With a swinging-strike rate of 18.8%, a 44.8% zone rate, and a 45.3% chase rate, you guessed it: Chatwood’s changeup is a Money Pitch. A 23% dip in O-Contact (73% in 2018 versus 50% in 2019) helped fuel the pitch’s success, despite lagging in usage compared to the rest of Chatwood’s arsenal.
On the back of a 99th-percentile curveball spin rate, Chatwood racked up a 47.1% strikeout rate without issuing a single walk. But a ghastly .611 BABIP meant opponents put up a robust .324 average against the curve.
The last three seasons have seen a dramatic rise in his fastball walk rate, ballooning above 20%. He managaed to normalize opposing hitters to a .360 wOBA after two seasons above .400, but he’s still trending in the wrong direction.
Chatwood, a below-average pitcher throws a below-average four-seamer that yields below-average results. His command of the pitch has become a significant problem. His walk rate with the heater has risen from 8.3% in 2013 to 33.7% last season. If that continues, he’ll find himself out of a job sooner than later.
The cutter was a new edition to Chatwood’s arsenal in 2018, likely due to the ineffective nature of his four-seamer. The cutter on the other hand became a plus pitch for him, showing a 5.8 pVal while holding batters to just a .214 BAA. Look for this to become his primary moving forward.
Another pitch that exemplifies Chatwood’s failing command, he actually threw this pitch for three more balls than strikes in 2018. Earlier in his career, it proved somewhat effective, but his inability to throw the pitch for strikes while failing to get batters to chase (13% O-swing) means he’s just not getting it done.
Chatwood’s curveball has alternated back and forth between positive and negative pVal every year of his career. It’s one of the few pitches that he maintains a tight command of, but its effectiveness is unpredictable. Although, the pitch was pretty rough last season, so maybe the pattern says he’ll bounce back. *shrug*
Considering that Chatwood throws some form of fastball over 80% of the time, it’s remarkable he hasn’t found a way to mix in his changeup more frequently. He has command of the pitch, only issuing 9 walks over the course of his career, and it saps the power of batters, but he just plainly doesn’t throw it often enough.