Bieber is hoping to feature his changeup more this season, Ryan Lewis of the Akron Beacon Journal reports.
Bieber is hardly the first pitcher to talk up his changeup during spring training, and it wouldn't be smart to adjust his projections purely based on his words, but the young righty has certainly identified one of the few areas of weakness in his game. Bieber threw his changeup just 7.4 percent of the time in 2019, and it was the only one of his four pitches to receive a negative grade per FanGraphs' Pitch Values metric. Bieber's 30.2 percent strikeout rate and 4.7 percent walk rate last season were each outstanding, but hitters managed a strong 90.4 mph average exit velocity against him when they made contact. An improved changeup could theoretically help keep the ball off the barrel of the bat, though it remains to be seen whether or not the pitch has indeed improved.