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Chris Volstad's Changeup Success: Unsustainable?

Chris Volstad (FLA) has done well throwing the changeup this season.  He's second in opponent's batting average (.063) behind Ryan Madson's change (.057).  Last year, opponents hit .246 against his changeup, putting Volstad in the bottom half of the league. 

Here's a look at how his changeup this season compares to last.

Chris Volstad's Changeup Movement

Volstad has lost a little vertical movement (BrkZ) on his changeup, while gaining some horizontal movement (BrkX).

Chris Volstad's Changeup Results

Batters have swung less and chased fewer of Volstad's changeups this season. Yet, they have swung and missed slightly more and failed to produce more than one hit. Perhaps the increase in left to right movement on the pitch has been more effective against batters, even at the expense of less downward movement.

I'd hesitate to suggest he will be able to sustain this success. Batters still make a great deal of contact against his changeup. Volstad has struck out only two batters with it this season. However, he's only thrown the change 13 times with two strikes. Given that a BABIP correction is more than likely forthcoming, he'll need to start throwing the change more when batters are down in the count.


The quality pitching of Jair Jurrjens

Braves righty Jair Jurrjens is this year's Ubaldo Jimenez. In case you haven't noticed, Jurrjens has made nine starts and has nine Quality Starts to show for it. In fact, he's 7-1 with a 1.51 ERA because he has yet to give up as many as three earned runs in any start this season. In May, in six starts, he was 5-1 with a 1.65 ERA and was the NL Pitcher of the Month.

So why is Jurrjens as hard to hit as his name is to spell? Take a look at him working the corners.

Jurrjens versus lefties

Lefties are hitting .260 against JJ

Jurrjens versus righties

Righties are hitting only .216 against JurrjensOverall, batters are hitting .234 against Jurrjens and if you haven't seen him yet hit the corners, you can always wait until the All Star Game, cause he'll be there.




A bit more like Cricket

Do you think Baseball needs some restructuring? See what technology guru Om Malik thinks in today's edition of Three Up Three Down.

As you might know I was born in India and I have an affinity with cricket and they have adopted a new form of cricket (T20) which is basically very very short form and the games are faster than Baseball. They have created a mash-up of NFL and MLB rules. They have a salary cap and they make it mandatory for teams to play certain local players instead of putting all overseas players. Click here for more...