Originally Posted by blandman
It's pretty apparent the league caught up to him (which shouldn't be a surprise considering his success is built around a trick pitch players haven't seen in years).
According the pitch data, he threw a whopping 112 screwballs this year. That's one every 5 or 6 batters. I suppose it's possible that some of those got classified as changeups since it basically does look like an extreme circle change. Even if you count every changeup he threw as a screwball (which probably isn't accurate), it's still 1 every two batters faced.
I think his struggles later in the year are as much to do with running out of gas (not surprising for a guy who wasn't a starter earlier and had never thrown that many innings before in a season) as with the league figuring him out. His control got worse and he seemed to always be behind in the count, and he got hit harder as a result. You know who had a similar late-season problem the year before? Quintana and Sale. Guess we should have written them off too.
I'm not ready to give up on him yet like so many around here are.