Originally Posted by dougdirt
The thing I noticed with him last season when watching him was that when he couldn't throw his slider for strikes, guys would sit on his fastball who had the understanding of the pitch. His fastball isn't good enough that guys can sit on it and he can get away with it. While I haven't seen him pitch this year, my guess is that he still struggles to throw his slider for strikes and more guys at this level are able to lay off of it and can sit fastball. So he is getting hit by those guys pretty well, but the guys with the lesser pitch recognition skills are still striking out against him because they are chasing the slider out of the zone.
I have heard rumors of the lowered velocity too, but I don't know about it for sure.
Doug, on a technical basis, that sure sounds plausible as a contributing factor. But since he's striking out 11 per nine innings, I can't believe that's a major concern as a whole. I saw his LD% is 17% which is still lower than average. Though he's given up four homers in 21 innings, by all indications he's not getting hit very hard. Still, a .470 BABIP suggests he's simply having a ton of rotten luck and even if there are issues with throwing his slider for strikes, or even losing velocity, the overriding conclusion I would make is that he's still in pretty good shape.