Kyle Hendricks’ changeup. Justin Steele’s 4-seam fastball. Chicago Cubs pitchers consider teammates’ nastiest stuff — and reveal which pitches they’d add to their repertoire.


Pitchers are likely to have loads of downtime throughout video games.

Whether it’s sitting within the bullpen and attempting to remain unfastened whereas ready for a cellphone name to heat up or chilling within the dugout between begins, they spend loads of time watching teammates work their craft.

To gauge how Chicago Cubs pitchers view their teammates’ greatest stuff, 12 pitchers have been posed a query: If you could possibly take any pitch from somebody on the pitching workers and add it to your repertoire, whose would you decide? It yielded a variety of solutions and reasoning. Some opted for a pitch that will work nicely off their different stuff or their supply. Others simply wished what they thought was a sick pitch. Ultimately, seven pitches have been chosen.

Kyle Hendricks’ changeup

Chosen by RHP David Robertson, LHP Justin Steele, LHP Wade Miley, RHP Adrian Sampson and LHP Brandon Hughes

Unsurprisingly, Hendricks’ changeup was the runaway favourite amongst Cubs pitchers, no matter their handedness, pitching type or position. And for good motive. Hendricks’ changeup was probably the greatest pitches in baseball throughout his greatest years, and it’s nonetheless a weapon for the right-hander.

“The late movement and then his ability to make it look like his fastball for 99% of the time and the swings they take,” Sampson stated. “Everybody in the building knows it’s coming and they still can’t hit it, so something’s right. He’s a lucky guy for having it.”

Robertson didn’t hesitate when making his alternative, calling Hendricks’ changeup a no-doubt decide: “I’d give anything to be able to throw a changeup. It’s like a game-changer. It goes this way and you don’t throw it hard. Yeah, 100% I want it. If I can throw it even a halfway decent changeup … definitely want something that goes the other way of all the crap that I throw.”

Miley likes the motion on Hendricks’ changeup as a substitute of wanting so as to add a high-velocity fastball, including, “That’s overrated.”

Justin Steele’s four-seam fastball

Chosen by LHP Drew Smyly

Steele has been throwing his fastball at a excessive price, rising its utilization from earlier within the season.

He largely has executed a very good job limiting a lot injury off the pitch. It took till his seventeenth begin to permit a homer off it.

“It’s an anomaly, nobody throws it like he does,” Smyly stated. “He has this insane cut action to his fastball. Hitters can’t touch it. Like, you can just throw it down the middle and they’re going to do much.”

Marcus Stroman’s slider

Chosen by RHP Mark Leiter Jr.

Stroman can go to a wide range of choices in any given begin.

He has relied on 5 pitches this season, however his slider caught the attention of a teammate. Mark Leiter Jr. likes the motion Stroman will get on his slider. Entering Stroman’s begin Friday in opposition to the San Francisco Giants, it’s his second-most used pitch. He’s producing a 27.8 Whiff% whereas hitters are managing a meager .220 common in opposition to and .260 Weighted On-Base Average (wOBA).

“He’s able to change the shape of it and have control on both sides of the plate with it,” Leiter stated. “Being able to change the shapes for more of a called strike and then more of a swinging strike. The feel he has, the ability to manipulate it into making it more than just one pitch, I’ve always really enjoyed the way he’s able to use his slider.”

Keegan Thompson’s cutter

Chosen by RHP Scott Effross

Effross initially thought-about a high-velocity fastball — “I’d like to be able to throw 96 mph, that’d be cool to have in my bag” — in addition to Thompson’s curveball, however, given Effross’ sidearm supply, a 12-6 curve “doesn’t make much sense for me.” So, Effross narrowed his choices to Thompson, Chris Martin or David Robertson’s cutter. He in the end settled on Thompson’s, which has a 23.7 Whiff% as hitters battle to barrel the pitch constantly.

“Cutters are cool and I think I could use it with my arm angle,” Effross stated. “The way he’s been throwing it lately — he’s been throwing it for strikes and getting ahead with it. And if he can dot that thing down and away to a righty, I feel that’s just an impossible pitch to even attempt to swing at it.”

Mark Leiter Jr.’s splitter

Chosen by RHP Keegan Thompson, RHP Michael Rucker

When Leiter, at present at Triple-A Iowa, wants a strikeout, his splitter accomplishes that at an elite stage. Leiter recorded 28 of his 40 strikeouts with the pitch, producing a 50.8 Whiff% and 36.4 PutAway%.

“He can land in the strike zone and he knows when to bury it for a swing and miss,” Thompson stated. “He has a very good feel for it and can throw it wherever he wants to.”

Sampson praised Leiter’s splitter too. Leiter surrendered solely three hits off the pitch for a .064 common and a .114 wOBA.

“The one pitch that jumps out for me the most because it’s a true nasty pitch,” Rucker stated. “I don’t have a splitter in the mix. I don’t know how much my fingers would hold it. He really gets into that thing. But the action on that pitch and watching him throw it, I mean, he carved up (Boston) with it.”

Keegan Thompson’s slider

Chosen by RHP Kyle Hendricks

Hendricks acknowledged that had Thompson not began incorporating a slider within the final month, he would have chosen his curveball “all day.” Miley additionally gave Thompson’s curveball a shout-out, calling it a “disgusting” pitch.

Despite it being a brand new pitch, Thompson’s slider has been wildly efficient. He has not allowed a success off 51 sliders thrown, predominately in opposition to right-handed hitters, whereas producing an eye-popping 50% swing-and-miss price.

Hendricks, expounding on his alternative, stated: “The elite level of spin and such bad swings he gets on it, he can use it in the zone, gets out in the zone with it pretty much whenever he wants. It’s just such an effective pitch. I would love to know what that feels like.”

David Robertson’s cutter

Chosen by RHP Chris Martin

Robertson is throwing fewer cutters than final season, when he returned after an extended layoff from Tommy John surgical procedure, and he’s has seen an uptick in velocity, sitting at 93.3 mph. The pitch has a .211 common in opposition to, and his potential to command it units up his curveball and slider to place hitters away.

“The ball never comes down, it kind of gets on you real quick and it’s an elite pitch,” Martin stated of Robertson’s cutter. “It’d be nice to have in the back pocket. I mean, shoot, everybody’s got such good stuff that I could change out all of my stuff.”

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