That's not to say De La Rosa's fastball isn't great. In fact, he throws the fastest average fastball of anyone in baseball (95.9 MPH) -- even Justin Verlander. In last night's game, his 109th pitch was a 100 MPH fastball. That certainly doesn't suck.
But what about the secondary stuff? I tweeted last night it was nice to see him throwing the slider as much as he was because it wasn't a good pitch when he came up. It's inconsistent right now, but has plus-potential.
But what about the changeup? It's a pitch that doesn't get as much acclaim from scouts as the fastball, but it's his best secondary pitch. So why doesn't he throw it that much? Well, only he knows the answer to that, but the numbers dictate that he should throw it more.
He's thrown it 66 times, getting 42 strikes (63.6 percent) and 11 swinging strikes (16.7 percent). Now, 11-of-66 swinging strikes might not seem like a lot, but it's his best swing-and-miss pitch and the pitch he throws for strikes most consistently.
During last night's game, he only threw five, getting three strikes and no swinging strikes. It was evident that he didn't have a lot of confidence in the pitch last night and that could be said for his last three starts as well. He's thrown just five in each of his last three starts.
Pitch Breakdown (per start)
|June 7 @ PHI||96||76||79.2%||10||10.4%|
|June 12 @ COL||82||62||75.6%||14||17.1%|
|June 18 vs. HOU||85||70||82.4%||8||9.4%|
|June 24 vs. ANA||100||74||74.0%||16||16.0%|
|June 29 @ MIN||99||80||80.8%||8||8.1%|
|July 4 vs. NYM||98||75||76.5%||11||11.2%|
|July 9 vs. SD||98||83||84.7%||6||6.1%|
|July 19 @ SF||88||72||81.8%||11||12.5%|
|July 25 vs. COL||113||89||78.8%||19||16.8%|
|Game||PC||FB||Strikes||Strk %||SStrk||SStrk %|
Slider Breakdown (per start)
|Game||PC||SLD||Strikes||Strk %||Sstrk||SStrk %|
|June 7 ||96||10||3||30.0%||1||10.0%|
Changeup Breakdown (per start)
|Game||PC||CHG||Strikes||Strk %||Sstrk||SStrk %|
I know he and all pitchers can't be dependent on secondary pitches, especially with a great fastball, but it could help the 22-year-old become a more well-rounded pitcher now and in the future.
Data courtesy of Brooks Baseball and Baseball-Reference. Also, thanks to Chad Moriyama for pointing out where to find this data.