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Darren O’Day’s Slider and the Nastiest Pitches From 3/13-3/14

Nasty pitches from over the weekend.

During spring training, the We Love Baseball crew is warming up for the regular season with nastiest pitches updates three times a week. The camera angles for some of the spring training broadcasts don’t help present the true nastiness of the pitches chosen. We are doing the best we can to accentuate the nastiness with the available resources.

We want to bring you the highest caliber of nastiness possible, so if you see a nasty pitch, please tell us about it. You can tweet @PitcherList to let us know and we’ll give you a shout-out here in the article if your tip makes the cut.

As a bonus for PL+ members, let us know about a pitch on the PL+ Discord in the Nasty Pitches Channel, and if your suggestion is included the next day, you’ll be entered into a weekly drawing for a free T-shirt!

 

Darren O’Day’s Slider

 

Darren O’Day’s slider is mostly nasty because of O’Day’s sidearm delivery. On this pitch, Pirates catcher Tony Wolters did not anticipate the lateral movement of O’Day’s slider. Wolters was so misguided that he struck out swinging on a pitch that ended up hitting him. At first glance, it appears the pitch hits Wolters on the fleshy party of his thigh, but Wolters was actually hit in the groin area. This GIF shows what I imagine is the worst way to possibly strike out.

 

Zach Eflin’s Sinker

 

Zach Eflin spotted his late-breaking sinker well this past weekend, and the Phillies’ spring training camera angle provides a stellar view of the pitch. Eflin was able to get hitters to give up on a pitch that finds its way back to the strike zone.

 

Brandon Workman’s Knuckle-Curve

 

Brandon Workman is an effective late-inning reliever when he’s able to throw his power curveball for strikes. Hitters can sit on Workman’s fastball when his curveball stays in the dirt. This offering by Workman to start the inning is more than a show-me breaking ball. Workman throws the pitch hard and with a sharp, late drop that batters have trouble predicting.

 

Aroldis Chapman’s Splitter

 

Aroldis Chapman is the only pitcher I know who decided to add a third pitch right before the playoffs. Chapman replaced his ineffective changeup with a splitter last September. Statcast hasn’t caught up yet and still classifies this pitch as a slider, but Aaron Boone confirms during his in-game interview that the pitch is a splitter. Boone calls the pitch “a 90 MPH knuckleball.” A 90 mph knuckleball is just about the scariest thing I’ve ever heard.

 

Shohei Ohtani’s Slider

 

Shohei Ohtani hit two home runs Monday after a subpar pitching performance this weekend. Ohtani missed plenty of bats, but also got hit around more than a little bit. Ohtani has the potential to be a 5-6 WAR player if he puts it all together on the mound and with the bat. Ohtani has top-of-the-line stuff, as this slider to Yermin Mercedes shows. Mercedes could only shake his head and pay respect to Ohtani after swinging through this pitch. (Thanks to PL+ user Christopher Reeves for the tip.)

 

Frankie Montas‘ Sinker

 

After an injury-plagued 2020, Frankie Montas seems to be healthy and ready to roll in 2021. All of Montas’ pitches move, but his hard sinker is my favorite. Montas can dial his sinker up to 97 mph with sharp movement. Tim Anderson was ready to turn on a low and inside fastball, but the ball kept moving off the player on off his bat for the swinging strikeout. I wish the camera angle gave the nastiness of the pitch true justice.

 

Dylan Bundy’s Changeup

 

Dylan Bundy elevated his game in 2020 by increasing the usage of his slider, but I didn’t see a ton of sliders from Bundy this past weekend. Bundy seemed to be working on his changeup. Spring training outings can be hard to judge, similar to minor league games because the goal for the pitcher often isn’t to pitch effectively in that game. Pitchers may work on a particular pitch or command of a pitch to a particular side of the plate and give up runs in the process. Bundy was spotting his changeup well on Sunday, and he looks ready for Opening Day. Anthony Rizzo couldn’t lay off this change piece, but also could do nothing with it.

 

Chaz Roe’s Slider

 


The camera angle for this game is atrocious, but I couldn’t pass up tacking on a Chaz Roe slider to the pitches chosen for today. A better camera angle would show the disgusting lateral movement Roe gets on his slider. This one is spotted perfectly on the outside corner. Check out Roe’s player page for a better view of the virtually unmatched lateral movement he gets on the pitch.

 

Which Pitch is The Nastiest from 3/13-3/14?

Max Posner

Max is a NYC born student living in Baltimore, MD. He enjoys the Yankees, overanalyzing, and asking lots of questions.

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