St. Louis Cardinals Spring Breakout Game #1 Recap

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2. RHP Tekoah Roby

Prior to his appearance in the Spring Breakout game, Roby pitched in one Spring Training game. At the start of spring, he was sidelined with what was described as back tightness. Roby is completely healthy now and recorded the highest pitching velocity at the Spring Breakout game with a 98 mph pitch. While Roby's fastball and curveball get most of the spotlight, I'd like to shift gears and talk about his slider and changeup.

Roby is throwing his gyro-slider and changeup significantly harder than he did last year. If you combine his pitch data from his Spring Training and Spring Breakout games, Roby is averaging 88.7 mph on his slider, which is approximately four mph harder than it averaged last year. Roby's changeup is also way faster increasing from 81 mph in 2023 to 85.8 mph in his two games this spring.
Following his first Spring Training game, I asked Roby if he had worked on this in the offseason, and here's his answer:

"[It's] something I worked on over the offseason. Just a byproduct of throwing everything with conviction and confidence"

Tekoah Roby

Roby's slider and changeup profile much better with this uptick in velocity, as it will make it more challenging for hitters to distinguish those pitches from his fastball. Last year his changeup was very loopy, and I saw it as a fringe-average offering. With the increase in velocity, while not sacrificing any movement, I see it as a potential above-average pitch now. Tekoah Roby has the most complete arsenal in the Cardinals system right now with four potential above-average offerings.