Anything to help me take speed off my C-Change

Any advice at all on this would be very appreciated. I figure if I get enough techniques from all over the LTP spectrum, I can put them together to get that little bit more MPH I need off of the pitch.

I’m executing the pitch well in the way of movement and location, I’m just concerned that it’s still going too fast to be deceptive.


The more pronation you can achieve the slower the velocity. If you understood the progression of wrist/forearm angle from fastball to curve then the opposite is true for fastball to change- fastball-sinker-screwball-change with the change having the most pronation- or palm turned out- and thus the least velocity. In the NPA world these pitches are pre-set in the pronated position.

Establishing command in the pronated position can be difficult for some thus it can take time to learn this pitch.

Thanks a ton JP. I’m still trying to master pronation but I made strides with my sinker. What you just posted makes perfect sense. My C-change ends up looking an awful lot like my sinker, probably due to the fact that the pronation upon my sinker release is the most pronation I’ve been able to get.
So, work on pronating… got it.

Thanks again


One more thing from the NPA world. Make sure with your grip for all pitches, other than the splitter, that you split the ball in half with your thumb and middle finger. Arrange the seams however you wish but the relationship of the thumb and middle finger shouldn’t change. Spin is reduced on your curve ball if the thumb starts to creep up the side or if you try to push with your thumb. With your c-change if you split the ball with thumb and middle finger and get the index finger off the ball or curled on the side you will notice that this starts to induce pronation slightly, at least it does for me.

Relax your wrist more, the more relaxed your wrist is the more you can slow down the pitch.

My advice, following what JP was saying, eliminate your index finger from the pitch completely if possible. I try to use a 2 seam fastball grip with my Middle and Ring fingers with my index curled over my thumb and my pinky resting on the side of the ball.

Don’t try to squeeze the juice out of the ball! A loose, relaxed grip will do the trick. Remember, you have to throw this pitch with the same arm motion and the same arm speed as you do the fast ball, so you want to be sure not to get too tight a grip on the ball.
I remember when I was having trouble with the circle change, so Ed Lopat suggested that I try a half-circle, like a backwards “c” with the thumb and index finger on one side of the ball and the middle and fourth fingers close together on top of the ball, off-center—and that did the trick for me. Lopat told me he would advise this kind of grip for pitchers like me who didn’t have large enough hands to form the complete circle, and the results were always quite satisfactory. :slight_smile:


The split the ball with the thumb and middle finger thing is in one of my pitching books. It has served me well ever since I started pitching. It works especially well with the sinker. I painted a ball half black so I could see the rotational axis for two seam pitches. Using that technique you spoke of, my sinker gets that axis really really tilted, giving it wicked movement.

Thanks to all for your ideas. I’ll mess around with them all.

sat 10 rows from the backstop when santana cut the kc royals into ribbons with a 91-92 fastball and 76-78 change. threw about 105 pitches and 6 were breaking balls, the rest were fastball change. the 2 pitches he threw 95 were hit off the wall for doubles that he left stranded.

his change did not move. it was a straight change that came out of his hand spinning straight backwards and never got to the plate. he made major league hitters look like little leaguers that never saw an off-speed pitch. it looks to me like he throws the same change pedro throws. they cut the middle of the ball with the thumb and the ring finger. they get the pad or fingerprint portion of the middle finger off the ball. you cannot throw this pitch too hard.

if you really want to slow it down, throw a two seam fastball off the ends of the ring finger and pinky. if you can throw it with full arm speed for a strike, you’ve got something. it will take you about 6 months of constant practice to get a feel for it.

Can you get me a picture of this grip, Dusty?

Well now that’s the trick… isn’t it. Actually dedicating time and space to practice this advice. And sound advice from those that have answered your question.

Now what to do with it? When you finally come around to figuring out exactly what you want to do … practice, perfect, then perform. and reinforcing that systematic step by step, is your faithful record keeping of the experience. Once the witness of your accomplishment … EUREKA… I got it … the darn thing works!! Go to your pencil, find your notebook and jot down every little detail that you can think of that just allowed to do what you did. Now when you DON’T repeat the process … do not under any circumstances rely on your memory … or… “lets see if I can work this out” nonsense. You’ll only frustrate yourself with repeating a “try this — try that” kind of thing. Go to your notebook and read and re-read. Then pick up the ball and deliberately follow your notes … word for word.

This stuff works, believe me. It works at the professional level, the college level, and even at the youth level. So, if your serious about coaching yourself ( and that’s what pro’s can credit to their longevity), do things right the first time and learn by them. KEEP A NOTEBOOK.

Also, what I use to do when bringing a pitcher along with a different pitch for whatever reason, was to mark a ball with the beginning of his grip, then as my pitcher(s) would adjust their grip (other things being equal) we both had somewhat of a reference point to keep track of. This reference point also served as a valuable notation in the pitchers notebook, and mine. Below is a picture showing you an example of what I mean. (the markings on this ball is NOT for a change-up/off-speed)

Coach B.

You guys are awesome… thank you.

I just made a folder on my desktop for my notebook. I’ve divided it into three sub-folders: Game journal, flat ground work journal and bullpen session journal.

My game today (Sat 12/12) got rained out and postponed until tomorrow but rest assured I will journal every detail of worked and what did not in that game. (My catching partner is coming and I’m giving him a clipboard)

BTW I added the “dialing” pic to my folder of pics.

Thanks again for all of your help. I wouldn’t know how valuable some of this stuff is without your input.

Do you play in a winter league?

I do now. A guy from my usual league called me and said his winter league team really needed a pitcher.

My suggestion is to first accept that there a bazillion ways to throw a change up…sit in a bullpen with a group of high level pitchers and most will have a slightly different approach. But the one thing that’s consistant if that they can throw it for strikes, in fastball counts, with movement and fastball arm speed.

Personally, I like working off a 2 seam fastball grip, held very loosely, with heavy pronation. Holding is loosely gives you the ability to maintain maximum arm speed without fastball velocity. The 2 seam grip and pronation provide the lateral movement and sink.

I’ve always looked at it as a “slip” pitch … in fact, once when teaching a 12 yr allstar team staff, I lined them all up against a fence and asked them to throw their “fastball” against the fence with as little velocity as possible, emphasizing that they needed to maximize arm speed at the same time. It was amazing how well the kids picked up the “slip” concept…sometimes with good athletes, teaching the result and letting their bodies teach them the “how” is a successful approach.

I just made a folder on my desktop for my notebook. I’ve divided it into three sub-folders: Game journal, flat ground work journal and bullpen session journal.

Here some ground floor basics for pitchers in training with their fastball with location. Whether your playing catch, doing bullpen duty, BP, etc., always start off initially by dividing the player your tossing to, into quarters. Upper right, left, lower right, left. As you concentrate on hitting each quarter, make note of it. See what your percentage of error - accomplishment, is.

Each quarter starts at the player’s head, goes right down the middle to his belt line.

Say out of ten (10) throws to the upper right (your right) of the player catching you, you hit that area three (3). In other words you hit a boxed in area approximately 24" wide by 24" in length 30% of the time and you miss 70% of the time. Obviously this quarter is not your strong suit.

As you progress you’ll come to realize your best and not so best suit. Then take it up a notch and figure out why.

Here is where that notebook comes in really handy. Also, if during game day your not hitting a quarter for whatever reason, you’ll know enough to stay away from signals from the catcher if he unwittingly calls for that area for your fastball.

I actually made a wooden box of that exact diagram above. (I had seen it in another thread and was inspired) I’ve already found out which pitches work best in the different squares for me. For example, I’ve determined that my sinker works really well when I aim for the bottom left box. Cutter works for top left etc. I’d like to be effective putting the four seam in all four boxes but the bottom right works particularly well. Consequently, in bullpen or game, I just picture a transparent image of my wooden box over the catcher and it really helps me locate. I’d definitely consider myself to be a “stuff” kind of pitcher so little tools like this can be HUGE in helping me with command.

BTW the box I built is about a foot and a half deep with a piece of thick shag carpet to catch the balls. It’s pretty sweet I’ll have to post a pic (although it’s gotten pretty beat up). If anybody has the know how and resources, I would highly recommend building a model of Coach Baker’s diagram above.
If anybody’s really interested, I’ll make it a priority to post a pic with some basic instructions.

this vid should help a lot…It’s Nolan Ryan showin how he learned his change up and how he threw it

Hey thanks for that… pretty interesting.

My problem was I wasn’t throwing it like 'at :smiley:


That’s an outstanding clip right there–thanks very much for posting that.

Every young pitcher who aspires to develop a good circle-change should study that clip carefully.

By the way: Tom House, who coached Ryan for 5 years on the Texas Rangers, also teaches the circle-change with the exact same approach…i.e., pre-set pronation and “throw the circle to the target” to give the pitch screwball-like movement and take off velocity, even though the pitcher’s arm-speed says “fastball”.

Throwing a circle-change palm-forward, i.e., a fastball release, just tends to produce a mediocre fastball with no movement and not enough velocity taken off it.