McCullers will unfortunately miss the 2019 season while he recovers from Tommy John surgery. His curveball is his best offering, and a true Money Pitch, with a 43.6% chase rate, a 40% zone rate, and a 17.6% swinging-strike rate. McCullers throws a fast curveball and will need to regain its feel coming off surgery.
McCullers throws a hard two-seamer that has excellent arm-side run to complement his curve. However, it comes with the drawbacks that most two-seam fastballs feature, notably a low 5.5% swinging-strike rate and a low chase rate. McCullers had an above-average 57.4% ground-ball rate on the pitch in 2018, though it was down from 2017’s stellar 65.4%.The two-seamer has become his second-most-used pitch.
McCullers appears to be gaining confidence in his changeup, and 2018 saw it produce excellent results as his third option. McCullers’ changeup meets the Money Pitch guidelines in two of three categories, with a 40.7% chase rate and a 20.8% swinging-strike rate. Holding his changeup back is his low 27% zone rate. Hopefully, McCullers can regain this positive momentum in his changeup when he returns from injury, as he held batters to a .136 average and a .045 ISO in 2018.