Wow! He may have had 4 pitches at different times in his career but I very rarely remember him as a 4 pitch pitcher. I think in the 69-73 timeframe he was more of that fastball/slider guy who might throw a straight change in once in awhile. I don't remember really "featuring" a change at any point in his career. It was more of a "show me, keep them honest" type of pitch. It certainly never was a plus pitch for him, to the best of my memory. At one time in the mid to late 70's I remember him featuring a slow curve as his second pitch. In my memory, Palmer was essentially a one pitch pitcher who threw the other pitches to keep hitters honest. I would love to see the percentage of fastballs thrown by Palmer throughout his career. I would guess that it's very high. Now, having said all this, I realize that my memory might just be toast but I really don't think of Palmer as a 4 pitch pitcher at all.
I think one of the reasons his strikeout numbers weren't very high is because he never really had plus secondaries. His fastball was that effective. He must have gotten more popups than any other pitcher. The high fastball that hitters couldn't get on top of. That's what I remember.
To me, Hanser Alberto was a relatively successful pickup. 3.4 rWAR in what amounts to 1.4 seasons, compared to Núñez’s 2.2 rWAR in 1.8 seasons. Yeah Nunez has the better bat but Alberto’s overall package is better IMO since he has some defensive value.
For that matter, Alberto’s 3.4 rWAR the last two seasons is more than Santander’s 2.9, though I’d certainly say the trend favors Santander being the better player over the next several years. I’m looking forward to seeing if Santander can sustain the progress he’s shown the last two years.