Skip to content

Stephen Strasburg wants his pitches to look less cool

Feb 18, 2013, 12:30 PM EDT

Stephen Strasburg

There’s a lot of piffle in spring training coverage. The old cliches we make fun of, a lot of empty talk about pitch tipping, adjustment-making, stance-tweaking and, of course, what kind of shape everyone is in. Rare, though, are the spring training stories that make you go “hmm, neat. I hadn’t considered that.”

Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post has one today, however, and it’s about how Stephen Strasburg is making some changes to his pitches. Specifically, he wants them to do what, to casual fans anyway, seems counter-intuitive for a pitcher with the kind of movement Strasburg puts on his pitches: he wants them to move and break less:

The crazy movement can be hell on hitters, of course. But the big breaks in his pitches also make it easier for batters to differentiate between them. When a pitch breaks a lot, it probably starts breaking early, allowing a hitter to follow its path to the plate. Strasburg would prefer to have his pitches move less, but with more purpose.

Just the kind of thing you don’t think about too much. Which makes for a “tweak in the mechanics” story that’s actually interesting and may have some impact on the season.

Latest Posts
  1. Pitchers batting is dumb and the DH should be universal

    Apr 26, 2015, 3:15 PM EDT

    adam wainwirght getty Getty Images

    And no, I don’t say that just because Adam Wainwright has been lost for the season due to an injury sustained while hitting.

  2. Dodgers place Yasiel Puig and Joel Peralta on the DL

    Apr 26, 2015, 2:58 PM EDT

    dodgers logo

    Two important Dodgers are now on the shelf.

  3. Max Scherzer doubtful for next start due to thumb injury

    Apr 26, 2015, 2:00 PM EDT

    scherzer getty Getty Images

    Scherzer jammed his right thumb during an at-bat Thursday afternoon against the Cardinals. It doesn’t sound like a serious injury, but the $210 million right-hander isn’t going to be rushed back.

  4. Jose Bautista hopes to return early this week

    Apr 26, 2015, 1:02 PM EDT

    jose bautista getty Getty Images

    Last week, it looked like Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista might be headed to the 15-day disabled list with a right shoulder strain. He has now missed five straight games, but the news Sunday was good …

  5. Navy lieutenant Mitch Harris made his MLB debut

    Apr 26, 2015, 12:15 PM EDT

    mitch harris getty Getty Images

    Cardinals right-hander Mitch Harris is the first graduate of the United States Naval Academy to appear in a major league game since 1921.

  6. Dodgers sign Mike Carp to minor league deal

    Apr 26, 2015, 11:29 AM EDT

    mike carp getty Getty Images

    The 28-year-old first baseman and outfielder will report to the Dodgers’ Triple-A affiliate in Oklahoma City.

  7. Brandon McCarthy left his start Saturday with tight elbow

    Apr 26, 2015, 10:40 AM EDT

    brandon mccarthy getty Getty Images

    Dodgers right-hander Brandon McCarthy called for a trainer immediately after serving up a three-run homer to Padres slugger Justin Upton in the bottom of the sixth inning Saturday night at Petco Park.

  8. Protesters converge on Oriole Park at Camden Yards

    Apr 26, 2015, 9:51 AM EDT

    ALCS - Kansas City Royals v Baltimore Orioles - Game One Getty Images

    It was a long, tense Saturday night at Baltimore’s Camden Yards, where the home team needed extra innings to beat the Red Sox inside the park and thousands of protesters angry over the death of Freddie Gray made their presence felt outside.

  9. It sure sounds like Adam Wainwright suffered a torn Achilles tendon on Saturday night

    Apr 26, 2015, 9:24 AM EDT

    adam wainwirght getty Getty Images

    The official word — for now — from the Cardinals is that ace right-hander Adam Wainwright left his start Saturday night against the Brewers because of a “left ankle injury.” But watch the video for yourself …

  10. Settling the Score: Saturday’s results

    Apr 26, 2015, 8:37 AM EDT

    ryan braun getty Getty Images

    It’s getting uglier and uglier for the Brew Crew.

  11. Hisashi Iwakuma has a Grade 1 lat strain, will miss 2-4 weeks

    Apr 25, 2015, 11:05 PM EDT

    Hisashi Iwakuma Hisashi Iwakuma

    Hisashi Iwakuma could miss up to a month after being diagnosed with a Grade 1 strain of his right lat muscle.

  12. Alex Rodriguez was impressed by Matt Harvey in Saturday’s loss

    Apr 25, 2015, 10:15 PM EDT

    Alex Rodriguez Getty Images

    Alex Rodriguez is one of many major leaguers Matt Harvey has impressed.

  13. Adrian Beltre sent Garrett Richards an invoice for three broken bats

    Apr 25, 2015, 9:25 PM EDT

    Adrian Beltre Getty Images

    Adrian Beltre humorously sent an invoice to Garrett Richards for the three bats he broke on Friday.

  14. Play of the Day: Freddy Galvis makes superb diving grab and throw for the out

    Apr 25, 2015, 8:52 PM EDT

    Freddy Galvis Freddy Galvis

    Freddy Galvis threw his hat into the ring as an early contender for Play of the Year.

  15. Adam Wainwright exits Saturday’s start with an apparent Achilles injury

    Apr 25, 2015, 8:37 PM EDT

    Adam Wainwright Adam Wainwright

    Adam Wainwright suffered an apparent Achilles injury after hitting a pop-up in Saturday’s game against the Brewers.

  16. Joel Peralta dealing with a “dead arm”, could go on the disabled list

    Apr 25, 2015, 8:05 PM EDT

    Joel Peralta Getty Images

    The Dodgers’ thin bullpen could get even thinner if Joel Peralta needs to go on the disabled list.

  17. Rays designate Allan Dykstra for assignment

    Apr 25, 2015, 7:10 PM EDT

    Allan Dykstra Allan Dykstra

    The Rays designated slugger Allan Dykstra for assignment to make room for Everett Teaford on Saturday.

  18. Video: Kevin Plawecki connects for his first major league home run

    Apr 25, 2015, 6:15 PM EDT

    Kevin Plawecki Getty Images

    Watch Kevin Plawecki swat his first major league homer.

  19. Jose Fernandez ready to face hitters for first time since Tommy John surgery

    Apr 25, 2015, 5:01 PM EDT

    Jose+Fernandez+Miami+Marlins+v+San+Diego+Padres+x1Pnh0XpK7ol Getty Images

    The Marlins have stumbled out of the gate with a disappointing 6-11 record, but they entered play today on a three-game win streak and here’s some good news about their rehabbing ace.

Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. J. Hamilton (4415)
  2. A. Russell (3789)
  3. D. Smyly (3479)
  4. D. Travis (3437)
  5. B. Zobrist (3353)
  1. D. Mesoraco (3113)
  2. Y. Puig (3013)
  3. M. Wieters (2966)
  4. M. Saunders (2959)
  5. J. Bautista (2928)