Planning on heading out to the ballpark to watch Florida Marlins minor leaguers in action this season? Get ready to see a lot of changeups, if Larry Beinfest has his way:
As an organization, the Marlins are preaching the need for their own pitchers to learn how to throw a changeup.
Larry Beinfest, the team’s president of baseball operations, instructed the Minor League pitching staffs to teach the changeup.
“I believe he told everybody in our Minor Leagues that they’ve got to throw changeups. Teach the changeup,” Gonzalez said. “It’s just that hard of a pitch to pick up as a hitter.”
The organizational philosophy earned mention on the heels of Johan Santana’s Opening Day performance against Florida, when he allowed two runs on three hits while striking out eight batters in seven innings. Last August, a survey of American League managers by Baseball America listed Santana’s changeup as the best in the league.
It’s hard not to like this philosophy. Just off the top of my head, I can think of a few young Marlins who experienced arm troubles last year, a curse that could be helped by the low stress level involved in throwing the pitch.
Of course, they are far from the first organizaton to try this – I wonder how it’s worked out in the past?