Minnesota Twins Starter Adds Two New Pitches To Repertoire

Minnesota Twins starter Joe Ryan is making some changes to his repertoire this spring.

He has added a split-finger pitch to serve as his changeup and has revamped his slider. Ryan's slider, in particular, has caught the attention of manager Rocco Baldelli, who described it as almost a brand-new pitch. Ryan has been refining these new pitches with the help of Driveline Baseball, where he has made multiple offseason trips.

"Joe's slider, to me, really stood out. I'd call it a new pitch. He may call it the same pitch and a different version of it. But that's really exciting," Baldelli said.

Ryan's fastball was his most frequently used pitch last season, accounting for 60.1% of his pitches thrown. While he had success with it, giving up only a .300 slugging percentage against, he did struggle with his slider, giving up eight of his 20 home runs allowed on that pitch, with a .497 slugging allowed.

Ryan has an average fastball velocity of 91.5 mph, but it is his extremely deceptive four-seam fastball that helped him generate an above-average 9.2 K/9 and 12% swinging-strike rate. As a flyball pitcher with a ground ball percentage of 27.7%, home runs can be a concern for Ryan, but an improved offspeed repertoire could be very effective for him.

Last season, the twenty-six-year-old finished with a respectable 3.55 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, and 151/47 K/BB ratio over 147 innings pitched in 27 starts.

It will be interesting to see how his new pitches and revamped slider perform this spring and whether they can help him take his game to the next level. Photo Credit:  Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports