We sat down with Charleston Riverdogs Manager Torre Tyson for a Q&A session to get his thoughts on…
Duff Goes Back To Throwing From Wind-Up
"At the beginning of the year I was pitching only out of the stretch," Grant Duff admitted. "I think it was a mental thing for me, I felt that I couldn't throw as hard from there and my velocity was lower than where I wanted it to be."
According to Duff, the change back to the wind-up has helped his velocity, but he is still not quite at the level that he expected to be at in relation to previous years.
"When I got back to the wind-up it has helped my velocity a little," Duff stated. "I've thrown around a hundred innings this year and my velocity is good, but not quite where I want it. It's definitely better than where it was at the beginning of the year."
One of the main pitches that Duff has used throughout the course of the year is the changeup, which he spent much of the earlier part of the season developing. Despite throwing it for the year, and throwing it well, Duff still believes that he has more work to do to make the pitch a more effective compliment to his slider and fastball.
"I think my changeup was better at the beginning of the year than it is now, but I made some changes after my last start which I think are going to help it a lot," said Duff. "It's a pitch that does take time to develop, but I feel that there are only minor changes that need to be made and I will be throwing it fine."
Pitching Coach Carlos Reyes agreed with Duff's assessment of his changeup and said that the changes are minor ones that are easily correctable.
"Grant went back to the wind-up, which I think has had an effect on his changeup recently," stated Reyes. "When we first started developing it, he was pitching from the stretch and I think going back to the wind-up and pitching the changeup is just something that he needs to get a feel for and he will be fine with it."
Duff attributes most his league leading eleven wins to luck, good offensive support, and pitching to contact more, which enables him to stay in games longer.
"Much like the beginning of the year, I am doing a good job of pitching long in to games," asserted Duff. "I have been able to get a lot of batters out without overexerting myself and raising my pitch count up, which has allowed me to keep the runs at a minimum and give my offense a chance to win."
Despite leading the league in wins and being in the top eight in innings pitched, Duff is also the South Atlantic League leader in walks, but he believes that it is something not to fret over as he knows what he is doing wrong and how he can correct it.
"Well luckily being first in the league in walks hasn't caught up to me too bad, I'm doing enough to keep the team in games, but it is something I need to correct," said Duff.
"I think it's all mechanical, I'm pulling off a lot to the left side of the plate instead of going straight towards home plate. If I can fix that I'll throw a lot more strikes, be more effective, and won't give up as many runs."
Overall, Coach Reyes is excited about the progress Duff has made throughout the season, especially with all of the new additions being thrown his way.
"Grant will be fine," Reyes stated simply. "We are settled on him pitching from the wind-up now because he is more comfortable with that and his velocity is better; once he gets his changeup back to where it was at the beginning of the year and fixes some minor problems, he will be right on track."
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