McCarthy’s changeup came in seven ticks slower than his sinker and while the pitch had a 14.7% SwStr%, that only converted to a 22% K%. That leaves a little room for growth with the K%.
McCarthy’s sinker lost velocity for the third consecutive year. The pitch improved in SwStr% and O-Swing%, which led to an elevated K%.
McCarthy’s slider took a nice step forward thanks to an increased O-Swing%, as well as a great improvement in GB% (33.3% to 51.5%). The slider allowed a wRC+ of 41.
Fun fact: McCarthy’s sinker was a participant of an unreleased episode of Queer Eye, and the results were fabulous in 2018. This change came largely from a new delivery from McCarthy which allowed him to create more run arm side on his sinker. His ground-ball percentage jumped 15.4% to 73.7% in 2018 and while he did not generate too many more swinging strikes or strikeouts, he did allow fewer baserunners as he lowered his walk percentage and opponents batting average .327 in 2017 to .266 in 2018.
Now McCarthy’s true secondary pitch, his changeup boasted a 3.2 pVal. His numbers were a little worse from 2017 but overall still great. Batters had more success increasing their batting average from .139 to .167, taking three more walks than in 2017, and decreased their swinging strike% (22.9% to 19.7%).
Last year our blurb for McCarthy’s slider said, “A -1.7 pVal for McCarthy’s top secondary is not going to cut it going forward”” and McCarthy realized that as he decreased his usage by 13.6% from 2017. The pitch did not get any better and McCarthy was smart to up his go to other pitches.”
McCarthy started to use his four-seamer more in 2018 and it did not yield positive results. Hitters crushed his four-seamer slugging .867 against it.
McCarthy debuted a curveball in 2018 as he tried to go away from his slider and it was not much better than what he was working with previously. Batters hit .556 against the pitch with a .636 OBP.