LOS ANGELES -- When he was still a reliever, Padres pitcher Tim Stauffer found he could primarily rely on his fastball and slider.
Since he was moved into the starting rotation on Sept. 6, Stauffer has been afforded the luxury of using four pitches now -- a fastball, a slider, a curveball and a changeup that has been an ally for him in recent starts.
According to Fangraphs, Stauffer has used his changeup 15.3 percent of the time in his four starts this month. For a pitch Stauffer didn't use most of the season, it's certainly become a pitch to rely on lately.
"I think the curveball and changeup are good because the fastball and slider can look alike because of the speed," Stauffer said. "I think that it's one of the best pitches in baseball. I have a good feel for it, and I'm confident that I can throw it to righties and lefties."
Stauffer is 2-1 with a 2.57 ERA in four starts this month.
"He's got four pitches he's comfortable with," Padres manager Bud Black said.
Stauffer has even enjoyed a spike in velocity since moving into the rotation, which is something he attributes to being healthy and perhaps having a fresh arm when others don't.
Stauffer was on the disabled list for 46 days after having an appendectomy in May.
"I just think I can let the ball go, the arm strength is there," he said.