SF Giants rookie pitcher flashed a new pitch against the Red Sox on Monday

New York Mets v San Francisco Giants
New York Mets v San Francisco Giants / Suzanna Mitchell/San Francisco Giants/GettyImages

On Tuesday, the SF Giants dropped the first game of a three-game series against the Boston Red Sox. It was a mostly uneventful game, but rookie pitcher Landen Roupp had an encouraging outing after using a changeup for the first time.

SF Giants rookie pitcher flashed a new pitch against the Red Sox on Tuesday

This certainly caught me by surprise. I had watched Roupp's appearances with the San Jose Giants and Eugene Emeralds in 2022, but I did not recall him throwing a changeup.

Roupp flashed his curveball with regularity while mixing in his sinker and slider. He has a lot of confidence in his curveball and he can get opposing hitters to swing and miss both in the zone and as a chase pitch.

The sinker is his next best pitch due in part to a low arm slot in which he throws it. At times, his slider can be an effective pitch, but he generally relies on his sinker-curveball combination to get outs. To my surprise, MLB.Com briefly mentions Roupp's changeup in his scouting report:

"Roupp barely utilizes a fading changeup that's too firm in the mid-80s, relying instead on his curveball to get left-handers out. "

The 25-year-old pitcher had not used the changeup until Tuesday night. Behind his curveball, it was his most used pitch and he recorded six swinging strikes with one called strike. In fact, no Red Sox hitter even made contact with it. As MLB.Com notes, it is a bit too firm, averaging 88.6 MPH but with quality horizontal movement.

Roupp tallied two scoreless innings with four strikeouts against two walks in a game that was a dud for the Giants. However, it was a positive night for the young pitcher.

Overall, Roupp has registered a 5.27 ERA with 12 strikeouts and eight walks in 13.2 frames in 2024. The curveball has proven to be an above-average pitch just as it was in the minors. However, he has struggled with his command.

That is not surprising as the righty pitcher skipped Triple-A. He was optioned to Sacramento on Wednesday to make room for Daulton Jefferies, so the hope is that he gets stretched out as a starter. If he does, it will be interesting to see if his changeup can become a reliable third pitch.