Drew Smyly went on record before his first start on Monday saying he had a new changeup this year. He came out and used it for 13.40% of his pitches, the highest recorded changeup usage of his career. It appears he's serious about making the pitch a larger part of his game.
Three of the changeups were put in play, one each of a line drive, a ground ball, and a fly ball. The line drive went for a home run. The lone fly ball was a pop up, which is essentially a strikeout. He threw the change ups exclusively to right-handed hitters only.
I took a peek at the data to see if there was any noticeably large differences in movement or velocity. While he threw the new pitch right around the same speed as his previous versions (81-82mph), it did take on a slightly new shape.
Below shows Smyly's pitch types by year and usage. The big blue dot farthest to the right is 2016. The lowest blue dot is 2015.
Smyly is getting about 1.5" more run on the changeup this year. Not a ton, but every inch counts when you're trying to keep the ball off the barrel of a bat. He is sacrificing vertical movement relative to the fastball to get it, though. That comes out to almost 1.5" as well. I haven't looked at the grips, but I would guess based on the movement that he switched from using a two-seam change up last year to a four-seam change up this year. We need a couple more games of data before I'll feel comfortable defining the new movement, but I wouldn't expect it to be very different.
Let's hope the change in change pays dividends.