Sullivan: We might be observing the decline of the windup

From Jeff Sullivan at FanGraphs on February 28, 2018:

Felix Hernandez will play a crucial role in determining the fate of the Mariners’ season. Felix isn’t what he used to be, and no one expects him to return to that level, but we at least know that he should still have the stuff. The changeup and curveball are there, if he wants to miss bats. The issues have been more mechanical. Felix hasn’t had the command he needs to succeed at his velocity. There’s much attention, then, being paid to his delivery. A week and a half ago, he threw for the first time in spring training. He said the following about his session.

“I threw everything, curveball, changeup, sinker and one slider,” he said. “It was OK. I was better from the stretch than from the windup.”


“I was more balanced from the stretch,” he said. “I was moving all over the place from the windup.”

Perfectly standard, unremarkable quote from early spring. Felix had some rust to knock off. He felt better out of one of his deliveries than out of the other. But, well, hold on. Why does he have two deliveries? Why do so many pitchers have two deliveries? You’d think that maintaining one would be complicated enough.

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Originally published: February 28, 2018. Last Updated: February 28, 2018.