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O’Day: Trumbo could have been a pitcher

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“I remember a moment from when we were teammates in Cedar Rapids,” O’Day said. “Mark was like, ‘Hey Darren, l want to throw a flat-ground tomorrow; come out to the outfield early, before batting practice. I want you to tell me if I’ve still got the stuff.’ I went out there and caught him, and he still had it. He had a good four-seamer with late jump — the one that everybody wants now, where it kind of looks like the ball accelerates — and he had a really good changeup as well. Mark was considering being a pitcher again, but then he was able to figure out the hitting part and went on to have a good career.”

O’Day couldn’t have followed a similar path. Not even close.

“Casual baseball fans — people who go to the games like social events — sometimes ask me if I’m a good hitter,” said O’Day. “I’m like, ‘No,’ and they say, ‘Why not?’ Then have to explain that it’s two completely different skill sets. They’ll be like ‘Oh, wow. I never really thought of it like that.’ So for those guys — the select few that have have both skill sets — it’s pretty cool to see. They’re unicorns, man.”

https://blogs.fangraphs.com/sunday-notes-kyle-boddy-is-bullish-on-hunter-greene/

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I think it's plausible that Trumbo could have become a MLB quality pitcher.  But at the highest level there are small differences that make the difference between a guy with a 5.00 ERA at Bowie and a good major leaguer.  How many pitchers in the O's system have a good four-seamer with late jump and a pretty decent second pitch?  30? 50?  More?  

We know that Trumbo had a solid career as a hitter.  As a pitcher he had the same hypothetical career as someone like Griffin McLarty, Connor Gillespie, JJ Montgomery, Ryan Conroy, etc.  It might have worked out, but the odds were against him.

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12 hours ago, weams said:

 

I have to love a pitcher who gets the physics.

“Yes, I throw both a four- and a two-seamer. The four is the one that stays up at the top of the zone. My teammates have lovingly named it Jenny Finch. Softball pitchers throw rise balls, and

if I throw a good high fastball it may not actually rise, but it resists sinking really well. The other one, I do want to sink.”

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16 hours ago, Can_of_corn said:

Just going to take this chance to link to one of my favorite all time Fangraph pieces.  It's on Givens, Britton and O'Day.

https://blogs.fangraphs.com/what-the-baltimore-bullpen-can-teach-us-about-arm-action/

It will be interesting to see if the next good bullpen is 100% or 50% the best batch of spin efficiency automatons that can be curated over a few years.  I feel like there is probably some synergy to having the variety for everyone, even the Brachs of the world (who to me was the "normal" one in the good Buck 'pens).

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1 minute ago, OrioleDog said:

It will be interesting to see if the next good bullpen is 100% or 50% the best batch of spin efficiency automatons that can be curated over a few years.  I feel like there is probably some synergy to having the variety for everyone, even the Brachs of the world (who to me was the "normal" one in the good Buck 'pens).

Even Brach was a reclaim with a stiff leg and Kevin Gregg short arm. 

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2 hours ago, OrioleDog said:

It will be interesting to see if the next good bullpen is 100% or 50% the best batch of spin efficiency automatons that can be curated over a few years.  I feel like there is probably some synergy to having the variety for everyone, even the Brachs of the world (who to me was the "normal" one in the good Buck 'pens).

I'm one of the people who thinks baseball has become way too monolithic with everyone falling in love with spin rate on four seamers. I just never got it I guess, it didn't make sense to me as to why you would want more people hitting the ball in the air. Can't say I was surprised when baseballs started leaving the park in record numbers.

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1 hour ago, OsEatAlEast said:

I'm one of the people who thinks baseball has become way too monolithic with everyone falling in love with spin rate on four seamers. I just never got it I guess, it didn't make sense to me as to why you would want more people hitting the ball in the air. Can't say I was surprised when baseballs started leaving the park in record numbers.

The BABIP on flyballs is much lower than on line drives or grounders.  I never understood the obsession with ground ball pitchers.  They're usually not strikeout pitchers, and most of the best pitchers of all time are power pitchers who can work up in the zone and aren't obsessed with grounders.  Clemens, Randy Johnson, Carlton, Koufax, Walter Johnson, Grove, Ryan... they all had a big fastball they'd blow by hitters at the letters.

Also, ground ball pitchers usually have a higher rate of HR/FB, so they often don't allow fewer homers than flyball pitchers.  And it's only been fairly recently that we've had the combination of everyone uppercutting a super-juiced ball, and almost everyone having a park that's 365 or 370 to an alley.

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37 minutes ago, DrungoHazewood said:

The BABIP on flyballs is much lower than on line drives or grounders.  I never understood the obsession with ground ball pitchers.  They're usually not strikeout pitchers, and most of the best pitchers of all time are power pitchers who can work up in the zone and aren't obsessed with grounders.  Clemens, Randy Johnson, Carlton, Koufax, Walter Johnson, Grove, Ryan... they all had a big fastball they'd blow by hitters at the letters.

Also, ground ball pitchers usually have a higher rate of HR/FB, so they often don't allow fewer homers than flyball pitchers.  And it's only been fairly recently that we've had the combination of everyone uppercutting a super-juiced ball, and almost everyone having a park that's 365 or 370 to an alley.

image.thumb.png.24e7c5b930ae23287353b5e36f4cc321.png

So many things are not really new. 

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3 hours ago, DrungoHazewood said:

The BABIP on flyballs is much lower than on line drives or grounders.  I never understood the obsession with ground ball pitchers.  They're usually not strikeout pitchers, and most of the best pitchers of all time are power pitchers who can work up in the zone and aren't obsessed with grounders.  Clemens, Randy Johnson, Carlton, Koufax, Walter Johnson, Grove, Ryan... they all had a big fastball they'd blow by hitters at the letters.

Also, ground ball pitchers usually have a higher rate of HR/FB, so they often don't allow fewer homers than flyball pitchers.  And it's only been fairly recently that we've had the combination of everyone uppercutting a super-juiced ball, and almost everyone having a park that's 365 or 370 to an alley.

It might be a pipe dream for O's fans to want those kind of pitchers in my estimation. I could very well be blowing smoke at you but I don't know if you'll ever see guys that can strike out close to 250 in an O's uniform. I think there is a reason why Erik Bedard is the all time O's leader with 221. Not necessarily saying it can't happen but it would take getting a guy like the guys you listed but with more stamina. With the exception of Ryan(who only had one of his six 300 k seasons while playing his home games in the state of Texas) and Walter Johnson most of those guys pitched a good portion of their careers in climates that were cooler/dryer than in Baltimore. Which is one of the most hot/humid places professional baseball is played in North America. I think we don't get said power pitchers because the guys that have that potential flame out in late July in an O's uniform.

I'd love to be wrong about my assumption though. But I just don't think we'll ever see a great power pitcher don an O's uniform. No matter how good our scouting dept or ownership group is.

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3 minutes ago, OsEatAlEast said:

It might be a pipe dream for O's fans to want those kind of pitchers in my estimation. I could very well be blowing smoke at you but I don't know if you'll ever see guys that can strike out close to 250 in an O's uniform. I think there is a reason why Erik Bedard is the all time O's leader with 221. Not necessarily saying it can't happen but it would take getting a guy like the guys you listed but with more stamina. With the exception of Ryan(who only had one of his six 300 k seasons while playing his home games in the state of Texas) and Walter Johnson most of those guys pitched a good portion of their careers in climates that were cooler/dryer than in Baltimore. Which is one of the most hot/humid places professional baseball is played in North America. I think we don't get said power pitchers because the guys that have that potential flame out in late July in an O's uniform.

I'd love to be wrong about my assumption though. But I just don't think we'll ever see a great power pitcher don an O's uniform. No matter how good our scouting dept or ownership group is.

St Louis is hot and humid.  Bob Gibson did OK.

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1 hour ago, SteveA said:

St Louis is hot and humid.  Bob Gibson did OK.

There's also that Max Scherzer guy in Washington. But until I see a guy get 250 k's in an O's uniform I refuse to believe that it can happen.

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