The only thing that really comes to mind is a pitch for a baseball card. I don’t know all that well but the best pitch is the one where you have a big strike and the hitter doesn’t go for it or just does the easy option. It’s not as easy as it seems because it takes a certain amount of concentration. The easiest version is to pull the ball. The difficulty is knowing if it’s going to be fair or a line drive. You just have to get it into the hole.”
In other words, the pitcher needs to know what he’s doing in his next pitch and where to put it in order to give himself and the batter what he is looking for.
This is not unique to Shohei Ohtani or to baseball or pitching in general. Pitchers make the most important pitches because they are the ones who can throw strikes and allow hitters to hit them.
If Ohtani had the kind of command and command is everything at the MLB level, maybe he would not need to make pitchers throw strikes. That would open up a lot of other pitches, not just baseball.
But it does not seem like Ohtani has a lot of confidence in his off pitch. The Cubs have been working with him on this, but are not going to stop until he learns to trust it.
“That’s my off pitch. It’s one of the hardest and most important parts to pitch. You have to know what you’re doing, that kind of ball-breaking stuff is where I kind of struggle. Some pitchers, their off pitches are always coming and not falling and the hitter hitting it well. When I’m a walk-in I’m always asking the catcher what he can do. I don’t like walking up, my off curveball isn’t falling for me. They don’t get it up.”
You see, the baseball that Ohtani is throwing in the bullpen has different characteristics that the regular, full-count baseball doesn’t have. When hitters hit off the pitch Ohtani throws his off-speed pitches, it’s usually a breaking changeup that isn’t even breaking 90 or 100.
“We want him to hit that fastball, but we’re trying to teach him to throw the off-speed stuff,” said Terry Collins, the general manager for the Cubs. “What I want to teach him is to know when he’s at the bottom of the count when he’s at the top and when he’s in the zone on
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