Petriello: Not a typo: Yu Darvish throws 10 different pitches

From Mike Petriello at on September 4, 2019:

The MLB pitch tracking database goes back to 2008, and from the start of that season through Sept. 3 of this year, we’ve seen 2,384 different pitchers appear in the big leagues. That’s a group that ranges from future Hall of Famer Justin Verlander (2,553 innings) to Zack Weiss, who got into one game for Cincinnati last year without recording an out.

On average, those pitchers have thrown four different pitch types. Verlander, for example, has thrown a four-seam fastball, a slider, a curveball, and a changeup this season. (He’s previously, and rarely, experimented with a sinker and a cutter as well.) Clayton Kershaw throws the same four pitches. Max Scherzer does, too, plus a cut fastball.

An overwhelming number of pitchers in the database — 92% — have thrown between 3 and 6 pitch types in their careers. Only 99 pitchers, or about 4%, have been tracked as throwing seven or more pitch types. Just 11 have thrown eight or more.

And then there’s Yu Darvish, who stands alone at the top of the mountain. Darvish has been tracked with nine different pitch types in 2019, the only pitcher in our database with that many. (Remember: he’s thrown that many just this year. No one’s even had nine over multiple years. Only three other pitchers, including Zack Greinke this year, have made it to eight in a season.)

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Originally published: September 9, 2019. Last Updated: September 9, 2019.