Chicago Cubs: Craig Kimbrel still working on his changeup

(Photo by Masterpress/Getty Images)
(Photo by Masterpress/Getty Images) /
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The Chicago Cubs Craig Kimbrel has been tweaking his changeup, although he hasn’t thrown it as much.  In honesty? Four times he’s thrown it. Four.

The Chicago Cubs Craig Kimbrel doesn’t throw his changeup as much. In fact, he only has thrown four times. Compared to 6,873 fastballs and 3,024 breaking balls, he’s not keeping with the pace.

The righty has been tinkering with it, but that’s it. Tinker. He needs to ‘harness’ it before he learns how to throw it. The idea that he’s only thrown it four times is pretty telling. Mark Gonzalez said this about him:

"“My changeup has definitely been a spring training pitch over the years to work on, getting out front and not cutting the ball off and staying behind it,” Kimbrel said after throwing batting practice on a practice field in Mesa."

Kimbrel threw 67% fastballs, 33% breaking balls, according to the ‘Bill James Handbook.’ That’s 100% right there. He’s only thrown four, so that’s pretty sparing.

"“That should tell you something right there,” Kimbrel said."

Maybe Kimbrel will break it out this season. The 10-year major leaguer and seven-time All-Star should be looking to ‘change it up.’ Get it? He needs an out pitch, and what better than the changeup–even sparingly. But he’s got to throw it more often than four times.

Even if he throws to say three out of five? Three would be fine. He’s good. And you just need one. You don’t want them reading a changeup and timing it up. Nope. No good.

Back in March of 2015, they were still talking about it. And that is with the Atlanta Braves. He’s moved on the Boston Red Sox and the Chicago Cubs. It’s not new. He works on it every year.

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"“It’s nothing new,” Kimbrel said. “I joke around and play with [the changeup] every Spring Training.”"

Yet, he doesn’t throw it. Not outside of those few times. In a 10-year career, he needs to adapt. He needs to toss a changeup. Maybe this year, it’ll be time.

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