Luis Perdomo has been knocked around early this 2018 season. Could the simple addition of a four-seam fastball be the answer to take his game to the next level for the rest of his career?
In order to succeed in the game of Major League Baseball, you must adjust as a player.
We are speaking about the greatest players in the world who are surrounded by the most prestigious baseball minds that money can buy. Every single bit of information is available to whomever takes the initiative to search. Coaches, scouts, and baseball operations personnel are constantly digesting the stats and crunching the numbers.
Luis Perdomo currently has one of the most effective sinkers in the game of baseball. His two-seam fastball has above average sink and tail to it. He effectively pounds the bottom of the zone and has induced plenty of double plays in his brief career. In fact, the Padres recorded a league high 1.09 double plays per game in 2017 (they are currently 9th with a 0.95 average per game this season), and Luis Perdomo was key.
While pounding the zone effectively and creating this image, Perdomo has found himself predictable, and that is not a good thing.
Upon re-watching the Padres game from Wednesday night, a game in which Perdomo gave up seven earned runs on 10 hits in three innings, I noticed that more often than not, Dodger batters were hunting down in the zone. Even when it came to Perdomo’s slider (which typically ends down in the zone), they were on it. Luis Perdomo’s ERA is up to 8.36 on the year and his WHIP is at 2.50. On April 6, he had his best outing of the year against the defending World Champion Astros (go figure). The right-handed hurler went five innings and only allowed four hits, while walking three and striking out four. He did that on 97 pitches, and in that game I noticed him using the upper part of the strike zone effectively.
In fact, I reached out to A.J. Cassavell of MLB.com on the road in Houston to see if he could find out some information for me. (Shout out to A.J. for always being so kind to us.) What A.J. found out is that attacking up in the zone was by plan on that day. The Padres knew that the Astros like the ball down and they attempted to try something new. Perdomo used his two-seamer in that game and it was effective, but the tail and sink on the ball is difficult to control. He still walked three in the game and took a total of 97 pitched to get through five. There is much room for improvement for this pitcher. He is a work in progress.
Perhaps a four-seam fastball from this pitcher is the answer. Look what it did for former Friar’ Kevin Brown. Perdomo, like Brown, has the velocity to be able to pitch effectively up in the zone. In this day and age where every hitter is trying to adjust their launch angle and swing up on the ball, a four seamer at 93-95 mph could be a huge advantage for him. A four-seamer is straight, and if located well, can be very effective. It is all about changing eye angles with that pitch. Batters can no longer hunt in the bottom of the strike zone as they must respect the fact Perdomo could throw the ball right by them.
The Padres are currently weighing all options when it comes to Luis Perdomo. Manager Andy Green is not happy with what he is getting from this young man so far. Anything can happen. Perhaps the simple adjustment of a four-seamer could be the answer. He has the ability, it’s just putting it all together that is the challenge. Look for Perdomo to be given every opportunity to figure it out in Triple-A. The team optioned him on Thursday and he will now be given the ball every fifth day in the PCL. Not exactly a pitcher’s haven.
Will a four-seam fastball save Luis Perdomo? Only time will tell.