Continuing our examination of Brett Myers, let’s take a look at his pitch frequency over the last 3 years.
In 2010, Myers became a lot more efficient at hitting the outside corners against both hitters. Against RHB, you can see that he rarely touched the inner half of the plate at all last year; against LHB, Myers primarily hit the lower outside corner, unlike the previous two seasons where he threw to the center of the plate quite often.
In his career, Myers has relied mostly on his fastball and curveball, throwing in a slider (borderline cutter) and changeup from time to time. However, he’s slowly begun to utilize his slider more, and last year was the first time he actually threw it more than his curveball. The results were very good.
Now first things first: Myers 2009 season was cut down by injury, so we should take that into consideration when comparing seasons. But there’s no doubt that he’s improved his slider to the point where it’s become an effective out pitch. His walk rate did jump bit, which is no surprise given that he’s throwing to the edges of the zone more. I would caution optimistic ‘Stros fans that the ridiculously low HR rate on his slider is bound to regress this season, especially if he’s utilizing the pitch more. But location is key, and if Myers avoids the middle of the zone like he did last year, he should continue to see positive results.