After learning to command the fastball in all three sections of the Go Zone with the two and four seam fastballs, it's now time to work on the change-up in the Go Zone. We have included the change-up grip that has proven most successful among pitchers we've taught.
The change-up grip is a loose grip without any of your palm touching the ball. It's a feel pitch. It takes touch, almost like a basketball shot. You can't have a basketball in your palm with tight fingers gripping the ball and expect to drain a 15-foot baseline jumper. Hold the ball softly with your fingers and use touch so you can get the shooters roll. It's the same concept with a change-up.
Hold the change-up with your middle and ring fingers with or across the seams. Your thumb is directly under the ball between your middle and ring finger. The index finger and pinky are resting on each side. Try to always keep the pinky above the height of the index finger on the other side. This will keep your change-up from cutting like a curveball.
Create backspin on the pitch to promote vertical downhill movement rather than flat horizontal movement. If you imagine a straight line from the middle of the rubber through the middle of the plate, and concentrate on taking your hand down through that line before release, it will create good backspin and vertical movement on your change-up.
There are three parts of deception to a good change up, fastball arm-speed, a downhill plane on the pitch, and 8-12 MPH decrease in velocity from the fastball. It is important to recognize that as long as the pitch is down in the Go or 4 Zone, it will be a quality pitch. It does not have to be on an inside or outside corner to be effective.