Richardson Working Down

Matt Richardson had a solid debut season with the Gulf Coast League Yankees, posting a 3.86 ERA and striking out 17 batters in 14 innings. But while he only got into six games this year, he says he quickly learned one of the most important lessons.

"I thought it went pretty good," Matt Richardson said of his debut season. "My arm was getting tired. I never threw that much before in a season.

"My body wasn't tired but my arm was. I was tired towards the end but overall I thought it went pretty good. After this past season I want to get stronger for next season."

While he immediately was introduced to the physical demands of pitching so late in the year for the first time in his life, which affected the zip on his fastball, Richardson learned that velocity wasn't nearly as important as location.

"The toughest thing was keeping the ball down," he said of the hardest adjustment to the pro game. "All of the pro guys can hit a fastball so it's just different having to be able to throw all of your pitches and locating them, keeping them all down.

He says he could tell his arm was tiring down the stretch, seeing his normal low-90's fastball dip down to the 86-90 MPH range.

Richardson was warned by his coaches of such a decrease in velocity that most first-year pitchers out of high school must endure, but he now knows that even had his velocity not spiked down he still needed other weapons in his arsenal to be truly effective.

"My curveball was definitely my best pitch this year," he said. "My changeup was coming along okay. I never really had that much confidence in it, but it started getting better once I started throwing it more this season."

Wanting to improve his changeup into a reliable third pitch would go a long way, but he says the first step in improving his entire game involves getting back to the basics.

"My mechanics are a little messed up," he admitted. "I rush a lot and they [the Yankees] said I need to stay back when I'm pitching. My arm drags and I leave the ball up, which is bad."

He believes the intense one-on-one coaching he will be receiving this Instructional League season will quickly fix any mechanical issues he has and from there he wants to quickly get to work on his changeup.

"I just think repetition from throwing it more in Instructs and in the Dominican Republic, and in the offseason - and I'll be working on it in my bullpens - I can get it better," he said of his changeup. "I changed my grip around a little bit and been working on that also.

"I really want to get my changeup where I'm confident throwing it in any count. I think it would be really, really good to do that. I think a big advantage to become a big league pitcher is throwing changeups wherever you want in the count."

Richardson knows there is a certain recipe for improving his game. The main ingredient is staying back in his mechanics, sprinkling in more quality changeups, and keeping the ball down in the zone.

"I thought I did okay with that," he said. "A few outings were better than others. You can tell though, if you leave the ball up, they'll hit it."

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\r\n \r\n\r\n\"I thought it went pretty good,\" Matt Richardson said of his debut season. \"My arm was getting tired. I never threw that much before in a season.
\r\n
\r\n\"My body wasn't tired but my arm was. I was tired towards the end but overall I thought it went pretty good. After this past season I want to get stronger for next season.\"
\r\n
\r\nWhile he immediately was introduced to the physical demands of pitching so late in the year for the first time in his life, which affected the zip on his fastball, Richardson learned that velocity wasn't nearly as important as location.
\r\n
\r\n\"The toughest thing was keeping the ball down,\" he said of the hardest adjustment to the pro game. \"All of the pro guys can hit a fastball so it's just different having to be able to throw all of your pitches and locating them, keeping them all down.
\r\n
\r\nHe says he could tell his arm was tiring down the stretch, seeing his normal low-90's fastball dip down to the 86-90 MPH range.
\r\n
\r\nRichardson was warned by his coaches of such a decrease in velocity that most first-year pitchers out of high school must endure, but he now knows that even had his velocity not spiked down he still needed other weapons in his arsenal to be truly effective.
\r\n
\r\n\"My curveball was definitely my best pitch this year,\" he said. \"My changeup was coming along okay. I never really had that much confidence in it, but it started getting better once I started throwing it more this season.\"
\r\n
\r\nWanting to improve his changeup into a reliable third pitch would go a long way, but he says the first step in improving his entire game involves getting back to the basics.
\r\n
\r\n\"My mechanics are a little messed up,\" he admitted. \"I rush a lot and they [the Yankees] said I need to stay back when I'm pitching. My arm drags and I leave the ball up, which is bad.\"
\r\n
\r\nHe believes the intense one-on-one coaching he will be receiving this Instructional League season will quickly fix any mechanical issues he has and from there he wants to quickly get to work on his changeup.
\r\n
\r\n\"I just think repetition from throwing it more in Instructs and in the Dominican Republic, and in the offseason - and I'll be working on it in my bullpens - I can get it better,\" he said of his changeup. \"I changed my grip around a little bit and been working on that also.
\r\n
\r\n\"I really want to get my changeup where I'm confident throwing it in any count. I think it would be really, really good to do that. I think a big advantage to become a big league pitcher is throwing changeups wherever you want in the count.\"
\r\n
\r\nRichardson knows there is a certain recipe for improving his game. The main ingredient is staying back in his mechanics, sprinkling in more quality changeups, and keeping the ball down in the zone.
\r\n
\r\n\"I thought I did okay with that,\" he said. \"A few outings were better than others. You can tell though, if you leave the ball up, they'll hit it.\"
\r\n
\r\n

\r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n\r\n
\r\n

Are you a monthly or 3-month subscriber to PinstripesPlus.com? Why not get two months free AND get 4 issues of our PinstripesPlus Magazine included by becoming an annual subscriber? Upgrade today to get the most out of your subscription.

\r\n

\r\n

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