Boston Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon's fastball is back to where it was earlier in his career, thanks to some All-Star break tweaking.
According to WEEI's Rob Bradford, Papelbon worked on his pitching mechanics with pitching coach John Farrell, who explains the change:
"He's driving down the mound more consistently rather than swinging open," Red Sox pitching coach John Farrell explained. "In the past he would have the tendency to be more rotation so when he would throw fastballs to lefties they would leak back over the plate"
Yet while his fastball gets better, Papelbon's not looking towards radar guns to gauge it. In light of Cincinnati Reds pitcher Aroldis Chapman clocking a 105 mph fastball earlier this week, Papelbon told Bradford that the trust between him and a gun just isn't there -- an "it's not you, it's me" type of deal.
"I can tell you exactly, within a mile an hour, what that fastball is just by the way it comes out of my hand," he said. "I know for a fact that I've been in plenty of stadiums where it's been 2-3 miles an hour faster, where the clock has rated it faster than what I think it is is. I don't trust radar guns. Radar guns are getting the velocity out of the hand. They're not getting the velocity at the plate and that is a HUGE difference."