From Chad Jennings (courtesy of RAB Twitter):
For now, Phil Hughes is only throwing fastballs and changeups in his bullpen sessions, and he expects to throw one more bullpen before he mixes in curveballs and cutters. He compared the development of his changeup to last year’s development of the cutter. “I’ll concentrate on it all spring,” he said. “Hopefully I’ll get it to a point where it’s a solid pitch for me. It just comes with repetition.”
Although Hughes does not need a changeup to be successful as a reliever or a decent starter, he may need one to be an upper echelon type starter. The cutter is simply a fastball variant, and I am not sure he can get by throwing a fastball or similar pitch 70-75% of the time. Mixing in a solid changeup, even if he only throws it once an inning, will help keep hitters off balance and will force them to refrain from sitting on the fastball and curve. However, improving a pitch is not an easy endeavor, and there are no guarantees that Hughes’ hard work will pay off. Hopefully, he can experience at least some success with the pitch, and broaden his repertoire in preparation for his eventual move to the rotation.
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