This article is part of our Collette Calls series.
I have covered new pitches during spring training the last six seasons. This year has been a big one as many pitchers are working on new pitches, but I want to focus on some specific new pitches and why you should be paying attention to those pitches early in 2019. New pitches can lead to new results, and we saw this last year with Trevor Bauer, Nathan Eovaldi, Wade Miley, Jhoulys Chacin and Marco Gonzales as most of that crew went from being end-game talent to difference makers in 2018. Perhaps some of the pitchers below can do the same in 2019.
Trevor Bauer is working on his changeup. You have to love that Bauer, who arguably would have won the Cy Young last year had he not gotten hurt, is still working to improve his offerings. Bauer threw 197 changeups last season and it functioned as an excellent pitch, but he is not satisfied with it. Despite the excellent outcomes off the pitch, the chase rate on his changeup was in the bottom 25th percentile last season while his swinging strike rate on the pitch was not in the top 25 percent. Simply put, there is room for improvement with the pitch, and if his rebuilt changeup functions as well as he rebuilt slider last season, look out.