Adam Wainwright’s power sinker: I don’t know, man. It’s a sinker that… slides? I mean, it’s opposite break to a slider, but at that point it’s kind of a changeup. I think this might have just been a way to shoehorn Wainwright into the article. Next!
Daniel Ponce de Leon’s curveball: As Ponce de Leon mentioned, this is more of a rediscovered pitch than a new one, but it fits his fastball/changeup strengths well. He’s down in AAA to start the seaon, so seems like as good of a time as any to work on it. Two thumbs up.
Alex Reyes’ slider: This one is intriguing. He hasn’t really thrown any sliders in the majors, so our video of it is limited to this spring training, and it looks filthy. That said, I can totally believe Reyes having a great slider, as he has tremendous command of his curve. Early results look good, and it seems like it fits what he’s already doing quite well.
Chasen Shreve’s slider: Anything to get him to throw less fastballs is cool with me. Also, he was already throwing 15% sliders on the Cardinals last year. This one is a reach.
Mike Mayers’ curveball: This pitch probably merits a deeper dive when we get a little more pitch-level data on it this year. Mayers does seem like he’d benefit from a curve, because the four-seam/curve/slider combination plays really well as a trio. Mayers has always had a good fastball and a middling-to-bad slider, so keep an eye on this early in the season as a potential player-changing pitch.
Austin Gomber’s slider: I almost wanted to write an article about this. Gomber’s curveball is so extreme in its vertical plane that it demonstrates basically no platoon split. On one hand, that’s pretty awesome. A pitch like that can turn a pitcher from a reliever to a starter very easily. On the other hand, there’s an obvious downside- it’s not as good for getting same-handed batters out. Gomber has always had basically no platoon split, even bordering on a reverse one, and in his case it’s easy to see why. The way that other lefties will add a changeup to get right-handers out and totally remake their platoon splits, Gomber adding a pitch that lefties can’t hit could totally change his outlook. If his curveball is his second-best pitch against lefties, that’s a real game changer. Now, as far as I know, talking to Andrew Miller doesn’t spontaneously make you throw a wipeout slider — but stranger things have happened.