Need help with my changeup

I have been trying out different kinds changeups for a while now and I haven’t been able to get the right action and movement that I would like. I have tried the circle change, the palmball and the vulcan change.

Does anyone have any recommendations?

Define “for a while now”

The change is a difficult pitch, regardless of the type to learn because of how much of a feel pitch it is. Pick one and really work on it so it becomes comfortable and natural for you.

The easiest way is to play catch with it and focus on the feel and trust yourself when you throw it, don’t get hung up on movement, fade and depth yet since you are still trying to get comfortable with the pitch itself, once it becomes more natural to you then start worrying about movement, fade and depth.

There are 30 year olds in MLB who can’t throw their changeup the way they want to. It’s a feel pitch.

Do you have any recommendations for mechanics or drills?

To respond to you Wales, I think that I may have been a little impatient with the results of my changeup. The changeup takes time to really be able to execute so I will work more on it. Which type of change should I use?

I’ve found the best way is a progression, start off with a palm or box or whichever feels more comfortable so you get used to the feeling of choking the ball and then work towards a circle or 3 finger etc.

Once you’re comfortable with the grip of the change piece you feel will be most beneficial to you then start worrying about pronating to get movement etc.

I also found throwing as hard as I could as often as
I could with the change-up grip helped me get the feel. I also found the circle change the easiest to balance the ball like a fastball (sort of) middle and ring fingers on top and thumb on the bottom then pronate on release, which seemed to make it really die and tail to the throwing side.

If you try the circle change some more, try gripping 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 - don’t shift thumb and middle finger. Then pronate to tolerance. This should help with control of the pitch.

That sounds like it might really drop. I’ll have to try that one.

Thanks guys great advice and just a quick question for you Roger, where do I put my pinky and my ring finger on the change you taked about? Also should I curl my index finger when I tuck it down the ball?

Use your ring finger along with your middle finger to throw the pitch. In fact, I often tell pitchers trying to learn the circle change to simply throw a fastball using the middle and ring fingers. Getting those two fingers behind the ball requires you to pronate a bit but, just as importantly, it keeps things simple. As they start to get it down, I have them pronate more.

Index finger is usually curved though I don’t think that is important. What is important is getting the finger on the side of the ball such that it can’t be used to accelerate the ball.

Pinky position is personal preference.

Last year, my 12u son start working in more off-speed pitches. He had learned the circle ghange in years’ past, but never had good control of it…especially the first few he would throw. He ended up throwing his curve ball more often because he had good control of it, even though he just learned to throw it.
Not wanting him to rely on just fastballs and curveballs this upcoming season, I had him try different ways of throwing a changeup in the off-season. What worked best is very similar to what Roger mentions in the previous post. His ring and middle finger start on top of the ball, and doesn’t jam the ball back too far in his hand. At release, he pronates slightly, with his ring and pinkie finger touching the ball last. The ball ends up spinning sideways, creating a slight inward and down movement on the same handed batter. I would guess it’s at least 10 mph slower than his FB. Most importantly, he has great control of this pitch and seems to transition to it well after throwing other types of pitches.

Thanks for the great tips! Im definetly gonna try really hard and work on the pitch that Roger and Brian seem to like a lot.

My wise and wonderful pitching coach of decades back said that just about any pitch I threw could be turned into a nice changeup, and he demonstrated several such for me and showed me how to throw them. It all had to do with the grip and how far back, or far forward, I held the ball and how I could vary the speed by tightening or loosening the grip. Nothing complicated. I remember how the first changeup I acquired, at age 12, was a palm ball (what is often referred to as the Bugs Bunny change), and very effective it was too. That was my starting point, and I went on to pick up several more changeups. Of course, I crossfired all of them, the way I did with all my other pitches, and it gave the hitters no end of conniption fits. :slight_smile: :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

Like Zita above, I too started off with a Palmball, and to this day is still the only changeup I’m comfortable throwing regularly. To make it work for me, I place the ball directly in the palm of my hand and grip with all four fingers. The thumb is barely used at all. I also put most of my pressure on the index finger so I’m pressing the ball against my palm with the finger.

Now it may work differently or have a different feel for you. But for me, I find what helps is to release it similarly to how I release my knuckler. I let it roll off my index finger on release just for a moment, and then I push the ball off, taking all fingers off the ball. The end result should be a pitch that looks like a 4-seamer, and even has some rotation similar to the heater. But as it gets to the plate, it should just drop right through the zone.

If it helps, I included a picture of how I grip the thing…


After thinking hard I decided to go with the Vulcan change up. For the past couple of months I have been working on it and in the past couple of bullpens and throwing to live batters it has really worked well! I have developed a nice feel for it. The pitch has a nice sink to it at the end and I can place it well. Thanks for all the support!

Change up is all feel. Find a grip that you feel most comfortable with and throw it the entire time you warm up. Long toss with it. Grip it loosely in your hand and hold it deep in your fingers. The only way to develop a good change up is to throw it constantly. Once you feel comfortable with the grip, you can start toying with the level of pronation you want which effects movement ( as well as your arm slot ). Lastly, a little trick i learned was to ball up your toes on your post foot when you throw this pitch. It naturally causes you to have less of a drive to the plate and takes velo off the ball without having to slow your arm down.

Good luck

Roger, this week while playing catch with my son I was experimenting with my change-up after I thought about what you said about splitting the ball --much like I already do with my fastball. I get inward movement from my fastball with increased middle finger pressure, so I increased my ring finger pressure on the change-up while making sure my thumb was under the ring finger.

After about 15-20 throws my son noticed some additional throwing side movement and asked what I was doing. I showed him. After about 5-6 throws from him, he got an absolutely sick 30 degree change of direction to the throwing arm side that occurred about 20 feet from home. I thought I was watching a video game or that he had switched the baseball for a wiffle ball because the ball ran about 12 inches. I just held the ball and stared at it, then we stared at each other and had a chuckle. He tried to repeat the movement with the next 5-10 throws and got decent movement but never got exactly the same sharpness to it. He left for DC the next day and I’ve been waiting to get him back out there to find that pitch again. I had never seen anything like it. We must find that pitch!

Sweet! :allgood: