Jared Thomas (Photo: Mariners)
In an effort to learn more about some of the top pitchers in the Mariners farm system, InsidethePark.com has brought you a new feature that will do just that, the Pitcher Profile. San Antonio southpaw Jared Thomas, the first profiled player, talked with InsidethePark's Joe Ruiz on Friday and broke down the grip he uses for each of his pitches and the results he expects from each after they are thrown.
“My fastball, that’s my primary pitch and I think every pitcher’s going to say the same thing,” said Thomas. “That’s the number one. That’s the one that everything’s based off of. The fastball, that’s the one I’ll use in any count on any batter. I use it as a strikeout pitch a lot, especially elevated. I try to use it to get ahead, especially if it’s a good pitch to get back in the count. It’s the all-purpose pitch of the repertoire and you need to master it before anything else.
“I hold a four-seam fastball, fingers closed. Some guys like to throw two-seamers, but I have so much action on my ball as it is that I try to minimize it by throwing a four-seamer and it runs for me. Basically, four-seams, fingers closed and my thumb on the bottom.”
Thomas has been one of the more aggressive pitchers in manager Dave Brundage’s bullpen since joining the Seattle Mariners Double-A affiliate at the end of May. In 10 appearances, he has spread out 13 hits over 17.2 innings pitched and struck out 22 batters, and he feels that his naturally aggressive approach to pitching has been the key to his quick ascension within the organization.
“I want the ball,” said the lefty. “I’m going to go out and give 1000 percent every time I get the ball and I think that’s part of what got me here.”
That leads to Thomas’ “second” pitch. He talked about the three pitches that he has considered his second since his college days at the Oakland University in Michigan.
“That’s up to debate, to be honest,” he said. “I’ve been working on a lot of different pitches. In college, I would say my curveball. Last year in the Cal League, I would have said my slider and this year, I’d say my changeup. I can’t really say what my number two pitch is, but most would say my slider after my fastball.
“The slider is held much like a two-seam fastball, but worked out from the heel and you just hold your fingers along the seams. I hold my slider and my curveball the same way, it’s just a matter of where I release it to get the slider and the curveball action.”
Thomas does feel he’s allowed too many free passes as he’s yielded 14 base-on-balls to the 13 hits. Even with the walks, he has only allowed three earned runs for a 1.53 ERA. His changeup is slightly different as he throws a four-seam versus the two-seam that a lot of pitchers throw.
“I throw a straight circle change,” said the 6-foot-3, 225-pounder.
“A lot of guys throw a two-seam so they have some seams to pull off. I like the four-seam because it takes the run out of it and gives it a little more depth. With a changeup, depth can be important. If you can get a little depth out of it, it’s going to make it that much more effective.”
With all the different pitches he’s been known to throw, he mentioned about working on a new pitch to add to his collection.
“I’ve been working on a cutter to phase out the curveball,” said Thomas. “I think my change is a good enough off-speed pitch. I can have the hard fastball, the hard slider, the cutter and the soft change so that’s kind of what I’m working on right now is the cutter.”
InsideThePark.com would like to thank Jared Thomas for being the first in our new series of pitcher profiles.