Bryse Wilson polished his change and got results for Pirates
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Bryse Wilson’s change is very different these days.
Over the season, Wilson’s average shift has been around 85 mph. In his last three outings, however, he’s been closer to 82. It’s not just the speed either; in those last three outings, Wilson’s changeover rpm plummeted, dropping nearly 300 rpm. Wilson’s change worked like different ground – because it was different ground.
Beginning this month, Wilson replaced his change with a splitter, a pitch he had previously experienced during his time in Atlanta.
“I can handle the ball really well,” Wilson said. “There are some restrictions on what I can do with the baseball depending on my arm lunge and release point, but with my command being as good as it is, I can at least throwing it somewhere where it’s not going to do a ton of damage even though I’m not super comfortable with it.
Wilson played with a splitter before in 2020 at the Atlanta alternate site, but he never found a grip that worked. Sometimes the ground cut. Sometimes the ground did not cut. The splitter never got beyond the experimental phase during Wilson’s stay in Atlanta. But over the past two weeks, Wilson dove deeper into learning the splitter and settled on a hold he could consistently replicate.
The right-hander started tinkering with the pitch earlier this month, days before his outing against the Mets at PNC Park on Sept. 7. When the Blue Jays were in Pittsburgh, Wilson chatted with former teammate Kevin Gausman. , whose splitter is one of the baddest in baseball.
“He said, ‘A lot of the swings and the misses you get with the split – or just swings in general – are based on arm speed alone. They see the arm speed of the fastball and it’s just not a fastball,” Wilson recalled. “That was the most important thing. You aim for a spot and throw it as hard as you can.