Tim Marchman of the New York Sun, a terrific writer, wrote a great analysis yesterday about the massive change in results that Mike Pelfrey and Oliver Perez have gotten under pitching coach Dan Warthen. Both were struggling early this season under pitching coach Rick Peterson.
To sum up the piece, Perez is throwing more strikes and generally closer to the strike zone now. He doesn’t appear to have modified the types of pitches that he’s throwing. And Pelfrey changed the pitches he’s throwing from sinker/change up to straight fastball, sinker, curve ball. The results, of course, have been dramatic for both pitchers.
My take is that Peterson had a philosophy that he believed to be the “correct” methodology for all pitchers to utilize. That is, being a fastball/change up pitcher more than using a curve ball.
It appears to me that Dan Warthen doesn’t subscribe to a one style fits all approach to pitching. Each pitcher needs to maximize their unique abilities. Although Duaner Sanchez hasn’t succeeded under Warthen that may be an aberration due to his year and a half out of baseball with injuries.