Strickland has slowly been losing velocity on his fastball since he entered the league in 2014—he averaged 95.88 mph on this pitch in 2019, compared to the 98.6 mph he averaged in his rookie season. He’s also cut back on his reliance on this pitch, down to 63.94% of the time from 69.2% in 2014.
Strickland only threw two cutters all season, averaging 91 mph on this pitch.
Strickland only threw his splitter 15 times in 2019, good for 3.84% of his pitches thrown. He threw this pitch more than three times as often last season, but failed to break even on value with it either year, ending with a -1.6 and -1.0 pitch value in 2018 and 2019 respectively.
As the only pitch to end up generating positive value last season, Strickland’s slider provided solid variance from his fastball coming in more than 12 mph slower with an average velocity of 83.57 mph.
Strickland’s four-seamer kept its two-tick velocity loss from 2016 and showed below-average run and ride. Its swinging-strike and chase rates each tumbled three points, and its pVal fell from 9.7 to -0.9. That last number is telling for a cumulative stat, because roughly 100 fewer heaters thrown can’t make up for that chasm in value. Strickland’s four-seamer isn’t the exciting weapon it once was.
His slider keeps Strickland interesting thanks to its fantastic swinging-strike (18.1%) and chase (43.3%) rates. Considering its above-average two-plane break and his four-seamer’s struggles, perhaps the righty should consider throwing it more in 2019.
While Strickland’s changeup features above-average arm-side run, it didn’t break a double-digit swinging-strike rate and posted a garbage chase rate. He threw it in the zone 44.8% of the time, but perhaps he should drop that number to induce more whiffs in 2019—or at least find a way to bump up its 40% grounder rate.
For his less-favored fastball, Strickland featured a nice 54.5% grounder rate. He also checked in with fantastic swinging-strike, chase, and zone rates, making this an effective whiff-inducer and ground-ball getter—at least according to peripherals. It didn’t happen for him results-wise: .438 ISO, 1.103 OPS and a -0.6 pVal. Still, the solid swing numbers and a .400 BABIP say he should see improvement here.