Originally written on Baseball Prospectus  |  Last updated 8/17/12

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:

Pre-splitter

Post-splitter

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 38.2 percent of the time for the change. In two-strike counts, hitters whiff at the change 30.4 percent of the time, nearly twice the rate at which they whiff at the splitter (16.7 percent).

Of the 66 splitters Buchholz has thrown, 44 of them have been to left-handed hitters, who’ve whiffed at 32.1 percent. Twenty-two of them have been to right-handed hitters, who’ve whiffed at 14.3 percent. Of course, for that last number, we’re talking only two whiffs out of 14 swings, so small-sample-size caveats apply.

Bottom line: if we had to evaluate the Clay Buchholz splitter experiment after only 66 pitches, it’s hard to say that the new pitch has been much more effective than his changeup. But in order to know for sure, more incisive analysis has to be done on his pre-split vs. post-split performance with other pitches.

Pitch Tags pulled from the PITCH INFO database. All information in this post can be viewed on Clay Buchholz’s player card on BrooksBaseball.net.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Cam Newton addresses ‘gang’ photo on Instagram

Steelers defense is younger and faster but not better

Duke basketball to visit White House next Tuesday

Report: Cowboys have interest in Broncos RB Montee Ball

NFL owners to discuss changing Goodell's disciplinary role

Report: Eagles trade Matt Barkley to Arizona Cardinals

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Bill Belichick on having Tom Brady back: ‘He never left’

Mendoza replaces Schilling on 'Sunday Night Baseball'

Report: LeBron expanding program to help adults get GEDs

Here's Johnny 2.0

Michigan remains a fixer-upper in wake of loss to Utah

Tom Brady Sr. happy 'Kangaroo Court' no longer in session

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Robert Griffin III and a dream deferred

Best, worst surprises of NFL preseason

The Gospel Of Harbaugh prepares for its ultimate test of faith

Meet the Utah Utes, the pluckiest program in college football

Iman Shumpert will name daughter Iman Shumpert Jr.

Dallas company celebrates Romo with DirecTV 'crownies'

Top 10 storylines for Week 4 of the NFL preseason

Matt Williams is still hopelessly married to the idea of the closer’s role

Five unique CFB games to watch this weekend

Be careful what you wish for, Jay Gruden

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker