Brewers starting pitcher Shaun Marcum will admit that he likes pitching under the radar, being the other guy to prominent pitchers like Zach Greinke. Now with the Brewers losing Greinke to a rib injury for the first 2-4 weeks of the season, the spotlight will be on Marcum right out of the gate.
Along with a very good cutter, Marcum features an outstanding changeup. Opposing batters whiffed on the pitch 44.7% of the time last season, putting him in the top 3% of the league (min. 200 changeups thrown), among company like Cole Hamels, Clay Buchholz, and Tim Lincecum.
As expected, Marcum keeps the change low, and batters were simply unable to get the bat on it.
Batters put up a .172/.197/.233 line versus his change in 2010, and a .188/.256/.298 expected line, which places a value on all changeups thrown in a plate appearance. As the graphic above shows, Marcum's change stayed down and in to righties and down and away to lefties. However, batters could not get good wood on the pitch, with most of the damage done on the rare change hung up in the zone.
To have a successful changeup, you need to have a decent enough fastball. Marcum's one major issue last season came on his fastball versus right-handed batters.