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wildbillhiccup

Why Can't the Orioles Develop Starting Pitchers?

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1 hour ago, wildbillhiccup said:

I feel like some of you are focusing on too much on Bundy. I wasn't advocating keeping Bundy, I was asking do pitcher inherently become better when they leave our organization? It's a distinct pattern that we've seen with SPs and RPs. We must be doing something wrong. 

I don't agree with the premise.  I think some pitchers who've left the Orioles have become more effective.  But many left and really didn't pitch in the majors any more, or continued to pitch about as well.  As with everything, I'll become a true believer when I'm shown relevant data.

Some of it is context illusion.  Pitchers appear to pitch better in parks that aren't as hitter-friendly as OPACY.  If you want to fix that then get the Maryland Stadium Authority to renovate the park and move the fences back 50'.

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9 minutes ago, Redskins Rick said:

ok, relied on a new pitch, or reverted back to an old pitch, with new grip, same outcome.

Bottom line, he went from a mediocre struggling starter that was worth less than a replacement player, to a donafid dominant closer that for a few years could be considered one of the best at that position.

Yes I'm wailing on you a bit but you keep being wrong.  😉

By both fWAR and  rWAR Britton has never had a season below replacement level.

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For Arrieta, it was that he threw slightly across his body at TCU.  And when he got to the Orioles, instead of letting him do what made him successful in college and making him one of college's best pitchers, Adair (IIRC, it was him) just had to iron it out and make him do things his way.

And obviously it didn't work.  When he got to Chicago, they let him essentially get back to doing what made him a good prospect in the first place and he flourished.  

Throwing across your body isn't good, it puts a lot of unnecessary strain on the shoulder.  Arrieta did it and does it, but it works for him.  Every pitcher will have issues sooner or later, most likely as it's been well documented that throwing overhand is an unnatural movement that stresses the arm.  It's why college softball pitchers can throw a ton of pitches, because throwing underhand like they do is more natural.

You get some guys like Nolan Ryan and Steve Carlton who can throw and throw hard forever but of course those guys are outliers.  Just because a pitcher doesn't have ideal mechanics doesn't mean they need an overhaul, especially if they're already good at what they're doing.  There's so much focus on preventing injuries with pitchers when it's just inevitable that most of them are going to get injuries.  

IMO, the Orioles downfall with Arrieta was that they tinkered too much with his mechanics because they were so afraid of him breaking down instead of fostering what made him successful and saying "Hey, his mechanics aren't amazing but the results are pretty damn good.  Let's leave them alone for the most part and maybe teach him a new pitch or something to add to his arsenal."

 

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11 minutes ago, Can_of_corn said:

Yes I'm wailing on you a bit but you keep being wrong.  😉

By both fWAR and  rWAR Britton has never had a season below replacement level.

ERA in the 5 range, a pretty bad WHIP tool.

His BB was about as high as his KOs, as a starter.

Sure he was won as many games as he lost, so he wasnt a total clown on the mound.

So toss all the metrics out the window.

He didnt even have a SP slot, he had lost that, so he was going to be a mop up arm in the pen, unless he did something.

Can we agree there?

 

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4 minutes ago, Moose Milligan said:

For Arrieta, it was that he threw slightly across his body at TCU.  And when he got to the Orioles, instead of letting him do what made him successful in college and making him one of college's best pitchers, Adair (IIRC, it was him) just had to iron it out and make him do things his way.

And obviously it didn't work.  When he got to Chicago, they let him essentially get back to doing what made him a good prospect in the first place and he flourished.  

Throwing across your body isn't good, it puts a lot of unnecessary strain on the shoulder.  Arrieta did it and does it, but it works for him.  Every pitcher will have issues sooner or later, most likely as it's been well documented that throwing overhand is an unnatural movement that stresses the arm.  It's why college softball pitchers can throw a ton of pitches, because throwing underhand like they do is more natural.

You get some guys like Nolan Ryan and Steve Carlton who can throw and throw hard forever but of course those guys are outliers.  Just because a pitcher doesn't have ideal mechanics doesn't mean they need an overhaul, especially if they're already good at what they're doing.  There's so much focus on preventing injuries with pitchers when it's just inevitable that most of them are going to get injuries.  

IMO, the Orioles downfall with Arrieta was that they tinkered too much with his mechanics because they were so afraid of him breaking down instead of fostering what made him successful and saying "Hey, his mechanics aren't amazing but the results are pretty damn good.  Let's leave them alone for the most part and maybe teach him a new pitch or something to add to his arsenal."

 

I thought Jake had some bad outings in the Cubs minor league system, until somebody said something to him, and he had his lightblub moment. I think he got back to the bigs, because of injuries, not because he earned up. Of course, the rest is history. :)

 

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Bundy has had stretches like this before. Let's see if keeps pitching like this over the course of a whole 162 game season.

In August 2017, Bundy went 4-0 with a 2.00 ERA, 0.80 WHIP and 11.3 SO/9IP. I'm happy to see Bundy do well, but it's way too soon to say he's turned a corner. 

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6 minutes ago, Redskins Rick said:

ERA in the 5 range, a pretty bad WHIP tool.

His BB was about as high as his KOs, as a starter.

Sure he was won as many games as he lost, so he wasnt a total clown on the mound.

So toss all the metrics out the window.

He didnt even have a SP slot, he had lost that, so he was going to be a mop up arm in the pen, unless he did something.

Can we agree there?

 

His K/BB rate was only close to 1 in one of his three seasons as a starter.  His FIP was under 5 as a starter.

He had a shoulder injury.

I'm not saying he was a good starter, he wasn't.  He was not below replacement level. 

I'm never going to agree to toss all the metrics out the window.

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2 minutes ago, Redskins Rick said:

I thought Jake had some bad outings in the Cubs minor league system, until somebody said something to him, and he had his lightblub moment. I think he got back to the bigs, because of injuries, not because he earned up. Of course, the rest is history. :)

 

Looks like he went to the Cubs minors when we traded him over there but he wasn't bad. 

But the results were pretty immediate, like night and day when he went there.  He was terrible here. a 7.23 ERA in 23.2 innings.  Granted that's a small sample size, but when your ERA is 7.23 it's probably going to be a small sample size because you're so bad and can't accumulate any innings.

He goes to the Cubs and they send him to Iowa he goes 2-2 with a 3.56 ERA and a 1.582 WHIP.  And then up to Chicago, where he goes 4-2 with a 3.66 ERA and a 1.123 ERA.  The next year, 10-5, 2.53 ERA.  And the year after that, lights out, 22-6, 1.77 ERA.  

So...yeah, the turnaround for him upon landing in Chicago was pretty immediate.  Pretty sure they just let him do what he wanted and their coaching staff just worked with him in a way that was comfortable for him.  They let him do what made him a good pitcher and worked with that. 

 

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There’s a lot to discuss here.

First of all, Bundy showed great stretches like this with the Os, so it’s not like this has never happened.  Secondly, his Hr rate is way down, which could be sample size but he’s also in a far better pitching environment, both in his home Park and the road parks he has/will pitch in.  He also has a better defense behind him.  It’s no accident that sending him to a team, where, being a FB pitcher doesn’t hurt you as much, has made him better.  I would have expected a better ERA from him just based off of that.

Now, the bigger issue here is why didn’t the Orioles recognize that he should be throwing less fastballs and more offspeed stuff.  His velocity is actually down this year but he is taking advantage of his other pitches.  I forget who the poster is but there is a nice breakdown of this in the mlb section.

Was this a situation where Bundy didn’t want to listen to that advice here?  Is it that the Os didn’t ask him?  
 

Also, I don’t think we can make the generalization about the Orioles.  The Elias group is still new and still try to get players to change and adapt to their ways of doing things.  We can’t assume that because the Os couldnt develop pitchers before, that it means they still can’t.

 

 

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2 minutes ago, Sports Guy said:

There’s a lot to discuss here.

First of all, Bundy showed great stretches like this with the Os, so it’s not like this has never happened.  Secondly, his Hr rate is way down, which could be sample size but he’s also in a far better pitching environment, both in his home Park and the road parks he has/will pitch in.  He also has a better defense behind him.  It’s no accident that sending him to a team, where, being a FB pitcher doesn’t hurt you as much, has made him better.  I would have expected a better ERA from him just based off of that.

Now, the bigger issue here is why didn’t the Orioles recognize that he should be throwing less fastballs and more offspeed stuff.  His velocity is actually down this year but he is taking advantage of his other pitches.  I forget who the poster is but there is a nice breakdown of this in the mlb section.

Was this a situation where Bundy didn’t want to listen to that advice here?  Is it that the Os didn’t ask him?  
 

Also, I don’t think we can make the generalization about the Orioles.  The Elias group is still new and still try to get players to change and adapt to their ways of doing things.  We can’t assume that because the Os couldnt develop pitchers before, that it means they still can’t.

 

 

It's really basic stuff:  throw you effective pitches more and your ineffective pitches less.  If the O's didn't come to him with that at some point I don't know what to think.

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2 hours ago, wildbillhiccup said:

I feel like some of you are focusing on too much on Bundy. I wasn't advocating keeping Bundy, I was asking do pitcher inherently become better when they leave our organization? It's a distinct pattern that we've seen with SPs and RPs. We must be doing something wrong. 

How many people is a pattern? One?

Like Moose said, I thought Arrieta was pretty much established to be a Rick Adair problem, and trying to force him to do things that weren't his strength/comfort zone. I don't think the current org has anything to do with those kind of problems.

Matusz seemed to develop just fine in the minors, then he just hit a wall in the majors for whatever reason. Whether that was Adair or TTTP or hubris or he just wasn't good enough, well a lot of people just aren't good enough. 

Bundy, who knows, he's had a good few starts. Maybe he'll keep it up. Or maybe he'll be like Gausman, who had 6 good starts after he was traded, and has been pretty much the Gausman we know after that.

Yeah, we haven't developed much. But from 2010-17, here are the top 5 round pitchers we've drafted:

2010 Dan Klein (injured)

2011 Bundy, Mike Wright, Kyle Simon (traded in 2012 and never did anything), Matt Taylor (never got past Frederick)

2012 Gausman, Branden Kline, Poche (didn't sign)

2013 Harvey, Stephen Tarpley (traded, ERA over 5 in majors so far)

2014 Brian Gonzalez, Connaughton (NBA), Hess

2015 Hughes (didn't sign), Cleavinger (traded to PHI in 2017 hasn't gone above AA)

2016 Sedlock, Akin, Dietz, Hannifee (still some hope there)

2017 DL Hall, Lowther, Baumann (still some hope there)

Not a great record, but the misfortune of Bundy and Harvey's many injuries really hurt--both have seemed to "develop" alright, just maybe couldn't reach their full potential. I don't know how much better we could have expected overall given most pitchers won't make it anyway. It helps when you get lucky with some lower round picks like Bedard or Means or (yuck) Davies or Hader.

And as others have said, it's hard to blame the current regime for the failures of the past.

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8 minutes ago, Can_of_corn said:

It's really basic stuff:  throw you effective pitches more and your ineffective pitches less.  If the O's didn't come to him with that at some point I don't know what to think.

Correct.

But we also have to remember that his K rates have been good, his BB rates have been solid, he has been throwing a lot of strikes aNd has been missing a lot of bats.  There was a lot there saying what he was doing should have been good enough.

Otoh, the homers were an issue and his FIP wasn’t exactly good either.  With declining velocity and his injury history, I think it was fair for the Os to trade him.  
 

Lets just see how he does.  KG pitched great in Atlanta when he first got there and ended up being DFA’ed.  

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Just now, Sports Guy said:

Correct.

But we also have to remember that his K rates have been good, his BB rates have been solid, he has been throwing a lot of strikes aNd has been missing a lot of bats.  There was a lot there saying what he was doing should have been good enough.

Otoh, the homers were an issue and his FIP wasn’t exactly good either.  With declining velocity and his injury history, I think it was fair for the Os to trade him.  
 

Lets just see how he does.  KG pitched great in Atlanta when he first got there and ended up being DFA’ed.  

Given the team makeup it was fair to trade him.  I would have liked a better return but I'm more of a quality over quantity guy.

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8 minutes ago, OsFanSinceThe80s said:

Bundy has had stretches like this before. Let's see if keeps pitching like this over the course of a whole 162 game season.

In August 2017, Bundy went 4-0 with a 2.00 ERA, 0.80 WHIP and 11.3 SO/9IP. I'm happy to see Bundy do well, but it's way too soon to say he's turned a corner. 

I don't like the premise of you assertion that it takes 162 games to know something has changed.  While agree with and appreciate you analysis on the August 17 run I think you have some key flaws.

1.  We don't need to see a whole season to know something has changed.  Rate stats, yes.  Pitch usage, patterns and approach, no.

2.  You know that you can't be refuted inside of this season because its less than 162 games, which makes your threshold of 162 games a really poor threshold that can't be met and therefore doesn't promote further discussion.  If we were to do that we wouldn't discuss whether Bundy turned a corner until October 2021.

3. There are noticeable changes in Bundy that we don't need more of a sample size than what we have.  While we can't draw too many conclusions from his rate statistics, yet, we can draw some conclusions from his pitch usage that support the OP premise that the Orioles probably have some flawed pitching philosophies even under the current regime.  I detailed, with statistics, all of these changes in the Bundy thread in the MLB forum.

While I think there will be some regression, and i am not convinced given prior knee issues that he can keep this up, I think what the Angels have told Bundy to do with his approach is vastly superior to what the Orioles were doing.  And if it holds up, Elias is going to look pretty bad.

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2 hours ago, wildbillhiccup said:

So it's a curse? That's what we're chalking it up too? Seriously, I hope Elias has taken a long hard look at why this part of the organization has failed over the last 20 years. Whatever pitching philosophy they're using needs to be thrown out the door. 

I seriously doubt they’ve followed the same philosophy all the time over the last 20 years.     Or even the last five.   

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