Dodgers News: Pepiot Talks About His Slider and His Saturday Performance
Ryan Pepiot is just one of the dodgers’ rising stars and with a few holes in the Dodgers’ pitching staff, he might just get a whole lot more starts than last year.
This weekend, Pepiot got his second start of Spring Training and finished the night with 2 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K against the Royals.
“It was good, a lot of good pitches…overall threw a lot of strikeouts, battled through some counts then walked away with just one run. Definitely positives to take away, lots of stuff in the zone, I’d rather get hit around the ballpark than walk a bunch of guys then give up a three-run homer so I can be happy with that.”
Even Dave Roberts had some high praise for the LA pitcher after his performance:
“To start off the night, I thought Ryan set the tone really well. I was really excited about the way he threw the baseball. He worked really hard this winter on kind of cleaning up the delivery and that showed tonight. I thought everything he threw tonight had conviction and the fast ball really played up, pound the strike zone. The change up obviously is something he lives and dies by but he also showed some nice breaking balls so that was good to see. Got him through two innings so that was a big plus.”
Something that people have started to take note of this spring is the addition and tune-up of his slider. He shared a little bit about how it’s progressed over the winter:
“It’s in a great spot right now, I feel really comfortable throwing it early in a count for a strike or trying to get some swing and miss later or some lead contact. So just continuing to work on it for consistency…It’s more of a normal slider, still kind of harder because I don’t need something going super far to the left because I have the changeup going to the right but it’s more than just a little spin ball that I had last year.”
“I usually go change up [to get guys out] but just having another pitch in the arsenal to be able to do that, it was playing well off the fastball so it just made sense in some of the situations.”
Last season, according to Baseballsavant.mlb.com, Pepiot threw his changeup 189 times and relied on it 33% of the time with two strikes in the count. Additionally, he only got 3 hits off it all season in the 84 times he threw it with two strikes.
On the other hand, in the 36 times he used his slider with a two strike count, he had 5 hits off it. But luckily, it’s already looking much better and he seems to be growing more confident in using it during Spring Training.
He also shared briefly about how he’s progressed since last year. Across the 2022 season, he finished with a 3-0 record and threw 42 strikeouts across 36 innings of work to finish his first season in the major league with a 3.47 ERA.
“Each time I go out there, I’m more and more comfortable, bullpens have been good, then just going out there and getting game experience against other teams rather than our guys, it’s always fun to do that, so just going out there each time, competing, one pitch at a time.”
Clearly, the 25-year-old from Indianapolis has been working hard for this moment during the offseason and his chances of breaking into the starting rotation are looking better and better especially as that slider continues to look promising as well.
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