Well, here's one piece of the Sonnanstine puzzle. His release points from Friday night and a random May home start last season:
Um, yeah. Your eyes are not deceiving you. The red dots and blue dots do intersect a bit around the -2,5.5 mark, but otherwise, it’s like an entirely different arm slot from which the ball is being released. We’re not talking an inch here or there, but multiple inches up and towards the middle of plate. Either Sonnanstine is standing on a different spot of the rubber or he went from side-arm to short-arm.
I don’t know why the change was made and whether it’s intentional or not. Given who the Rays have working in their front office I’m sure somebody is aware of the alternation. Whether this is a conscious effort to improve velocity, break, deception, or even comfort is beyond me. It certainly has taken its toll on Sonnanstine’s control and command though, and for that I’m not entirely sure it’s worth the loss.