Arizona Diamondbacks Breakout Starter Adds New Pitch

Arizona Diamondbacks right-hander Merrill Kelly is looking to add a sixth pitch to his already impressive arsenal this season. According to pitch-tracking data, Kelly has been experimenting with a slider in spring training and has used it six times so far.

Kelly's manager, Torey Lovullo, believes that the slider could provide another option for Kelly to get early-count outs or even strikeouts against right-handed hitters. Lovullo acknowledged that Kelly's current repertoire, which includes a four-seam fastball, two-seam fastball, curveball, changeup, and cutter, already works well. However, he emphasized the importance of making adjustments and trying new things.

The thirty-four-year-old had the best season of his four-year career last season, compiling a 3.37 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, with 177 strikeouts over 200.1 innings of work. His 33 starts led the league.

Kelly has reportedly embraced the challenge of adding a new pitch and is continuing to work on it in spring training. If he does bring the slider into the regular season, it could make him an even more formidable pitcher on the mound. Photo Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports