I throw my sinker in the upper 70s with a slow breaking ball, a frisbee slider, and a change up with some fade, the velocitys are below in my signature, my question is when should I throw them? What works off of what?
Hitters are generally looking for first pitch fastballs, so it might be a good idea to sometimes start off the hitter with something else.
Fastballs set up offspeed pitches and breaking-balls.
Use your sinker to set up your change-up, and mix in the slider and breaking ball occasionally to fool the hitters. Mix up your pitches.
Don’t throw the same thing to each batter or in the same order each time.
Pitching is about using your head, trying to find out what the batter wants- and then not giving it to him. Throw breaking balls or change-ups in fastball counts, throw fastballs when the batter is not expecting a fastball.
Don’t be afraid to challenge the hitter with your best stuff when the hitter is down in the count. Be aggressive on the mound, use your sinker to get ground-balls.
Strategic pitching…that’s what it’s all about.
Here’s something Ed Lopat used to do when he would be facing batters who fancied themselves power hitters. He would take even more off his pitches—even throw a knuckleball (and he had a pretty good one)—and the result would be either a nice juicy strikeout or a weak dribbler to the first baseman who would make the play himself! Lopat told me that this always happened when Walt Dropo came to bat, and when he would return to the dugout foaming at the mouth and uttering all kinds of imprecations and invectives Lopat would call out to him "Dropo, you’re just a lousy hitter!"
And I kept this in mind when I had to face similar hitters in the course of a game. I would do what oldtimer Preacher Roe used to do—throw a change off a change off a change, and then come in there with that hard slider, and the result often included broken bats! It was terribly funny to see those guys at the plate waiting—and waiting—and waiting for the one pitch they would never get because I didn’t have one. 8)
Sinker and change break the same way… Or should. Curve and slider break the same. I like those sinkers and change ups to LHH and curves and sliders to RHH. This way, the ball is continually diving away from the hitter. Jam the fastball in and out, and then throw the soft stuff away.