Detroit Tigers: Alex Lange is generating a 61% whiff rate with this pitch
We continue to see a lot of development from various pitchers this season in the Detroit Tigers bullpen. Alex Lange continues to evolve and has found a third pitch.
Throughout the season, Motor City Bengals have taken a look at various players throughout the Detroit Tigers organization. There have been numerous changes throughout the pitching staff with pitch usage increasing or decreasing.
From Joe Jimenez to Casey Mize, we have examined what changes they have made to their assortment of pitches, thanks to the work of pitching coach Chris Fetter.
For Alex Lange, it is simply going back to his starters mentally when he was coming up through the minors and finding a third pitch that was going to be effective as a reliever in the majors. His fastball according to Baseball Savant, has him among the 76% percentile in spin and 88% in velocity.
As he described it to David Laurila of FanGraphs back in March, he throws a spiked curve but they have it as a slider in Savant. But one pitch he has been throwing with effectiveness is his changeup.
According to 2080 Baseball’s scouting report, his changeup was actually rated higher in future value at 50 versus the 45 grade he was given.
In a very small sample size, you can see it is an effective pitch. He has thrown it 45 times and has generated a slash line of .200, an XBA of.223, and a slugging percentage of .200. What is interesting until recently, he was hardly throwing it up here.
In yesterday’s game against the Twins, he was able to generate strikeouts on Jorge Polanco and Bryan Buxton. While Buxton fouled tip for the out, it was on the changeup.
Lange’s changeup goes well to compliment his fastball and slider. The only hit generated was by Gregory Polanco on a 1-1 count. He seems to be trusting his stuff more as evident with his comments to the Freep ($) a few days back.
"“Trusting that your stuff is good enough is super important,” Lange said. “Trusting that your ability is going to be there, and not trying harder than you have to. You always want to try your best, but don’t try to do something you’re not capable of doing. Trying to put a little more on the heater, it’s going to leak middle and not be executed, or you’re going to hang the breaking ball versus getting all the way through it."
Having the right command and pitch sequencing is key to any pitcher’s success. Throwing his changeup with confidence could make a significant difference to his pitching rapport. He generates a 61% whiff with the pitch and as far as a put-away pitch, he generates a 30% with it.
We will see how it progresses with a month left of the season to go but looking at this small sample size, this could be a good pitch to use for a put-away pitch.