Miranda, competing for the fifth spot in the rotation, has reintroduced a slider into his arsenal of pitches, Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com reports. “I started working on the slider last year and it worked well,” Miranda said in Spanish. “I mean, I always had it, but I didn’t throw it very much because in Cuba, you don’t throw it or need it. It was just fastball and changeup. You can’t do that here in the Major Leagues.”
The 28-year-old was fastball-heavy last season — throwing the pitch on 1,969 occasions according to Statcast, while adding 692 breaking balls. Miranda has been fine-tuning the grip on the slider, which he’s been experimenting with since the start of spring. The results thus far have been mixed — he’s allowed four earned runs on 10 hits and five walks over eight exhibition frames, while also recording eight strikeouts. The southpaw is hoping the addition of a new pitch will help his bid to stick on the Opening Day roster and improve on the 5.12 ERA he generated across 160 innings in his rookie campaign a year ago.