{}
CLOSE

Now Commenting On:

Parnell credits knuckle-curve for success

|

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Bobby Parnell credits much of his recent success -- and the resulting ninth-inning duties that he is on track to obtain -- to the knuckle-curve Jason Isringhausen taught him back in 2011. Initially fooling with the pitch late that year, Parnell committed to it during Spring Training 2012 as he scrapped his slider altogether.

It's a valuable pitch, yet advanced metrics reveal that Parnell's slider was actually a more effective offering than his knuckle-curve. That Parnell improved his overall numbers in 2012 was thanks in large part to some much-improved control, and also to a better fastball.

So what gives? Pitching coach Dan Warthen said Parnell's fastball has become a more effective weapon due to a greater separation of velocity between it and his breaking ball. Whereas Parnell used to throw his primary breaking pitch in the upper-80s, he now throws his knuckle-curve in the lower 80s. As a result, hitters have a more difficult time adjusting from one pitch to the other.

"The spread of velocity always works," Warthen said. "It's a big difference, a seven- or eight-mile an hour difference."

Warthen also noted that Parnell tends not to throw many flat knuckle-curves, which had been an issue for him with the slider.

{}
{}
Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español