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Reyes' New Pitch (too bad he doesn't know it yet)

I have an undocumented history of wanting Anthony Reyes to learn the split-finger fastball.

I have an undocumented history of wanting Anthony Reyes to learn the split-finger fastball. I had thought when all of the talk about Reyes needing to learn to keep the ball down that the best way to not affect him too much was to let him continue with the 4-seamer and then add the split. It gets the ground out that the coaches want and the Ks that Reyes wants with very little adjustment to his philosophy/approach.

This was brought back to the spotlight after his last start when he seemingly abandoned the changeup altogether.

Today, somebody just pointed out to me that Paul Byrd was listening to my advice even though I never gave it to him.

A couple of things that led me to this conclusion:

  1. I will always remember in 2002 when Andy Benes came back from his knee injury he picked up the split and was striking out hitters at a rate that I thought was not possible for him. What changed? He added a splitter.
  2. Watching Danny Haren pitch in the playoffs last year. He would get a hitter 1-2 or 0-2 and then let the splitter fly. It always seemed (and this is probably revisionist history) to get either a strikeout or a groundout.
I know that there is a stigma against the pitch. The Columbus Dispatch article has lines about an old dog needing a new trick, etc. But the thing is just too darn effective. And Anthony is in need right now.

This just seemed like a good time to bring this up since the Cards are open to advice at this point in the season.