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Roch: Pitching In

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2 hours ago, Frobby said:

Brocail sounds a little frustrated.    I think he’s the most vulnerable of our coaches to being replaced.  It’s a lousy staff, but 5.91 ERA?

I think this is probably his "I want to keep my job" interview.

It is worth noting that this is an effective strategy that has worked elsewhere, Pittsburgh for instance.  It is definitely hard to implement but also shouldnt be as difficult as this interview is letting on.  It does require buy in from the hitters on the team too.  More pitches in means more hit batters, more retaliation and more bean ball wars.  We will know this strategy is actually being implemented when the Orioles end up with benches cleared against a division opponent.

They really need to get the pitchers to do this with regularity, but it's also not the only path forward.  The Ray's have pitched up with some success.  And like it or not the Mazzone down and away strategy worked too.  You just have to make sure hitters arent hanging over the plate on you.

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2 hours ago, RZNJ said:

Nothing.  Pitching is about making it difficult for the hitter to hit.  Sounds pretty simple.  Being unpredictable, changing speeds, locating well are all good things.

It's import to get a first strike. If an offspeed is the best chance of that fine. For most, it's the fastball. And most guys are swinging. 

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2 hours ago, esmd said:

Wow is right!  That sounded to me like an indictment of not only some on the pitching staff, but also the catchers.  

I see this all the time in the minors as well. Catchers love sitting low and away for some reason and they rarely call for pitches in. Pitchers like Wells and Lowther do a good job of pitching to all quadrants of the plate which is what all the pitchers should be doing regardless of fastball velocity and stuff.

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6 hours ago, clapdiddy said:

The problem with this year's staff is that they pretty much all stink.   End of story.

I think a few guys have some talent to be decent pitchers, but they have command issues and the only person that can fix that is the pitcher.  

How many times does an effective pitcher throw the pitch within 1 baseball's distance of his target?

Christy Mathewson practiced doing that. When he was successful at doing it in games, he was praised for his "command".

Watch the Oriole pitchers during the game and count how many times they are "successful at hitting their target".

As to command, if a pitcher is ineffective, it could be blamed:
on the "metrics" for bad targeting based on count and batter's strength/weaknesses
and/or
on the catcher for placing the wrong target
and/or
the pitcher's inability to "consistently hit his target"

I'm betting the latter

Few major league hitters are consistently overpowered by velocity or an "unusual" pitch.

Athletic pitchers should be able to improve their command by effective practice techniques.

So, the Orioles' current conglomeration of pitchers:
is insufficiently athletic to benefit from practice regimens
or
the practice regimens are ineffective at or insufficient to improving their ability to command a pitch

I'm betting on the latter.

Can any of the Orioles Hangout staff provide their observations on the pitching practice regimens?


 

Edited by AZRon

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13 minutes ago, AZRon said:

 

So, the Orioles' current conglomeration of pitchers:
is insufficiently athletic to benefit from practice regimens
or
the practice regimens are ineffective at or insufficient to improving their ability to command a pitch

I'm betting on the latter.


 

I'm betting on the former. So little actual talent. 

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1 hour ago, Going Underground said:

The current rate of 0.41 batters hit by a pitch per team game is the highest since 1900, the same year that the Brooklyn Superbas led by Wee Willie Keeler won the Chronicle-Telegraph Cup. (There was no American League yet and thus no World Series.)

 

This was an article from the middle of the year.Not sure if it has gone up or down. The Washington Post also  did an article that players wear more protection so they don't mind as much getting hit.Crowd the plate more and dive into the pitch 

It's about at the same rate, I think 0.4 right now.  Which is double what it was when I was born 48 years ago.  In 1946, when all the tough-as-nails soldiers came back from the war, MLB saw 0.13 HBP per game.  In Ruth's era it was about 0.2.  

As you noted the last time it was this high fistfights with opponents, umpires, and even fans were pretty common, and teams played in primitive wooden parks.

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4 hours ago, Frobby said:

Brocail sounds a little frustrated.    I think he’s the most vulnerable of our coaches to being replaced.  It’s a lousy staff, but 5.91 ERA?

Well, the manager and pitching coach are giving them a plan, watching it be ignored, and predictable results follow.   The team ERA for August is 3.50 above July, which had already been ranked 26th.   Meanwhile, the top 5 staffs in baseball have an ERA of 3.50 or less this month.

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Having watched more games this season than I care to think about, I think the problem with the Orioles' pitchers has much more to do with their inability to execute consistently than with pitch selection or strategy. There's nobody on the staff who can consistently put the ball close to the catcher's target, or pitch to the corners, or throw strikes without putting the ball over the center of the plate.

When a pitcher lacks the ability to locate his pitches, pitching inside is risky. If the pitch is less inside than intended, it can be a very hittable pitch on the inside part of the plate, which can be pulled with power. If it's further inside than intended, it hits or comes close to hitting the batter, resulting in flared tempers or, possibly, a baserunner or a umpire's warning. I can't estimate a number, but a bunch of the  HRs yielded by the Orioles have come when the catcher has set up inside but the pitch was over the inner third or the heart of the plate. Pitching inside won't help when you can't consistently throw the ball where it's supposed to go, and Oriole pitchers don't have the ability to do that.

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When a pitcher has enough TALENT,  the things being discussed are not  discussed.  What is being discussed are things a talented pitcher does regularly.  The definition of talent, something this organization seems incapable of doing in the drafting process .  

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3 hours ago, Tony-OH said:

I see this all the time in the minors as well. Catchers love sitting low and away for some reason and they rarely call for pitches in. Pitchers like Wells and Lowther do a good job of pitching to all quadrants of the plate which is what all the pitchers should be doing regardless of fastball velocity and stuff.

Do you think that was all or part of the issue with Sisco's real or imagined defensive deficiencies?

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6 hours ago, mdbdotcom said:

He didn't discuss why he hasn't been able to fix any of it in more than 2/3 of a season. Sounds like a guy making excuses for coaching a pitching staff that produces exceptionally bad results..

There may be some truth to that, but if he's telling them to pitch in, pitch in, pitch in, and they won't or can't do it, not sure how that's his fault.  I was just surprised at the transparency of his comments and lack of "coach speak."  Good job by Roch getting those comments out of him, IMO.

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6 minutes ago, esmd said:

Do you think that was all or part of the issue with Sisco's real or imagined defensive deficiencies?

I don't think Sisco has/d imagined defensive deficiencies, but I haven't really looked at Sisco close enough to see how he's setting up so I can't give an educated opinion. 

I will say this though, regardless of where the catchers have been setting up, it's the pitchers that have been grooving pitches way too much. Can pitching inside help, absolutely, and I love when I see young pitchers willing to do so, but in my mind, the most important part of pitching is being able to pitch to all quadrants of the edge of the zone while changing speeds. 

It's exactly what I saw from Zach Davies in Frederick when I fell in "love" with him there and had him in our top 10 when many publications barely had him in their top 30. I saw a guy who changed eye levels, and worked to all quadrants while changing speeds with three pitches, two of which were offspeed (change and curveball).

I see similar things with Lowther and Wells which is why I'm so much higher on them then guys who throw hard but either don't change speeds well or can't command to the quadrants. I'm always skeptical of pitchers who throw to one main area (low and away) only. This was an Issue with Gausman. He could not command gloveside and his fastball tended to leak back over the middle of the plate, but he kept trying to pitch to the outside mostly. 

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We have the 7th most HBP in the majors this season so we're throwing inside sometimes. The problem is this staff has crap command.

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2 hours ago, Tony-OH said:

I will say this though, regardless of where the catchers have been setting up, it's the pitchers that have been grooving pitches way too much. Can pitching inside help, absolutely, and I love when I see young pitchers willing to do so, but in my mind, the most important part of pitching is being able to pitch to all quadrants of the edge of the zone while changing speeds. 

It's exactly what I saw from Zach Davies in Frederick when I fell in "love" with him there and had him in our top 10 when many publications barely had him in their top 30. I saw a guy who changed eye levels, and worked to all quadrants while changing speeds with three pitches, two of which were offspeed (change and curveball).

I see similar things with Lowther and Wells which is why I'm so much higher on them then guys who throw hard but either don't change speeds well or can't command to the quadrants. I'm always skeptical of pitchers who throw to one main area (low and away) only. This was an Issue with Gausman. He could not command gloveside and his fastball tended to leak back over the middle of the plate, but he kept trying to pitch to the outside mostly. 

Why wasn't the Orioles brain trust unable to see or value this?

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