Splitters are similar in nature to changeups. Based off of a wide grip with two fingers, splitters spin significantly less than fastballs, resulting in downward movement and occasional side movement. Because of the wide grip, pitchers are going to want to think of throwing the area between their fingers to the target. This shift of focus is needed because a splitter doesn’t roll off the tips of the fingers like a fastball, but instead it comes off on the inside of the fingers.
Splitters have more unstable spin, because they spin much less than a fastball, so they can be more difficult to control than other pitches—especially since the pitch comes off different parts of the fingers.
Finger flexibility is going to be a big part of how successful a splitter is. We’ve seen in previous experiments that as fingers move further apart, spin rate tends to decrease.
Splitters are best used similarly to how changeups are used: as a change of pace pitch and slower than a fastball. They should be able to get swings-and-misses and ground balls.
Here are some examples of splitter spin rates compared to fastball spin rates.
Pitch Grips: Changeups
Changeups are intended to be slower than fastballs, often having downwards or down and arm-side run. Changeups also spin slower than fastballs, meaning they have a lower spin rate. The changeup grip can vary a lot, from circle-change grips to ...
Pitch Grips: Fastballs
The four-seam fastball is traditionally the first pitch that every baseball player learns. By putting your index and middle fingers across the four seams of the horseshoe, you get the fastest and straightest pitch a pitcher can throw. Four-seam ...
Pitch Grips: Cut Fastballs
Cut-fastballs move opposite of two-seam fastballs, to the glove side of the pitcher. The amount of movement can vary with some cutters moving more horizontally and others both horizontally and downwards. The cut-fastball grip is similar to a ...
Pitch Grips: Curveballs
Curveballs are meant to slower pitches that have significantly more vertical drop than other pitches. Most curveballs move in a 12-6 or 1-7 fashion. A good curveball can be paired well with fastballs to take advantage of tunneling. The curveball grip ...
Pitch Grips: Sliders
Sliders are designed to get many swings-and-misses as well a poor contact. The velocity can vary but the movement is similar to a cut-fastball, only more pronounced. A good slider moves downward and to a pitcher’s glove side. The slider grip can ...