Juan C. Rodriguez, or as he is better known around here, JCR, reports that VandenHurk isn't using his curve ball, or at least didn't in his last start.
Among the benefits of Rick VandenHurk pitching for his native Netherlands in the World Baseball Classic was working with pitching coach Bert Blyleven.
The Marlins asked Blyleven, who had a devastating curve during what many consider a Hall of Fame career, assist VandenHurk with his.
As it turns out, the curve no longer is VandenHurk's primary breaking pitch. At the suggestion of people up and down the organization, VandenHurk began using the slider more. The curve remains in VandenHurk's back pocket, but he never had to take it out during Monday's win at San Diego.
Bert Blyleven should be in the Hall of Fame and when his name is mentioned, I never let the chance go by to say that.
Now onto young Mr. VandenHurk. After reading the article I checked out Pitch F/X of his last start and indeed it didn't show a curve ball thrown. It showed him throwing 18 sliders and 3 change ups out of the 88 total pitches, for roughly 24 percent of his total pitches. That sounds about right given the story.
The interesting thing is when I looked on fangraphs, they had no idea what he was throwing. Believe it or not, this is a good thing. Neither Pitch F/X nor fangraphs has any clue as to what Nolasco is throwing when he is throwing those hard breaking pitches of his. And believe me if the super duper technology can't identify it on the way to the plate, the hitter sure can't in less than half of a second.