CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Cliff Lee's curveball is the fourth pitch in his arsenal, but he believes it is his best.
He throws it far less frequently than his fastball, cutter and changeup -- just 7.8 percent of the 3,253 pitches he threw last season, according to FanGraphs -- despite the fact he believes it has the best action on it.
So why throw fewer curveballs if it is the nastiest pitch he's got?
"It's the hardest pitch for me to command," he said after allowing one run in three innings Tuesday night in a Grapefruit League game against the Blue Jays at Bright House Field. "I can command my fastball, cutter and changeup on a high percentage. My curveball I command it on a very low percentage. It's hard for me to justify throwing it when I think I can locate a fastball, cutter or changeup at a high percentage."
But Lee is working on throwing more curveballs in Spring Training with the hopes his best weapon can be used a little more frequently during the season.
"I definitely need to use my curveball more," he said. "I'm going to mix it in more often, but I need to make sure I get the fastball, cutter and changeup down before I move onto other things."
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.