From 2015-18, Jake Arrieta was a pitcher that leaned primarily on his sinker and mostly turned to his slider and curveball when it was time to add secondary options into the mix. On Friday, he continued his evolution into someone who can get you out with a changeup.
Arrieta forced 10 swing-and-misses against the Miami Marlins in the Phillies' 9-1 win on Friday night. Six of those came on via that change, which his manager thinks is at its best in 2019.
"This is as good as we have seen his changeup," manager Gabe Kapler said. "it was pretty spectacular tonight."
Kapler has seen a difference in the way that Arrieta attacks from the mound.
"I think [pitching coach Chris Young] has worked really hard on helping him create a vertical attack," Kapler said. "C.Y. talks a lot about how when his ball is moving horizontally, and his changeup moves down when it's good. When his ball is moving horizontally, he is more on barrels. When it's moving vertically, it's more off barrels. We saw that [Friday], he was off the barrel all night. Even when he wasn't getting the swings-and-misses, he was off barrels."
Arrieta's whiff percentage is significantly higher on his changeup compared to any other one of his pitches this season. He is getting swing-and-misses on 16 percent of his changeups; no other pitch has a whiff rate above 10 percent, according to Brooks Baseball. He has also yet to give up a fly-ball on his changeup in 2019.