Vicente Padilla’s Eephus Pitch


Quick Eephus Definition:

An Eephus pitch (also spelled Ephus) in baseball is considered a junk pitch with very low speed. The delivery from the pitcher has very low velocity and usually catches the hitter off-guard.

A few Famous Eephus Throwers:

Bill Lee (named his the spaceball)
Rip Sewell
Pascual Perez
Kazuhito Tadano
Steve Hamilton

Vicente Padilla is beginning to garner a reputation around the NL for his Eephus pitch. Vin Scully refers to the 50 – 60 MPH pitch as the ‘soap bubble’.

It goes without saying that Padilla’s Eepuhs falls off of the table:


Opponents success vs Padilla pitches (less than 63 MPH)


Due to injury Padilla has started only 11 games this season. With a total of 76 (74 non IBB pitches) below 63MPH pitches, he’s averaging close to 7 Eephus’ per game.

The Eephus itself is a fairly effective pitch. It has yielded 15 outs vs only 1 hit, an HR. Outside of that the pitch is right around 50/50 in being called a strike or a ball.

I wonder if a case of major league ‘machismo‘ begins to set in as the pitch begins to enter the back of players minds. I can’t imagine the ribbing major leaguers receive from their peers after they’ve been fooled by an Eephus.

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  • I think both of the Hernandez brothers (Orlando and Livan) throw Eephus pitches. I remember seeing A-Rod absolutely crush one that El Duque served up.

    Rodriguez explained: “You can expect a lot of different arm angles and a lot of different pitches from him, but I never thought I’d get a 48 mph curveball. It looked like a slow pitch, softball really.”

  • Early

    Gallaraga tried to get Big Papi twice in one game with it as a rookie. The result? A first inning K and a third inning dinger.