Designing a pitch can be an arduous but rewarding process for a pitcher. When you find two or more pitches that have the potential to work well together, it may be worthwhile to make some changes if, for example, one isn’t yielding positive results. It’s not always as simple as it sounds, and sometimes the option of not using the pitch at all ends up being the best choice.
For an older pitcher, this process tends to be harder, though not impossible. They’ve gone through the majority of their career throwing a pitch with certain mechanics or gripping the ball in a particular way. Changes to either of those can be uncomfortable, which may create a developmental roadblock. However, there may come a point when becoming a more dynamic pitcher is necessary, especially as the aging curve starts its downward trend.
At 31 years of age, the Rangers’ Mike Minor put together the best season of his eight-year career. He posted a 3.59 ERA, an almost 3-1 K/BB rate, allowed his lowest ever contact rate in the strike zone, and had career highs in strikeouts (200) as well as innings pitched (208.1).
It might be a stretch to expect Minor to repeat his 4.2 WAR season, but it’s not…