Phil Hughes talks about his two curveballsBy
In last night’s game recap I mentioned that Phil Hughes seemed to be throwing two different curveballs against the Indians, one his regular 12-to-6 downer and another that was more 11-to-5 (from the catcher’s point of view). The PitchFX data was unable to help confirm because the difference between the two pitches wasn’t that significant, so they were all classified under the same curveball umbrella. Thankfully, Chad Jennings spoke to Hughes this morning, who confirmed that he is in fact throwing two different curveballs…
Apparently there was some thought during yesterday’s game that Phil Hughes was throwing his slider again. Hughes said this morning that he’s been occasionally using a slightly lower arm angle and throwing a harder, tighter curveball that might look a little bit like a slider. It’s not a new pitch, just a different way of using his curveball. I know he’s done it in the past, and he said he’s been working on it the past six starts or so.
The 11-to-5 curve didn’t look much like a slider to me just because it had a bigger break, but it was clearly different that the 12-to-6er. Obviously this won’t help cure Phil’s homeritis or anything like that, but it does give the hitters something else to think about. As long as he feels confident throwing it and can locate it either down in the zone or (and) on the corners, then it’s a great little addition to his arsenal. If he can’t command the pitch and starts getting beat on it regularly, well then it’s time to shelve it. For now, let’s just keep an eye on when Hughes uses it and how effective it is.