, when talking about the change-up. The arm action is the same as a fastball, the seams come out looking the same, there’s not many release point clues that it’s coming, and then “the ball is just not there.”?
For the first extended period of time, Ervin Santana and Gavin Floyd both feel comfortable with their change-ups. Both starters — acquired by the Braves over the winter — had unconventional offseasons in which they made mechanical adjustments on their own, and both have similar mechanics that may have made it harder for them to develop the pitch before now. But both are trying something new this year.
First, let’s take a look at their new change-ups. Jeff Sullivan wrote about Santana’s in-game strategy with the pitch, so we’ll build from there.
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