When hitter’s swing and miss against Leiter, they know why once the stadium’s radar gun and pitch ID reads “splitter”. The movement isn’t immense on this thing, but that helps Leiter maintain and still generate whiffs. More importantly, it’s seven mph slower than his fastball and sinker on average. With there being no difference in arm action, this pitch becomes near impossible to barrel up.
Leiter’s sinker is clearly his best pitch. Guys are still putting it in play, but they’re not catching barrell with it. Lots of ground balls, with maybe too many flies mixed in.
Leiter’s fastball wasn’t anything special in 2018. Although his velocity went up a tick, it wasn’t by much. He’s getting decent arm-side run, but he still generates too many liners with it and not enough ground balls.
Leiter’s cutter was not good in 2018. That’s a pretty sufficient explanation, in truth. Opponents hit .750 against it. If Leiter threw it, not oe was passing up on it.
Leiter got a fair amount of whiffs on his curveball in 2018. The problem: when hitters did make contact, they generally reached based safely—over half the time, in fact. The hook wasn’t god in 2017 either, so it may be time to part ways.