Mar 1, 2013, 10:30 PM EDT
Nationals starter Jordan Zimmermann, quietly one of baseball’s best pitchers last year, threw six change-ups in his latest spring training outing against the Atlanta Braves. Adam Kilgore writes that Zimmermann has been attempting to add the pitch to his repertoire since 2010, but just hasn’t felt good enough about it to make it a featured part of his arsenal. He’s very confident in it now.
Zimmermann allowed two earned runs on five hits, including a solo homer by Jason Heyward, and no walks while striking out four. He fired 39 strikes. Afterward, all he wanted to talk about was his changeup.
“It feels really, really good right now,” Zimmermann said. “I wanted to throw it about every pitch if I could, but I know that wasn’t the right thing to do. It’s definitely learning when to throw it, the right times. That’s the next step.”
Zimmermann thought all six changeups were “really good.”
Over his career, spanning 479.1 innings, Zimmermann has thrown 235 change-ups out of 7,684 total pitches (3%). Averaging 86 MPH, seven MPH slower than his fastball, opposing hitters have feasted on his change-up. Of the 63 put in play, 25 have been hits (a .397 average) including five doubles and a home run. Of 280 pitchers with at least 50 change-ups put in play since 2009, Zimmermann’s OPS allowed on change-ups ranks 259th. It has certainly been a work in progress. Since becoming a fixture in the Nationals’ rotation, the right-hander has relied on a fastball-slider-curve combination.
- Report: Zack Wheeler expected to make 2-3 starts in minors before joining Mets 15
- And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights 112
- Astros vendor brings snow cones into bathroom stall, gets fired 55
- Don Mattingly will still be the Dodgers’ manager on Friday 18
- Jake Westbrook feeling lingering discomfort in right elbow 8
- MLB is putting players in camouflage uniforms on Memorial Day. Which is kinda weird. (117)
- Barry Bonds: Miguel Cabrera is the best … but not as good as me (113)
- And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights (112)
- Las Vegas police investigating Jose Canseco as a suspect in sexual assault case (80)
- Albert Pujols doesn’t matter anymore (74)
- Watch LIVE: Sharks-Kings, Game 5
- PHT: Wings push Hawks to brink of elimination
- PHT: Kreider keeps Rangers alive | Highlights
- PBT: Hibbert says Battier's knee to groin intentional
- OlyTalk: Lochte says Phelps will return soon
- CSN: Francona returns to Boston | Legacy?
- Posnanski: Hornets more than a name to Charlotte