Clay Buchholz has added a splitter this year to go with his well-known (and devastating) changeup. We first noticed this back when he was throwing one or two per game, but now it’s not unusual to see him throw a nice cluster of splitters in each start. A comparison between his pre-splitter and post-splitter pitch graphs is shown below:
We’re now 66 pitches into the Clay Buchholz splitter experiment. How is it working out?
The most sensible thing to compare it to is the changeup, his other off-speed pitch. The two are virtually equally effective at generating groundballs (51.4 percent GB/BIP for the change, 50.0 percent for the split) or giving up line drives (16.2 percent change, 16.7 percent split).
The two major differences: swings, and swings and misses (whiffs).
Hitters swing at the splitter 63.6 percent of the time, compared to only 49.4 percent of the time for the change.
But hitters whiff at the splitter only 26.2 percent of the time, compared to ...