March 10, 2017
Dan Straily's Maybe Changing Two-Seamer
For nerdy baseball fans, the worst trade of the offseason was the Reds’ swap of Dan Straily to the Marlins. That’s not because there was an especially egregious mismatch in value in the deal; it was because the move separated Straily from the Reds’ beat reporters.
Just before being dealt, Straily spent almost an hour on a podcast with Zach Buchanan, one of the Reds writers for the Cincinnati Enquirer (and author of the Reds chapter in this year's Baseball Prospectus Annual). It was a delightful listening experience: wide-ranging but detailed, relaxed, smart. They talked about hunting and (ironically) what it’s like to be blindsided by a trade. My favorite discussion centered on the trip to Driveline Baseball from which Straily had returned just before the interview.
At Driveline Baseball, Straily had been throwing with some wearable technology and under the study of high-speed cameras. That allowed him to assess the stress his delivery was putting on his arm, but it also gave him a chance to work on something with which he’d never felt especially comfortable: a two-seam fastball.
“It’s a fine line sometimes, when you try to make different pitches better, or add a pitch,” Straily said. “You don’t want to take away from what already works. So, it was kind of a test for myself to go up there … and see that [adding a two-seamer] hadn’t affected my changeup, hadn’t affected my four-seam fastball or my slider.”