At Baseball Daily Digest, I thumb through Pitch F/X data to analyze the debut made by Pedro Martinez for the Phillies.
It’s interesting to look at — from the first base view — how similar his change-up and slider are, especially considering they only differ by about two MPH. Obviously, looking at the bird’s eye view, his change-up moves towards a right-handed hitter while his slider tails towards a left-handed hitter. Most pitchers would love to have even one pitch that moves as well as that; Pedro has two, one for lefties and one for righties.
As expected, Pedro was at around 87 MPH with his fastball — definitely not the hard-throwing Pedro we came to love in the late-1990’s when he was with the Boston Red Sox. However, as Jamie Moyer proved last season, you don’t need to throw hard to succeed if you have intelligence, and Martinez might know a thing or two about pitching.