This isn’t Reds-related, but it follows up on our recent discussion about the Reds’ decision to scrap Dan O’Brien’s (low-)minor league pitch count and tandem starter plan.

This article talks about the Padres’ new requirement that all minor league pitchers thow at least 20% changeups.

The plan, implemented by Grady Fuson, a very well-respected development guy, doesn’t leave any grey area at the lower levels.

“We are using 20 percent as our earmark, with some flexibility in the upper levels based on the type of team they are facing,” Fuson said. “But in the lower levels of the system – none, no flexibility.”

Obviously, this is a huge contrast to the focus on “individual plans” that Johnny Almaraz was talking about the other day.

In a passage that would certainly bunch up the panties of the DDN’s Marc Katz:

Fuson said the Padres will indulge change-ups that get clobbered, because in the long run, the prospect will benefit.

“If the Padres are doing that, I applaud them,” said Steve Lubratich, the Indians’ director of personnel, who previously worked for the Tigers and Padres. “Not everybody is going to have a great change-up, no matter how you do it, but it’s a great way to develop pitchers. The goal of the minor leagues is to develop major league players. The change-up might not help them in (Class) A ball, but down the road it will help them.”

And I just enjoy this response to resistance by unproven minor leaguers:

“My whole thing is about increasing the odds of success,” Fuson said. “If you don’t want to throw your change-up, you’re telling me you’re a reliever. Fine. There’s the bullpen down there.”

2 Responses

  1. Cary

    How, Grady, how does this increase the odds of success? Why 20%? What type of change up?

    Isn’t Fuson the one who introduced DanO to the tandem system?

  2. al

    it’s interesting, but i agree he didn’t need to belittle career relievers, and it seems like a rule that doesn’t need to apply to relievers at all in the end.

    If you draft a young billy wagner or whoever, do you try to force him to learn a change-up? what’s the point if he’s going to throw fastball slider in the bigs and strikeout 12/9?

    for starters it might make sense.