Splitter (FS)

Definition

A pitcher throws a splitter by gripping the ball with his two fingers "split" on opposite sides of the ball. When thrown with the effort of a fastball, the splitter will drop sharply as it nears home plate.

Splitters are often referred to as "split-finger fastballs," but because of their break and lower velocity, they don't hold much in common with a typical fastball. They're generally thrown in the same situations that would see a pitcher throw his breaking and off-speed pitches. A splitter is generally only slightly faster than a changeup.

Splitters are a relatively uncommon offspeed pitch, but they are still used with some prevalence.

Grip

As mentioned above, a splitter is thrown with a pitcher's two fingers split apart by the baseball. Because of its deceptively slower velocity and sharp drop, a splitter is designed to get the hitter's bat ahead of the pitch and induce weak contact.

Origin

The splitter evolved from the forkball. The two pitches are gripped in almost the same way, except a splitter is generally held with more ease and placed toward the top of the fingers. Splitters are also thrown with the same minimal wrist action as a fastball, unlike the wrist-snap used for a forkball. The splitter received a great deal of recognition thanks to Hall of Fame reliever Bruce Sutter, who threw the pitch with regularity.

In A Call

"split," "split-finger fastball," "split-finger"