Mets reliever Trevor May working on split changeup

PORT ST. LUCIE – Time may not be on his side, but Trevor May is experimenting with a new pitch.

The Mets reserve came to spring training after “trying” to convert his switch to a split switch during the offseason in hopes the new version of the field can be more effective at playing his fastball (especially) and his to play sliders.

The only catch is that thanks to the lockout delay, he only has three weeks to fine-tune it at camp before the regular season starts instead of the regular six weeks.

“I’ve been tinkering with my transformation a lot over the last couple of years just because direct transformation has gone a little bit out of style,” May said Saturday before hosting a bullpen session at Clover Park. “I leaned very heavily on a certain mix of pitches where it doesn’t really fit clearly. So it’s not clear when to throw the direct change. So I’m trying to add something with some depth to play off my fastball and maybe even create a pretty big difference between them [velocity]to.

“There were a few that I threw really, really well, and the metrics on those can go up towards elite shard status. However, it’s all about mastering it, and it’s one of the most difficult pitches to master. So if I can’t command something, I just can’t throw it into a game very often. So it’s all about figuring out the command. … I wish I had more than three weeks to find out, but I have to make the best of what you get.”

Trevor May
Trevor May

May was a key contributor to the Mets last season, ahead of Edwin Diaz, who had a 3.59 ERA with 83 strikeouts in 62 ²/₃ innings. But the advent of a split changeup could make him an even more important weapon from the bullpen for manager Buck Showalter.

Opposing batsmen hit .341 last season with a batting percentage of .636 from the May change, according to Baseball Savant. They had a much harder time touching his fastball (.217 average, 0.371 percent slugging) and slider (.164 average, 0.291 percent slugging).

May called the new split changeup he’s working on a “hybrid” of one of Carlos Carrasco’s starter pitches.

“I have a flair for a change, I’ve always been really comfortable with that,” May said. “It’s the first off-speed pitch I’ve thrown, so it’s a little less of a shock how different the pressure points are and how hard you throw. At the end of the day it’s still a change, it’s just trying to make some downward movement instead of carrying it like my fastball. Mets reliever Trevor May working on split changeup


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