When the Arizona Diamondbacks acquired Luke Weaver in the deal that sent Paul Goldschmidt to the St. Louis Cardinals, they brought on board a 25-year-old right-hander with a crisp fastball and a plus changeup. What Weaver has lacked is a quality third option to augment his go-to offerings. While he went to his hook 12.7% of the time last year, the pitch was more of a show-me than a weapon. Improving it was a primary focus over the offseason, and it has remained one this spring.
It’s not the only pitch the former first-round pick has been working on. Weaver is also hoping to reintroduce a cutter-slider to his arsenal. The extent to which that qualifies as one or two pitches — i.e. cutter and/or slider — isn’t an easy question to answer. At least, that wasn’t the case when I sat down with Weaver a few weeks ago in D-Backs camp.
David Laurila: It’s been a few years since we talked about your repertoire. What’s changed since that time?
Luke Weaver: “Fastball and changeup are still my primaries, but I’ve been developing a slider, and a better curveball. Both are turning into what they want to be. I’m not trying to force them into being any specific thing — I’m just seeing what the break is doing, trusting it, and going for it. With a cutter and a curveball to go with my main two, I have four legit pitches.”
Laurila: You first said ‘slider,’ but then called it a cutter. Which is it? Read the rest of this entry »