Rowan Wick, who impressed late in 2019 with a distinct curveball, has emerged as a late-game fireman for David Ross. Wick has maintained that success in 2020 (2.88 FIP) in part by changing his pitch sequencing. Specifically, the stout righty has pitched “backwards” by starting at-bats with more curveballs and cutters than fastballs.
Imagine stepping into the batter’s box in the 8th or 9th inning and the first pitch you see is a wicked curveball that has top-tier spin efficiency. But Wick isn’t just starting at-bats with curves, he’s throwing them nearly 40% of the time after being around 27% last year. He has also thrown slightly more cutters, a pitch that he was working on during spring training.
Wick’s striking out 10.8 batters per nine innings, up from 9.45 last season, but he’s inducing fewer whiffs than in 2019 (9.3% to 11.5%). Looks like those backwards results match up perfectly with his new style of pitching.