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!
Spencer Strider’s Slider
Thus far in 2022, the rookie Strider has been used in a scheduled long-relief role, typically going 2-4 IP/appearance. On Friday, he was used as a Follower and was electric. He went 4.0 IP, allowed four hits, and struck out 8. This slider seems to disappear off the plate, making Renfroe look foolish. So far, he has gone 15.2 IP with 24 Ks and 9 BBs. Pairing this slider with the gas on his fastball makes him really tough.
Spencer Strider’s Fastball
The look by Narváez says it all. This 100.7 mph fastball just keeps rising. Strider throws his fastball about 70% of the time, and it has had a wOBA of .217. He will likely eventually be in the rotation. If so, he may need to use his third pitch, a changeup, more than the current rate of 4%. In the meantime, it looks like he’ll be just fine with the fastball and slider. The 12 whiffs he had in just 4 IP is pretty good.
Luis Garcia’s Changeup
You’ve got to admire such a well-placed pitch. Candelario does well just to put it in play, though a whiff would’ve been better for him. Garcia does not go to his changeup very often. He’s only thrown it 7% of the time in 2022 and not much more than that in previous seasons. He has always gotten good results with it. It has a .150 wOBA and 30% swinging-strike rate in 2022, though he’s only thrown it 22 times. He is also throwing it about 4 mph harder.
Collin McHugh’s Slider
McHugh gets a red-hot Rowdy Tellez to chance this bouncing slider. After a dominant 2021, McHugh’s outcomes haven’t been great. He has a 6.10 ERA and 1.55 WHIP. However, his underlying numbers are strong. His Statcast sliders are red and look very similar to last year. I can confidently say he will be fine.
Josh Winder’s Changeup
Winder’s changeup is generally below average in both vertical and horizontal movement. The horizontal movement on this pitch to Tony Kemp is better, however, and well located. While he has done a good job at limiting hard contact, Winder does not look like anything special at the moment. It is early in his rookie season though.
A.J. Puk’s Slider
This is a really pretty front-door slider from Puk. Most LHBs will give up on this, just like Larnach did. After an injury-plagued start to his career, Puk has hit his stride as a dominant reliever. He has a 32% K rate and a 5% BB rate. The much-hyped former prospect may be establishing himself as the A’s closer of the future.
Tyler Duffey’s Curveball
Duffey throws his curveball 54% of the time. It has a .349 xwOBA but a .380 wOBA. The 100% HR/FB ratio just might explain this discrepancy. While off to a rough start in 2022, he has been a reliable reliever for the Twins for quite a while now, posting consistently good K%-BB%.
Raisel Iglesias‘ Changeup
This was the only changeup Iglesias threw last night, and was it a good one. He got a disciplined young hitter in Ruiz to chase. Iglesias gets good results across the board with his changeup, and it is due in part to its above-average horizontal movement. He likes to throw it down and arm-side, especially to LHB. He is one of the most reliable closers out there.
Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns of Twitter)