Changeup vs curveball

I was reading an article the other day about the changeup vs. the curveball in which an MLB scout said “you can pitch in the big leagues with two pitches, if one is a change.” It got me thinking… is the changeup really a better secondary pitch that a curve? (This assuming of course youve got a plus fastball.)

Depends totally on the quality of each. Any pitch makes a great secondary pitch, if its thrown with great control, movement, and is thrown at enough of a velocity difference from the primary pitch to confuse batters. IOW “off speed”.

If they’re both of equal quality, then the primary pitch makes more of a difference. There are plus FBs, and there are PLUS FBs, and different pitches would compliment them differently.

i always felt like every off speed pitch is a fastball until it isnt a fastball anymore. mostly every pitch is designed to look like a straight as a narrow 4-seam fastball and then trick the pitcher by having a tilt a dive a sink a curve a slide a cut a veer a rise a lob that makes the hitter hit something he wasnt expecting. this is why you need to build your game around your fastball to a point where people fear it people know you can throw it for strikes people know they cant catch up to it and people know you will throw it at any given time so when the hook or the slider or the change is coming they will swing at it as if it is a fastball and end up not having a good result.

so in the end, wiether its a change a curve a cut a slider whatever the secondary pitch you have it will be great if you can make the hitter think fastball(sinkerballers are different because the ball is so hard to square up if you can control it you could pretty much throw it all game long and still get good results)

deleted - as I don’t know why it came up twice…sorry

[quote=“4pie”]i always felt like every off speed pitch is a fastball until it isnt a fastball anymore. mostly every pitch is designed to look like a straight as a narrow 4-seam fastball and then trick the pitcher by having a tilt a dive a sink a curve a slide a cut a veer a rise a lob that makes the hitter hit something he wasnt expecting. this is why you need to build your game around your fastball to a point where people fear it people know you can throw it for strikes people know they cant catch up to it and people know you will throw it at any given time so when the hook or the slider or the change is coming they will swing at it as if it is a fastball and end up not having a good result.

so in the end, wiether its a change a curve a cut a slider whatever the secondary pitch you have it will be great if you can make the hitter think fastball(sinkerballers are different because the ball is so hard to square up if you can control it you could pretty much throw it all game long and still get good results)[/quote]
Great stuff.
With a change-up, you also don’t need a plus fastball because a good “fastball that becomes a CH” will make your fastball even better.
I was fortunate to be with a group of LA Dodger minor league staffers that went to China in 2001 to work with their Natl Team. There we saw average to above average pitchers ranging from 76 mph to 90 mph with a majority toward the 76. In one of our post practice meetings with the China Team they asked what would could they do to have more success. I mentioned that they needed to throw more change-ups and utilize their breaking stuff as a put-away pitch. This got a big head shaking response as they felt they didnt throw hard enough, why throw it slower?
Hitting is about trying to make 80 to 100% contact. Drive the ball, get good wood, solid contact etc. Whether you throw 70 or 90 mph the hitter has to adjust to you to hit the ball fair and with 80 - 100% contact. Throwing a CH always disrupts that timing. Throwing a CH makes a weak FB faster and a hard FB unhittable. Really both FB can become unhittable if there is a good CH in the mix. Hitters can’t see speed. If it looks like a FB, the educated guess has to be right.

Fred, I had to chuckle when I read that part in your post about how the China national team shook their heads and wondered why, if one didn’t throw particularly hard, did they need to throw slower. What made me chuckle was something I remembered about Ed Lopat when he was pitching in the American League, first with the White Sox and then with the Yankees.
Lopat, who did not throw particularly hard—or so he wanted the batters to believe—did just that as a very effective strategy when dealing with guys who were power hitters, or thought they were. For example, there was a fellow named Walt Dropo who played with Detroit and Boston. He fancied himself a power hitter. And here was how Lopat would deal with him: he would take even more off his breaking stuff. The end result was usually either a big fat strikeout or a weak dribbler to the first baseman, which sent Dropo fuming his way back to the dugout muttering all kinds of imprecations and invectives. And all Lopat did was call out to him, “Dropo, you’re just a lousy hitter!” Incidentally, Lopat did have a fast ball of sorts, which he kept out of sight like Macheath in “The Three Penny Opera” who kept his jackknife concealed, and which, when he did decide to throw it, looked as if it were coming in there at 106 miles an hour.
I was a similar type of pitcher in my playing days—not much on speed but with a very good assortment of breaking pitches, offspeed stuff and changeups. There is indeed room for us finesse pitchers—I have always been of the opinion that it is possible to win a lot of games without a fast ball if you have control, command, a good arsenal of stuff and a good working knowledgw of deception and misdirection on the mound. 8)

so far in college for fall ball, i have been just throwing fastball and changeups and I have been successful.

I think that the changeup is better because generally pitchers locate it better, and will throw it at any count. changeups also look like a fastball coming in, while good hitters will see the curve.

with that being said i think that if you only have two pitches, your changeup should be 10-15mph slower with drop and movement.

Let me add something here. Lopat once told me that just about any pitch can be turned into a nice changeup, and he demonstrated a few for me. Of course, I picked up on a couple of them. :slight_smile:

I agree I know so many players with different grips for their changeup like split, circle, straight, palm, etc. I have seen people just make up their own like you said.

Researching a little bit about change up versus slider as a 2nd pitch and saw this discussion. My son’s JV Coach wants him to develop the change-up to compliment the fastball, instead of the slider. He’s working on the circle-change, but my son’s first thoughts was he’s struck out everybody on his team not just once, or twice, but everytime with the slider, so the slider should be good enough for this level. His goal is to control the change up by his junior year, but not take away from concentrating on the fastball when he’s 14.