Jeremy Hellickson Struggles With Command | The Process Report

Jeremy Hellickson Struggles With Command

Although Jeremy Hellickson pitched efficiently through his first six innings, what stood out afterward is how he struggled to locate his pitches.

Too often Hellickson’s pitches caught the middle of the plate. Unsurprisingly, the Orioles hitters put 28 balls in play off Hellickson.

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With recently spotty fastball command Hellickson’s secondary pitches take on more importance. On Friday night Hellickson’s curveball also faltered. Though an effective offering entering the contest, Hellickson allowed five hits, including a double, off his bender against the O’s.

Hellickson’s curveball troubles started early, when Manny Machado hit a first-inning double. Later that inning, Hellickson threw one to Matt Wieters who hit a two-out single through the right side to drive in Nate McLouth and Machado. The same scenario replayed itself in the eighth inning when Hellickson threw Wieters a first-pitch curveball and the catcher hit it back up the middle for a two-run single in another two-out situation.

The curveball has been a weapon for Hellickson in the past when he locates it either within or below the zone, as he tends to do so well:

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Compare that frequency plot to where Hellickson located his curveball in Friday’s contest:

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Joe Maddon said he still has confidence in Hellickson, and he should. Maddon also said Hellickson’s struggles were about location, and they were.



One Comment

  1. […] issues with command have been discussed repeatedly here, but most of the focus was put on the fastball rather than the […]

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