I noted after yesterday's game that Michael Pineda only threw four changeups to a predominantly left-handed lineup. Through three starts, we've seen a ton of his fastball and a lot of his slider, but changeups have been few and far between, and this has caused some concern among the fan base that the development of Pineda's critical third pitch is being pushed to the back burner. It's with that in mind that Shannon Drayer shares some encouraging words:
[Pineda] is following [Olivo's] lead in both games and bullpen sessions, where he is working on his change up and throwing inside.
"I am working in the bullpen for a lot of left-handed hitters," Pineda said at his locker after his second win. "Working on throwing a lot of fastball in and change up away for the left-handed hitters."
So there you go. Pineda isn't featuring his changeup much in games right now, but he is working on it in side sessions, so it's not like the coaching staff is allowing the pitch to atrophy.
Is this the proper approach? I can't answer that. On the one hand, the only way Pineda's going to develop confidence in his changeup is to use it against big league hitters during games. But on the other hand, he can find his feel and establish the muscle memory in the bullpen, and the muscle memory part is more important than the confidence part. More than anything else, Pineda just needs to get his reps, and it shouldn't matter so much when or where he gets them.
In conclusion, Pineda and theare very aware of the fact that his changeup could stand to be better, and they're working on it, even if they aren't working on it much in front of the camera. Expect to see more and more of the pitch as the season wears on. and I'll be very interested to see how far it's come along in the second half.