Every year, a large crowd of shooters change teams on the trade deadline. It happens for obvious reasons: teams with post-season aspirations and a second-tier staff try to increase their squad, support a juggernaut to lead them, or any of the many variations on those topics. For the most part, it’s a simple reallocation of the good view: the teams that don’t need it this year exchange shooters for teams that do, reaping important opportunities or players in return.
Sometimes, though, teams make trades for a slightly different reason. Pitchers are not stationary. You can’t call someone on the phone and trade for 3.40 ERA, or 2.4 WAR per 200 rounds, or anything like that. You trade for a pitcher, and as we detail frequently on the FanGraphs web pages, pitchers are changing the way they approach their craft all the time. They might take a new approach, learn a new presentation, or take turns. Learning a new move isn’t practical in the midst of an addon chase, but changing the customization of existing stadiums is much easier. Let’s take a look at two novice shooters who have drastically changed their offering mix since they traded to Deadline, as well as two others who made smaller changes.
Jordan MontgomerySt. Louis Cardinals
Change: +23% four layers, -11% plunger
Montgomery didn’t use his four-stitch stitches much in New York, and it’s not hard to see why. It looks like a four-stitched tailor has been thrown by a heavy ball; He’s run more than a four-seam fastball, dropping three inches more than average on the way home. This seems like an egregious move to throw when you have access to the cool Montgomery sinker, but he relies on it as his primary starting point in St. Louis.
why? he is Tell Katie Woo or the athlete who – which Yadir Molina Summon a lot of fast balls on the side of the gauntlet higher into the hit zone. When the glove is thrown sideways and high, it does so with a four-stitch instead of a sinker. This makes sense to me mechanically; The diver has a great deal of run on the side of the arm, which makes steering to the side of the gauntlet a problem.
I suppose I can buy this argument as long as I don’t think hard about it. Montgomery has had obvious surgery on the court since he donned the bird uniform on the bat. 47.4% of the four snappers in the shadow area, the edges of the board where the hitters don’t have good options, set the 80% mark, while leaving the field above the heart of the board only 26.6% of the time (the 75th percentile, where the higher is better for the bowler).
Still, color me skeptical. The pitch gets less movement, and in a less interesting direction, from the diver. It’s not like he can’t locate the diver either: he hit corners more So much with this stadium as a Cardinal. The Quartet Tailor has worked so far, but he worked a tightrope of the ballpark; Without a good location, it is undoubtedly below average. The Cardinal has the best defense in the game, so promoting that should be the priority. In fairness, Montgomery has gotten a lot of land with his four-seaters so far this year, and he’s been particularly adept at it since his trade, but he still generates less land than his diver.
If you are determined to come up with excuses, there are always ways to justify the change. Perhaps the philosophy of St. His fastball might naturally look like a quatrain when he throws it to the side of his gauntlet, in Max Fried. But come on. Throw in your best offer more often, not less.
The site isn’t worthless or anything, but think of it logically. The Montgomery sinker is difficult to hit objectively, no matter where it is placed. Its four-stitch derives most of its value from corner coatings. But no one is this side of the peak Greg Maddox It can hit the corner every time. Location is probabilistic, much more than stuff. Montgomery may have had success by leaning into a pitch he could throw to one side of the board, but you don’t need to be Amby Turner To succeed in the majors. just ask Jacob Degrom.
Noah SendergaardPhiladelphia, Phyllis
Change: -16% four layers, -9% change, +13% sinking, +7% sliding
Syndergaard may be best known as a fireball player, but his current form is nothing like that. At 94 mph, his fastball is hardly overpowering, and his shape doesn’t serve it well; It wouldn’t be fair to call it terrible, but it’s definitely below average.
Syndergaard already used more ballast this year, but he doubled down on that shift with the Phillies. I think this is an unmistakably positive change. It sounds almost like a midrange to me, which gives it a foothold on the seam four-way. If you’re not going to blow people away with a fastball these days, you might as well limit the damage on contact.
Most importantly, Syndergaard has increased the use of the slider and usefully changed the pitch. pitching coach Caleb Cotham worked with him To recapture some of the frightening pace he had shown in his New York Halcyon days, he added three ticks to the pitch; It now clocks in at 86.5 mph on average. It cost him a few inches of horizontal movement, but that was never a Syndergaard game anyway; He always managed tunneling and speed with pitch.
The results were promising, although it’s too soon to know how the trial will turn out. His swing hit rate decreased with the slider, but he did better on contact. However, whatever goes, I’m a fan of what Syndergaard and Cotham are trying. The former Thunder God was at his best using a solid slider. Why don’t we see if he can get his hammer back?
Tyler MahleyMinnesota Twins
Change: – 11% Slider, +12% Cutter
This is a more subtle change than the previous two, and it’s certainly possible that the Mahle cutter and slider will merge together in the pitch selection systems. He’s also limited to four starts since joining the twins thanks to injury issues, so the picture is more complicated. But the basics of this change make sense to me.
Mahle’s slider has always been more of a show-off than a weapon away. It’s in the super slither canyon. Not enough speed to generate bad swing decisions by rushing hitters, and not enough movement to make hitters miss after they stick to the swing. This year, Mahle is beginning to experiment with splitting the two, throwing a stiffer cutter and a softer slider that move differently.
I don’t think any of the pitch is great, and I think Mahle isn’t either. It relies on a four-layer/divider combination to get the job done, and they’re both above average. Still, he needs something moving the side of the arm to change his appearance. Confusing the slider and the cutter doesn’t seem to do much, so when moving to Minnesota, Mahle almost exclusively went to the harder court. I’m not sure it’s very important. I’m not even sure it’s a “real” change of pitch. This year’s cut is very close to last year’s slider in terms of speed and movement. Consider this a sideways move: Mahle discarded his slow ball and returned to the exclusively harder ball.
tucker davidsonLos Angeles Angels
Change: -6% Four Tailors, -7% Curve, +7% Change
Davidson was part of the return of angels in the trade that was sent Rizel Iglesias to Atlanta. It is more than anything else. His ERA with both teams so far this year is above 6.00, although his minor league numbers suggest better performances may lie ahead.
To this end, it has been messing around with it. It was an afterthought in limited work with Braves; He threw it out less than 1% of the time, basically never. He’s thrown 38 changes this year, 36 of which came with angels. The early returns were good: Although Davidson was at the substitution level with the team, his substitution wasn’t the problem.
This does not mean that I expect the good times to continue. It’s not a particularly great change; It simply doesn’t kill enough spin to give the field the powerful downward movement it needs to succeed. He’s more average than sexy, and to make matters worse, he just doesn’t feel good about it. Both leave an above average number of changes on the middle of the board and miss the area more often to entice hitters than the league average. This is not surprising. After all, it’s not as if the Angels are the first team to realize that left-winged beginners often throw up changes. The fact that Davidson hasn’t thrown a changeover before is a strong indication that he doesn’t have a particularly good change.
I still think Davidson should stay on the field. The path to success in major disciplines as a left-handed, unchanged is a very narrow one. Just because he doesn’t have a good personality right now doesn’t mean he shouldn’t try to develop one. Sometimes a new trainer, or a new group of mates, can lead to a new grip or increased comfort with an old trainer. Given the angels’ position in the rankings in particular, a little pain now could mean gains along the way.