Every morning, the We Love Baseball crew reviews the Nastiest Pitches from the previous day’s games. If you see something you think should be included here be sure to tweet @PitcherList to let us know. Or, if you’re a PL+ Member and part of our Discord, shout it out in the Nastiest Pitches channel. If your suggestion is included the next day, you’ll be entered into a weekly drawing for a free t-shirt. If you’re not already a PL+ member, you’re missing out!
Kyle Hendricks‘ Changeup
I’m willing to bet there aren’t many pitchers in AAA that throw changeups like this. Hendricks gets Alek Thomas with the old Bugs Bunny pitch. He is more of an innings-eater these days, and this changeup is a primary weapon as he uses it 30% of the time. He gets above-average results with it, while the rest of his repertoire is mediocre. He is doing just enough to survive, but there is a certain visual appeal to this kind of changeup.
Charlie Morton’s Curveball
Morton’s curveball is a mainstay on Nastiest Pitches for obvious reasons. He threw one right after this to strike out Aguilar that was almost as good as this one. After seeing this one, it must’ve been a hopeless feeling. In 2021, Morton’s curveball had a .180 wOBA, and in 2022 it has a .313 wOBA. This, at least in part, explains his sub-par start. It gets slightly less horizontal movement than it has in the past, but overall its metrics are very similar. The results can be expected to improve.
Logan Gillaspie’s Slider
This was just Gillaspie’s 2nd career MLB game, so there is very little to go by. Based on the few sliders he has thrown, it gets very good vertical and horizontal movement. Hopefully, this is the start of a solid career for Gillaspie, but even if it isn’t, it is important to remember how hard these guys work to get here. Even the lower echelon MLB players are in the 99.9th percentile of baseball players in the world.
Noé Ramirez’s Changeup
Ramirez gets Rivas in a big spot here with the bases loaded. While not where the catcher wanted it, it was a good time to get 3″ more vertical drop than his average changeup. This is especially good considering his is amongst the league leaders in vertical movement. So far in 2022, Ramirez is off to his usual reliable, if not spectacular, numbers.
Emmanuel Clase’s Slider
Clase gets the ever-belligerent swinger Javy Báez to chase this 93.9 mph slider. He continues to be one of the most dominant relievers in baseball, though his K% is again a good, but surprisingly low 24%. Conversely, his BB% is also lower than I would expect at around 5%. One would think a RP with a 94 mph slider would have higher numbers in both areas. Regardless, Clase is a great pitcher.
Chase Silseth’s Slider
This slider ends up so far outside it’s honestly difficult to see how much movement it has. While Kevin Smith is struggling so far in his young career, he has a reputation as a good hitter. Based on his foolish-looking swing, this must’ve been something. This was only Silseth’s 2nd career start, but he has been impressive. However, he’ll have to find a way to keep hitters from swinging at pitches his catcher can’t reach…
Trevor Rogers‘ Changeup
This changeup is perfectly placed by Rogers to get a chase from Austin Riley. Thus far in 2022, Rogers has been unable to replicate his excellent rookie season. He has been very good at limiting hard contact and some of his other Statcast metrics suggest he may have been unlucky so far. Some growing pains were to be expected after MLB had a chance to catch up with him, and he is likely better than this.
Aaron Ashby’s Changeup
Ashby throws a beautiful 91.8 mph changeup to Josh Bell to strike him out. Ashby is a very promising young pitcher for the Brewers, but he has been used inconsistently. Sometimes as a starter, sometimes as a follower, and sometimes in the one IP role last night. This changeup was 3.4 mph faster than his average one. With his abilities, he will likely be successful in any role.
Austin Voth’s Cutter
Voth typically doesn’t have great movement, spin, or velocity on his cutter, but his heat maps show he has done an excellent job locating it on the edge glove side. Because of this, hitters have a .235 wOBA and just a 9.1% Hard Contact rate against it. His 2021 numbers were also very good, and the location heat maps again show he had strong command of it. This suggests it can be a reliable weapon for him going forward.
Sean Manaea’s Slider
Manaea gets a good contact hitter in La Stella to flail here with this nasty slider. Usually, Manaea shows up more with his changeup, and maybe this is what La Stella was expecting. Manaea’s K% and BB% would both be career highs, but he has still posted a solid 3.77 ERA and 1.12 WHIP. The 28.7 K% and 14.9 SwSt% are both surprising to see, considering he is known more as a control pitcher.
Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns of Twitter)