Checking in on Burnett’s changeup
During Spring Training, we heard much about A.J. Burnett’s desire to employ his changeup more this year. “Whether I throw it or not, I don’t know, but I’ve been working on it,” noted Burnett. Well, on the 2010 season, across 3 starts, A.J. Burnett has thrown a total of 297 pitches (and Jorge Posada has caught all of them, which is a post for another day). According to PITCHf/x data, of those pitches, only 6 of them, or 2%, have been changeups. Obviously, this is a limited sample, and Burnett’s changeup percentage can be influenced easily, but, thus far, the offering has seen little action (despite a lofty whiff rate of 16.7%). Burnett’s career percentage stands at 5.6%, and in 2009 it was 3.1%, so if he maintains his 2% mark this year, that would be disappointing given the pitch’s usefulness and all the spring chatter.
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