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  1. #1
    Frobby is offline Hangout Blogger Hall of Fame Reputation Reputation Reputation Reputation Reputation Reputation Reputation
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    Were Adair and Castro really that bad?

    I've heard a lot of comments from Dan and Buck saying they think the pitching staff is really going to benefit from the guidance of Dave Wallace and Dom Chiti. Which raises the question, were Rick Adair and Bill Castro really that bad, and if so, why didn't Buck replace them sooner?

    At Fanfest, Buck said something like, "we liked the guys we had before, but....we had to make some changes." The way he said it, I really got the impression he wasn't very satisfied with how Adair and Castro had performed. And of course, Adair left about 7 weeks before the end of the season due to his father's health situation, but you always had the feeling there was more to the story than that.

    I'm not sure Castro rerally deserves to be lumped in with Adair. He was the BP coach in 2012 when the bullpen had one of the best performances ever, and they really weren't terrible last year, just average.

    In any event, I hope Wallace and Chiti live up to the hype they've been getting, or at least, are an improvement over the guys they are replacing.


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    Other than Mark Connor, has any pitching coach lasted with Buck?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frobby View Post
    I've heard a lot of comments from Dan and Buck saying they think the pitching staff is really going to benefit from the guidance of Dave Wallace and Dom Chiti. Which raises the question, were Rick Adair and Bill Castro really that bad, and if so, why didn't Buck replace them sooner?

    At Fanfest, Buck said something like, "we liked the guys we had before, but....we had to make some changes." The way he said it, I really got the impression he wasn't very satisfied with how Adair and Castro had performed. And of course, Adair left about 7 weeks before the end of the season due to his father's health situation, but you always had the feeling there was more to the story than that.

    I'm not sure Castro rerally deserves to be lumped in with Adair. He was the BP coach in 2012 when the bullpen had one of the best performances ever, and they really weren't terrible last year, just average.

    In any event, I hope Wallace and Chiti live up to the hype they've been getting, or at least, are an improvement over the guys they are replacing.
    It might be more like the boss embracing who he has now.

    Sometimes guys respond better to some coaches, doesn't mean the other coaches were "bad". Let's hope these two do something with this staff, they had talent, and with the right tweaking, maybe we can stop moaning and groaning over who we didnt sign.

  4. #4
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    Just like the whole hitting coach debate, it's really hard to know exactly what impact these guys actually have. The pitching improved significantly in 2012, which was one of the main reasons they made the playoffs. It didn't do as well last year, which was one of the main reasons we didn't make the playoffs. During that time period Matusz didn't improve as a starter and got sent to the pen, same with Hunter, Arrieta never got any better, Tillman did but it seems like most attribute that to Rick Peterson, Chen was pretty consistent but he's only a newbie in terms of American ball, Hammel was great and then regressed closer to his career norm, Strop imploded and never recovered, and JJ was already an established guy. So really in terms of full on development and success one of the only guys outside of Tillman, who again most credit Petterson, to really excel under Adair was Miguel Gonzalez, and I think it's fair to give him some credit for that. But is it fair to blame him and Castro for the failures and regression of others? I really don't know. Some of these guys are what they are, maybe some would have responded differently with somebody else, but at this point what's done is done.

  5. #5
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    I think it's as simple as Adair wasn't coming back, and Wallace was allowed to choose his own bullpen coach.

  6. #6
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    I didn't care for Adair and his establish the FB philosophy. That is fine for power pitchers, but for a guy like Chen who I consider a finesse pitcher he throws a less than over powering FB for too high a percentage. In fact, of our pitchers only Tillman and Gausman fall into the category of guys I want establishing the FB. It makes more sense to me to have all your pitches working early on than to throw predominantly one pitch. Also, if the other team knows that's your philosophy, what are they looking for when they go up there?

    Chen, Gonzalez, even Norris would do well to develop better secondaries and listen to what Wallace and Chiti have to say. No doubt Buck's loyalty played a part in why he stayed on as long as he did. I can't say I'll miss him.

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    Quote Originally Posted by El Gordo View Post
    I think it's as simple as Adair wasn't coming back, and Wallace was allowed to choose his own bullpen coach.
    Yup. This.

  8. #8
    Frobby is offline Hangout Blogger Hall of Fame Reputation Reputation Reputation Reputation Reputation Reputation Reputation
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    Quote Originally Posted by socalbirdfan View Post
    I didn't care for Adair and his establish the FB philosophy. That is fine for power pitchers, but for a guy like Chen who I consider a finesse pitcher he throws a less than over powering FB for too high a percentage. In fact, of our pitchers only Tillman and Gausman fall into the category of guys I want establishing the FB. It makes more sense to me to have all your pitches working early on than to throw predominantly one pitch. Also, if the other team knows that's your philosophy, what are they looking for when they go up there?

    Chen, Gonzalez, even Norris would do well to develop better secondaries and listen to what Wallace and Chiti have to say. No doubt Buck's loyalty played a part in why he stayed on as long as he did. I can't say I'll miss him.
    Well, what Wallace and Chiti had to say at Fanfest was that commanding the fastball low and away was the foundation for the effective use of secondary pitches. So I wouldn't expect a big change there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frobby View Post
    Well, what Wallace and Chiti had to say at Fanfest was that commanding the fastball low and away was the foundation for the effective use of secondary pitches. So I wouldn't expect a big change there.
    Thats because it basic pitching 101.

  10. #10
    RZNJ's Avatar
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    Tillman - progress attributed to Peterson mostly.

    Matusz - no progress under Adair. Again, got better after trip to minors but only in the pen.


    Arrieta - seemed to regress under Adair.

    Gonzalez and Chen - Seemed to be mostly finished products before Adair got them.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frobby View Post
    Well, what Wallace and Chiti had to say at Fanfest was that commanding the fastball low and away was the foundation for the effective use of secondary pitches. So I wouldn't expect a big change there.
    What does command of the FB to one quadrant have to do with a pitching coach who effectively tells his staff to throw one pitch for the first part off the game?

    My disagreement wasn't with use of the FB, it was how often it was used even if the pitcher throwing it didn't possess an especially great one.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by socalbirdfan View Post
    What does command of the FB to one quadrant have to do with pitching coach who effectively tells his staff to throw one pitch for the first part off the game?

    My disagreement wasn't with use of the FB, it was how often it was used even if the pitcher throwing it didn't possess an especially great one.
    I have to agree. Notice how early in the year, Tommy Hunter was just pumping fastball after fastball and getting hammered until an adjustment was made. See also Jim Johnson getting away from his curve and changeup until late in the year.

    I believe Matusz also used his fastball too much.

  13. #13
    Frobby is offline Hangout Blogger Hall of Fame Reputation Reputation Reputation Reputation Reputation Reputation Reputation
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    Quote Originally Posted by socalbirdfan View Post
    What does command of the FB to one quadrant have to do with a pitching coach who effectively tells his staff to throw one pitch for the first part off the game?

    My disagreement wasn't with use of the FB, it was how often it was used even if the pitcher throwing it didn't possess an especially great one.
    I'm just giving you my sense that Wallace and Chiti both believe you have to establish a fastball for the secondary pitches to be effective. Here's an excerpt from my report at Fanfest:

    All [pitchers on the panel] are asked what is the one pitch they'd like to master. They all mention secondary pitches. Chiti jumps in and says its the commanded fastball low and away. That sets everything else up. Wallace agrees and days if you can command fastball in all four quadrants it's like having four different pitches. The effectiveness of a great change up depends on when you use it.
    Now, I don't think that means you'll see guys starting the game by throwing 13-14 fastballs in a row, which I think happened once or twice last year. But I doubt we'll see a huge difference in the percentage of fastballs thrown overall.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by socalbirdfan View Post
    What does command of the FB to one quadrant have to do with a pitching coach who effectively tells his staff to throw one pitch for the first part off the game?

    My disagreement wasn't with use of the FB, it was how often it was used even if the pitcher throwing it didn't possess an especially great one.
    IMO, regardless of velocity, a well located FB is still and will always be the best pitch in baseball.

    Gred Maddux was lucky to hit 87 on the gun but his location and movement made his fastball absolutely deadly.

    Granted, Maddux is a HOFer but it's the principle. If you can locate the FB low and away with consistency, the only thing the hitter can do with it is stay on it and hit an opposite field single. In other words, it's tough for the hitter to do significant damage on a well located FB.

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    Quote Originally Posted by primetime View Post
    IMO, regardless of velocity, a well located FB is still and will always be the best pitch in baseball.

    Gred Maddux was lucky to hit 87 on the gun but his location and movement made his fastball absolutely deadly.

    Granted, Maddux is a HOFer but it's the principle. If you can locate the FB low and away with consistency, the only thing the hitter can do with it is stay on it and hit an opposite field single. In other words, it's tough for the hitter to do significant damage on a well located FB.
    Boddicker made a good living with a fastball not coming close to 90.

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