It seemed that Herrera had lost confidence in his changeup last year but he did thrown it a smidge more in 2019. It still lacks movement, however, and its best quality is that it reduced hitters to a .222 BA last year.
Getting 72% more break than the average slider in 2019, Herrera’s version is thrown at 81.4 mph and was used 12.35% of the time. Carrying a 14.5% SwStr%, the slider wiped out opponents to a tune of a 40.5% K rate and .192 BAA.
Herrera’s cutter averages 91.5 mph and was deployed 13.2% of the time in 2019, finishing with a .220 BAA and a 39.3% K rate. Getting around average drop and break, the pitch carries a 14.5% SwStr%, tying it for the highest rate of his five offerings.
It may not be the high-90s heat he sat at in his heyday, but Herrera’s four-seam fastball still stills 96 mph, but got 28% less break on it than the average fastball – a dramatic drop from when it got 7% more horizontal movement in 2018. With a 11.4% SwStr%, the pitch probably deserved better than the 19.3% K rate it ended up with.
Herrera’s fastball continued its steady decline in velocity in 2018, dropping below 97 mph on average for the first time in his career. It was still effective. Not so much as a swing-and-miss option, but it did hold opponents to a .254 average.
Whether the velocity dip was deliberate or not, this became Herrera’s pacifier. 2018 marked the first time he’s ever thrown the slider more than the changeup. When opponents are batting .207 against it and usually miss it when they have offered (21.5 swinging-strike rate), it’s understandable for anyone to live on this pitch.
Herrera’s changeup has been one of his better pitches in the past, but it dropped a smidge in 2018. It appears he lost some confidence it it—maybe because it moved less, despite still having quite a bit of action—leading him to throw it the least he has in his entire career.