Anibal Sanchez missed a little time this spring with a minor shoulder injury and had some bad fortune with respect to the weather over the last couple of weeks, which meant he had a short leash going into Friday’s start. He had some issues early, but settled in quite nicely during innings 2-4.
Last year, Sanchez had the highest swing and miss rate of his career, due in part to his ability to generate more whiffs with his changeup. On Friday, he threw a “changeup off his changeup” as Dan and Jim put it, taking some extra off the pitch to make Adam Jones look silly. You’ll notice that pitch way down there at about 75 mph.
This is a nice weapon. Not only does Sanchez throw a changeup around 83-84 mph to go with his 92-95 mph fastball, he occasionally breaks out a low to mid 70s version that works quite nicely. He averaged about one a start last year depending on how you divide up the velocity. They weren’t more effective than his normal changeup, but it’s a nice option to have in the ol’ arsenal. Plus, I mean, look at it.