I debated whether this qualified enough to warrant a post since there really is not much to this. But on Twitter yesterday fellow (now former) writer Chris LaBarge mentioned that Zach Eflin was throwing a curveball almost exclusively as opposed to his slider.
I went back to the tape today and sure enough there was Eflin throwing something slow and loopy. From the grainy video it is impossible to grade out the pitch, but Chris did at it was in the mid 70s. This tells us that it is certainly something that we haven’t seen before as Zach’s slider sits in the low 80s and is a short cutter like pitch. Now I haven’t watched Eflin’s last few starts so I can’t say exactly when he started using the pitch (Chris mentioned seeing it in Eflin’s last start). It should be noted he throw a slurvy curve in HS and his first few seasons before scrapping it for the slider.
This is exciting because having a good breaking ball has been a problem for Eflin. This is because he is mostly two seam fastball/changeup with both pitches moving in a similar pattern (down and arm-side). The slider just hasn’t been a bat missing pitch for Eflin. A curveball gives an entirely different velocity range for Eflin as well as a way to dramatically change eye level.
It is certainly worth watching going forward.
EDIT: According to Chris’s newest post, Eflin was also sitting 93-95 T97 with his 4 seam fastball which is a new high for him this season.