Effectiveness of the change up

over the past weekend i played in the 15u Cincy Flames tournament in Cincinatti. my first game i pitched a complete game 1 ER 2R 6 hits one walk four Ks. i used my sinker, knuckle curve, and slider. no change ups though because up until that point it sucked.

second game i threw 3 innings 0 Runs 1 hit no walks. all i used in those three innings was my sinker and a change up, i tried something new, i tried to throw the absolute crap outta my changeup and throw it right down broadway, it absolutely fell off the table and it was an unhittable pitch.

the lesson here? throw your change up hard, and it will go slow 8)

Why would you try to do anything else? Didn’t anyone ever tell you that the closer to FB arm speed, the more deceptive the CU would be?

yea, but i never hadfaith in it, i tried it in this game since it was a consolation game and it worked really well.

there are some things in baseball generally believed to be true because a lot of people believe them, but other than an ASMI study this past year, I’ve never hear anyone with any pitching expertise say anything different than, throw the CU with arm speed as close to FB arm speed as possible. And even then, the way they did their study didn’t prove not doing it was the best way, but rather that the pitchers in their study group didn’t have arm speed equal to the FB arm speed.

When literally everyone says basically the same thing, it would be very wise to at least give it a decent attempt. But its ok! The way people learn and grow, is when they make mistakes. Learn from this, and go forward.

It’s probably good to think about throwing it with the same arm action as your fastball. It’s just that this doesn’t happen, and the kinematics back it up. Part of the reason that the velocity drops is because one link of the kinetic chain is hindered (tougher to transfer force from the wrist to the ball when the ball is deep in the palm), but studies do show that shoulder and hip rotation is lessened in the changeup amongst “elite” pitchers.

Maybe they intentionally slow their rotation down. Maybe they don’t think about it. But they do.

Whether they do or they don’t is really immaterial. The point is, the closer the two actions are, the better. To so say or even imply that because it doesn’t happen perfectly, even in elite pitchers, only encourages a CU arm action that won’t provide most pitchers with their maximum effectiveness.

But what’s even more interesting to me and seems a “better” question, is what would happen if the shoulder and hip rotation weren’t lessened? Just because something happens doesn’t mean it can’t be done better or more efficiently.

This is a summary opinion without evidence. Please provide some.

interesting. Kyleb, could i see the studies you are refferring to?

Absolutely. Here is the most cited one by ASMI.

http://www.asmi.org/asmiweb/research/usedarticles/various_types.htm

What the studies show is that there are very clear kinematic differences between the fastball and changeup. Kinematics in this case means the motions of the body, the rates at which body segments rotate, and the angular velocities and displacements of the body’s joints.

Whether or not this is detectable by the average hitter is another question entirely, and not one that can be answered with any degree of confidence at this point.

Josh Kalk and others have done some rudimentary research on this using PITCHf/x differentiations and it is generally accepted that it is difficult - if not impossible - to distinguish a big league fastball from a big league changeup as a hitter before it is too late to change your approach.

This does not necessarily apply to lower levels of baseball, however. It stands to reason that similar kinematics and motions for the fastball and changeup are important to avoid tipping pitches, but similar does not imply identical. It also begs the question: How different must a pitcher’s kinematics and/or release point be before the average hitter can detect a tipped pitch in time to change their approach?

[quote=“kyleb”]What the studies show is that there are very clear kinematic differences between the fastball and changeup. Kinematics in this case means the motions of the body, the rates at which body segments rotate, and the angular velocities and displacements of the body’s joints.

Whether or not this is detectable by the average hitter is another question entirely, and not one that can be answered with any degree of confidence at this point.

Josh Kalk and others have done some rudimentary research on this using PITCHf/x differentiations and it is generally accepted that it is difficult - if not impossible - to distinguish a big league fastball from a big league changeup as a hitter before it is too late to change your approach.

This does not necessarily apply to lower levels of baseball, however. It stands to reason that similar kinematics and motions for the fastball and changeup are important to avoid tipping pitches, but similar does not imply identical. It also begs the question: How different must a pitcher’s kinematics and/or release point be before the average hitter can detect a tipped pitch in time to change their approach?[/quote]

Correct, differences do show up. But you do the same thing many others do in that you assume things that just aren’t part of that study as I read it.

Unless I’ve totally misunderstood what the study was doing, there was absolutely nothing in it trying to determine the effectiveness of any pitch.

Correct about there only being rudimentary studies having been done so far too. But you crisscross and mix-up the different levels to the point where its almost impossible to make any kind of judgment.

No one said the pitches had to be thrown identically, but common sense dictates that the closer they are, the more deceptive they’d be because even a minute delay in the detection would make the pitch more deceptive.

You can beg the question as much as you want, but there’s no definition for an “AVERAGE” hitter, so there’s no way it’s a question that can be answered.

When you use a description of a group of “ELITE”, you should also make sure you explain exactly what it means. I don’t have the report handy, but as I remember, the study group was defined. I may be wrong, but I believe D1 pitchers were in there. If that’s true, I will agree that all D1 pitchers play in an elite venue, but as for them all being elite in the sense that they’re all better than pitchers in any other college venue is questionable at best.

You shouldn’t get me wrong. I’m not saying now, nor have I ever said that a CU should be thrown exactly the same as a FB, other than the grip in order to be a devastatingly effective pitch. All I’ve really said is, the closer the two can be, the longer it takes hitters to recognize it in time to do something about it.