LG’s Adam Plutko has always been known for his curveball, but this year, his cutter has taken off. Add to that a slider that’s more like a sweeper, and he’s challenging to be the best pitcher in the KBO in his second season.

However, aside from winning, he says his goal this season is to throw more changeups. He’s not an ace for nothing.

Plutko started the game against the Lotte Giants of the Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League 2023 at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul on April 1 and pitched seven innings of one-hit ball with four walks and six strikeouts. In addition to his 37 fastballs, he utilized five different pitches: a cutter (24), slider (12), changeup (10), and curve (9). The mix of pitches led to six strikeouts.

After the game, Plutko talked about his new cutter, saying, “My goal is still to throw my changeup more. But I also want to maintain my strengths with my cutter, curve, and slider.”

“I looked at the numbers, and the numbers proved that I had a lot of success with that pitch, so I wanted to keep using it,” he said of his unique pattern of throwing a high-curve cutter. “It’s not very common to see a high-curve cutter, especially against left-handed hitters. Jung Woo-young, for example, is a pitcher that everyone is afraid of if he just throws a two-seam fastball. I changed my mindset and threw a cutter to left-handed hitters, which gave me confidence that I could be successful.” 토토사이트

When asked why he switched to utilizing his cutter and changeup instead of his curveball, which was his primary weapon last year, Plutko said it was because his curveball was getting dull.

“A year ago, the curve was my go-to pitch,” Plutko said. Then in the offseason, I tried to throw a slider that moved like a sweeper, and it felt good, but my curve got worse. I’ve been working on it again, changing my grip to get ready to start. In fact, I threw a lot of sliders and cutters because I didn’t have a good curveball. I’m grateful to my two pitching coaches for helping me get back to throwing my curveball well.”

He switched from a slider to a sweeper after striking out 14 batters in one game. Plutko had a weakness early in the season last year that made him vulnerable to hitters in the top three spots in the batting order, but he’s been a different pitcher since June 14, when he threw 8 1/3 innings of 14-strikeout ball against Samsung Electronics. At the time, Plutko threw almost as many sliders (17) as he did curves (20).

“Everybody’s throwing sweepers these days,” Plutko said, “and some people come up to me and ask me. Last year, I think it was June 1 or 2, I pitched five innings against Sajik Lotte (June 1, 5 innings, 3 runs, 1 earned run) and I felt that my slider felt good but I wasn’t throwing enough. I changed my grip and threw a lot of sliders in the next game against KIA (June 8, 5⅓ innings, 3 runs). In my best game in the KBO, which everyone knows, against Samsung Electronics, my slider was working, and from then on, I thought, “I can just keep throwing with this feeling,” he said.

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