The 'change' in Hoffman's approach

Updated: April 8, 2010, 10:44 AM ET
By Buster Olney
On the first day of the strike in 1994, hard-throwing closer Trevor Hoffman -- who could routinely rush the ball to the plate at 95 mph -- played catch with a football on the beach in San Diego. He dove into the waves to grab a pass and when he landed on his right shoulder, as he recalled a few years ago, it sounded like air going out of a tire. He has never had the same velocity since, and for that reason he developed a remarkable changeup that has allowed him to compete while sometimes throwing a fastball in the range of 83-84 mph.

Hoffman's velocity Wednesday had scouts checking their radar guns. The 42-year-old closer had picked up his 592nd career save Tuesday, throwing fastballs and changeups.