Thursday, May 08, 2008
Percival’s changeupPosted by Sal Baxamusa
Ken Rosenthal takes a look at Troy Percival's newest pitch. It's not everyday that a 38 year-old learns a new changeup. But "learned a new pitch" ranks right up there with "Lasik surgery", "finally healthy," and "best shape of my life" as fake-o excuses for altered performance. What do the data say?
According to his player page at Fangraphs, Percival threw the following assortment of pitches last year:
Fastball 76% Slider 7% Curveball 13% Changeup 4%
This year, in a small sample size:
Fastball 77% Slider 1% Curveball 11% Changeup 12%
He's nearly abandoned the slider and is throwing a change much more frequently. Whether it's a new changeup or not, we'll have to take his word for. His player card at Josh Kalk's site shows that the change moves left-right like his fastball, but has a sharp downward bite. I don't know if his rarely seen pre-2008 changeup had the same action, though.
Percival has pitched very well this year - a 1.52 FIP - so maybe there's something to this new changeup business. Thanks for the scoop, Ken.
Sal Baxamusa is a graduate student in chemical engineering. He can be reached here.