How The Indians Corey Kluber And Carlos Carrasco Are Dominating With The Slider

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When They Threw Them (Usage)

As you can see in the tables above, Carrasco distributed his slider very close to the league average, throwing the pitch more often on 0-2 counts (13% to 9%) but staying within two percentage points of the league average on all other counts. Kluber, on the other hand, threw a majority of his sliders with two strikes (60% compared to league average of 37%), favoring the pitch in particular on 0-2 and 1-2 counts. This means that batters were especially off-guard when Kluber threw his slider. He can set batters up with his two seam and four seam fastballs and has a devastatingly sharp cutter that he can get loads of swings and misses on, so Kluber has the luxury of keeping the slider in his back pocket and using it only when the hitter is defending the plate. Carrasco managed to get his average four seam fastball speed as high as 97.7 mph and has a truly unique changeup that dives out of the strike zone, so he too has a great ability to set batters up and save his slider for two strikes. This difference in approach is not surprising considering the difference in movement between the two pitches. Since Kluber’s slider has such drastic horizontal break, it’s harder to keep the pitch in the zone. It’s also easier to get hitters to swing and miss at pitches that aren’t even close. This means it makes more sense to throw the pitch on 0-2 and 1-2 counts when there is little cost of throwing a ball.

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