Detroit Tigers pitching prospect Tarik Skubal made some starts last season in Detroit. As with many rookie pitchers, Skubal was up and down. Yet after some rough starts, Skubal started to figure things out and showed that he is close to being a very good starting pitcher. As one of the Detroit Tigers top pitching prospects Skubal seemed to have separated himself from the others. Now heading into the 2021 season, Tarik Skubal is adding a pitch to go with his other plus pitches.
This offseason, Tarik Skubal starting off trying to add a changeup to his pitching repertoire. Unsatisfied with the results he was getting, Skubal changed gears and went in another direction. Like Detroit Tigers other top ranked pitching prospect Casey Mize, Skubal is working on adding a splitfinger fastball.
Tarik Skubal struck out 27.2% of the hitters he faced in the 2020 MLB season, 4.3 above league average for a starting pitcher. However there was a clear vulnerability to right handed hitters. They hit nine of the home runs he allowed in 2020.
Skubal has a fastball early and often approach to pitching in general. A pitcher can get away with that in the minor leagues. In the major leagues it is totally different. A steady diet of fastballs first translates into a lot of baseball ending up in the stands. As Skubal witnessed last season.
When thrown correctly the splitfinger fastball can be a devastating out pitch. Much like the one Casey Mize throws and former Detroit Tigers pitching legend and Hall of Fame member Jack Morris threw.
While Tarik Skubal is still learning the pitch there are signs that he has it down. If a lefthanded pitcher like Skubal can master the splitter then suddenly the sky becomes the limit for what he will be able to do. It will also push his development forward quiet a bit.
Tarik Skubal has all of spring training and more than likely a few starts at Triple-A to hone the pitch. No matter how you slice it this can help both Skubal the the Detroit Tigers.