Originally Posted by mth123
I think the slider is a real key. As a reliever facing 3 or 4 hitters, that big breaking slider gets guys to swing and miss as they chase it out of the zone. I just think that working through a line-up three times and guys getting multiple looks at him, those chasing swings and misses are going to come to an end. Guys are going to learn to lay-off until Chapman proves he can get that pitch over the plate. Add that he'll be working at a lower velocity to pace himself through 6 or 7 innings, and hitters will have more time to make up their mind. IMO, Chapman's success as a starter isn't as much about adding a third pitch, but keeping that second pitch isn't as automatic as folks are assuming. Chapman is going to have to get that slider over the plate. I think its a question.
This is probably pretty true. It'll likely be less about him throwing 8 or 9 token changeups a game and far more about whether or not that slider is consistently effective. His fastball command's improved leaps and bounds in a short amount of time, so hopefully it's something that'll come with repetition.