June 25, 2024

Michael King has developed a new pitch, although he’s keeping the details under wraps for now. As he hasn’t yet showcased it in Cactus League games, its nature remains a mystery. However, there’s speculation that he might unveil it as soon as Wednesday’s matchup against the Chicago White Sox in Glendale, Arizona, given the current rotation lineup.

During an interview with Sam Levitt of 97.3-FM, the new Padres starting pitcher confirmed the addition of this fifth pitch to his repertoire. While he didn’t delve into specifics, he did discuss the process of integrating it with the Padres’ catchers. Of the three catchers on the Padres’ 40-man roster, only one has previous experience catching King.

King expressed confidence in his existing four pitches but acknowledged the challenge of familiarizing the catchers with his new offering. He mentioned his rapport with one of the catchers, Higgy, and his interactions with Campy and Sully, expressing excitement about collaborating with them to optimize his new pitch within the team’s strategy.

King was the prized acquisition for the Padres in the trade involving Juan Soto. Along with King, the Padres received catcher Kyle Higashioka, and pitchers Randy Vasquez, Jhony Brito, and Drew Thorpe in a major December trade that also included Trent Grisham.

Higashioka has prior experience catching King during their time together with the Yankees. However, Luis Campusano and Brett Sullivan, the other catchers on the Padres’ roster, are unfamiliar with King’s pitching repertoire, which includes a sinker, sweeper, four-seam fastball, and changeup.

Until King makes his debut on the mound, speculation abounds regarding the nature of his new pitch. It could be a traditional offering like a curveball or splitter, a unique option such as a knuckleball, or even a trendy pitch like the “death pitch.”

Given King’s eagerness to showcase his new pitch, it’s reasonable to anticipate its unveiling sometime this week.

Padres Pitcher Learning New Catchers — And A New Pitch

 

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