Controlling the change-up


#1

So I’ve played two games so far this year, and I’ve pitched 1-2 innings in relief both games. Problem is I’ve been relying heavily upon my 4-seam and 2-seam fastball because I’m having trouble controlling the change-up. I keep bouncing it in the dirt and the hitters aren’t buying. Any tips on getting solid control on the change-up? It’s a circle change btw


#2

I would suggest one thing. From about 90-100 feet have game of catch throwing only your change up as hard as you can. Try to hit the exact same place on your partner’s body every time. Don’t mix it up. Focus on that spot and continue to try hitting it over and over. That’s the best way I’ve found to get a feel for my change up. Once you have done that successfully, throw a 40 pitch bullpen from a mound with only your change up as hard as you can throw it. Don’t be discouraged if you miss your spots–don’t sacrifice intensity for accuracy.
As you say, they have to believe it’s a fastball or they aren’t biting on it. When you slow your arm down in an attempt to throw it for a strike, they see the difference early.

Also, try a different grip at some point in the future if your current grip isn’t getting it done and doesn’t come around for you.


#3

Thanks for the advice!


#4

For the circle change, grip the ball with thumb and middle finger cutting the ball in half. Then tuck the index finger down the side of the ball only as far as your flexibility allows. Do not offset the ball to one side in order to make a tight circle. A tight circle is not needed. Then pronate just enough to get the middle two fingers behind the ball. Think “fastball” using the middle two fingers. Throw and throw and throw some more.

Once you’re comfortable with this, increase the pronation to tolerance.


#5

Question. what do you mean, increase the pronation to tolerance?


#6

Pronate as much as you’re comfortable with.


#7

Make sure you aren’t choking the ball too much either. You take speed off the ball by having the additional fingers on the ball along with the additional pronation. If you choke the ball too much you wind up taking not only speed from the ball but movement as well.


#8

As I have often said regarding the palmball—or any other changeup—you DON’T want to squeeze the juice out of the ball! A firm, but not too tight, grip should suffice, and you can vary things by loosening up on it, holding the ball further forward in your hand—and always remember, you have to throw everything with the same arm motion and the same arm speed as for the fastball.