As we gear up for the 2022 season, the Nastiest Pitches team will be highlighting some of the filthiest pitches we see during Spring Training. 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 #nasty-pitches channel, where we host giveaways during the season. If you’re not already a PL+ member, you’re missing out!
Emilio Pagán’s Fastball
Although he got hit hard last year (30% hard contact percentage), Emilio Pagán is reportedly working on a new pitch and tinkering with his approach to locate fastballs more effectively. It worked for him here.
Marco Gonzales‘ Changeup
Marco Gonzales had a strong outing to finish spring training, going six innings and allowing two runs on four hits with five strikeouts. The Mariners will hope he can stay healthy and provide many more such appearances in the regular season.
Aroldis Chapman’s Fastball
Anytime he gets into a game, Aroldis Chapman has a reserved slot on our nastiest pitches posts. In his broadcasting debut, Carlos Beltrán quipped, “When he was in Cincinnatti, he was a thrower. Now he’s really pitching, which is amazing for me to see.” It’s good for the Yankees, bad for the rest of the AL East.
Tarik Skubal’s Slider
Tarik Skubal struck out eight and allowed five hits over the course of five innings on Monday. His strong performance along with the news that the Tigers traded for Tampa Bay’s Austin Meadows should have Detroit fans very excited for the regular season.
Kevin Gausman’s Changeup
Kevin Gausman relied on his splitter as his put-away pitch last season, but mixed in a lot more changeups on Monday (including three in a row to strike out Robbie Grossman). With Robbie Ray gone, he has big shoes to fill in Toronto (or perhaps tight pants to fill), and another plus pitch in his arsenal might be exactly what he needs to do that.
Edwin Díaz’s Slider
Part of the fun of watching Edwin Díaz (if you’re not a Mets fan) is that, on any given night, you’re not sure if you’ll get unhittable stuff or a lot of pulled fastballs and accompanying walks. On Monday, we got the former, and the fastball/power-slider combination was simply unfair.
Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns of Twitter)