Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Bullpen Mechanics > Discussion
Bullpen Mechanics
— A Scout's View

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Kenny Rogers-Adrenaline.Emotion.Tempo.INTENT

One of the most entertaining things about the ‘06 postseason was the metamorphosis of Kenny Rogers.
In the postseason, the usually calm Kenny Rogers used adrenaline to his help his pitches, including his fastball velocity. To all the pitching coaches out there who preach “not showing your emotions,” this was certainly a pitcher who had lost control of his emotions on the mound.

So how did adrenaline help the fist-pumping Rogers’ fastball achieve new velocity heights? The quick, easy answer to that question:
1) INTENT TO THROW
2) TEMPO

Those who have read some of my entries know that I like pitchers who are aggressive. Aggressive body/aggressive arm/grunt if you have to-type of pitchers. I like pitchers who are quick and explosive.

What I did was take a random good start during the season. I chose this start where he started out shaky and then dealt the rest of the game. I will compare a pitch thrown in that game to pitches thrown in his postseason start against the Yankees.

By the way, all the clips are 4-seam fastballs to the inside corner of the plate (to a RH hitter).

ON TO THE VIDEO….

The pitch on the left was at 85 mph, the one on the right was a 94-mph fastball to Giambi that struck him out looking.

What do I see?

I define “intent to throw” as the act of REALLY trying to throw the ball harder. it’s that simple. This clip is an excellent example of that.
There are two things that we can clearly see that show his intent.

Watch the first three frames

Notice what his head does. On the 85 mph fastball, notice that it looks pretty steady. On the 94 mph fastball, notice how his head jerks pretty violently to the right as he lets it rip. Also focus on the violent way his left shoulder goes forward on the third frame. I had a teammate of mine once show me his baseball card. The card had a still shot that showed how, at release, his head was turned with his right cheek facing the hitter and his eyes towards the first base dugout(he is a RH pitcher). Let me show you a small still pic of Rogers at release.

See how his head is turned towards the 3rd base dugout as he releases? It’s a sign of a guy who is letting it rip. That violent head jerk and the left shoulder going forward that we see above is an excellent example of a guy who has just plain decided that he is going to throw the everloving $*!t out of the ball.

The other indication of effort can be seen on the last few frames. Focus on his back leg. Notice how much higher the back leg comes up and around on the 2nd clip. It just looks like he just put more oomph behind that pitch. This is the end result of the effort he put into it the pitch earlier.

Now, I’m not going to pretend that I can explain a 9-mph difference in velocity by what his head did on this video. Other factors are at play.

LET’S TALK TEMPO

Unfortunately, I don’t have the full clip of the pitch above to Giambi (dammit). However, I took a clip from a similar pitch in that game.
So in this clip, the one on the left is the 85mph fastball and on the right a 91 mph fastball to Posada (that Posada hit really well).

Rogers on the right beats Rogers on the left by 2 frames. Yankee-hating Rogers has increased his tempo to the plate. He has used momentum to his advantage by accelerating his body towards the plate. Also notice that his head jerks violently again to the right at release. This is not an isolated case of him speeding it up. Over and over, his tempo in the postseason was faster. Adrenaline perhaps?


ADRENALINE. EMOTION. TEMPO. INTENT.

Not all pitchers are better by being nice and calm on the mound. Some function better by behaving like madmen on the mound (me? An outta control nutjob, by the way). Just remember coaches: Next time you tell your kids or your players to stay calm on the mound, just be aware of this: You may be slowing down his fastball.

ChadBradfordWannabe Posted: February 25, 2007 at 10:53 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Related News:

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. ChadBradfordWannabe Posted: February 26, 2007 at 01:12 AM (#2303300)
To all the readers I deserted...I apologize for being out of it for awhile. I'm now back and expect to contribute on a regular basis. I will be splitting my time between The Hardball Times and BBTF. A Daisuke Matsuzaka article will be going up really soon on THT. I will certainly link it to my blog here.

Next up? A pair of Giants' flamethrowers: Matt Cain and Tim Lincecum
   2. Willie Mayspedes Posted: February 26, 2007 at 01:26 AM (#2303303)
Kenny Rogers: Adrenalin junkie.
   3. Marcus Giles 2 Posted: February 26, 2007 at 01:40 AM (#2303306)
if I remember correctly, Rogers addressed his increase in velocity by saying something to the effect of 'I am just having fun throwing the ball as hard as I can' ....something like that, that it was fun to try to throw it hard and see if he could throw it by the hitters. I can't seem to find a link to the quote though
   4. ChadBradfordWannabe Posted: February 26, 2007 at 02:00 AM (#2303310)
MG--ahem, call me dude. Nice article on Helton. What. You don't get messages anymore?
   5. Slinger Francisco Barrios (Dr. Memory) Posted: February 26, 2007 at 02:41 PM (#2303417)
This looks like "overthrowing" to my untutored eye. Obviously Rogers is a vet and knows what he's doing, but mightn't a younger player fall into an injury trap doing this? I would think one's mechanics would be quite prone to breakdown in this attempt.
   6. ChadBradfordWannabe Posted: February 26, 2007 at 02:47 PM (#2303419)
It IS "overthrowing." The thing is, if a pitcher learns how to "overthrow" properly, then the "overthrow" becomes as natural as throwing "effortlessly." Hopefully, I'll be able to explain this concept better when I wake up a bit more.
   7. Toolsy McClutch Posted: February 26, 2007 at 06:43 PM (#2303530)
How come I can't bookmark this discussion?
   8. chris p Posted: February 26, 2007 at 07:01 PM (#2303536)
i think the fox radar gun was a factor, too.
   9. Gaelan Posted: February 27, 2007 at 12:54 PM (#2303768)
I wanted to ask about the radar gun as well. Was that the same radar gun that had Zumaya at 104 MPH and every single pitcher around 95?
   10. ChadBradfordWannabe Posted: March 02, 2007 at 05:13 AM (#2305679)
I was thinking of commenting about the FOX gun myself, but decided to not be cynical about it...LOL There was something funny going on. However, the clip of the Yankee game, IIRC, the fastest pitch I saw was Randy Johnson at 97 mph. If Randy can still get it to (normal gun) 95mph, then if Rogers got to 92, that's still an improvement.
   11. yardry Posted: March 03, 2007 at 02:51 PM (#2306168)
If there ever is a clear case of a player using some medicinal assistance for one game, this is it. Does a 42 year old pitcher all of a sudden realize he can use emotion, intent and tempo to add 10 miles an hour to his fastball? Not likely. What is a more obvious explanation and what most people want to completely ignore is this was another case of a baseball player enhancing his performance through drugs.

It is both more obvious and makes a lot more sense then the adrenaline explanation. I could buy the adrenaline line if it happened for one or two innings but who could maintain that level of adrenaline for 7+ innings in multiple starts? Rogers clearly had lots of help maintaining his high level of adrenaline.
   12. robinred Posted: March 03, 2007 at 10:02 PM (#2306297)
If there ever is a clear case of a player using some medicinal assistance for one game, this is it. Does a 42 year old pitcher all of a sudden realize he can use emotion, intent and tempo to add 10 miles an hour to his fastball? Not likely. What is a more obvious explanation and what most people want to completely ignore is this was another case of a baseball player enhancing his performance through drugs.

It is both more obvious and makes a lot more sense then the adrenaline explanation. I could buy the adrenaline line if it happened for one or two innings but who could maintain that level of adrenaline for 7+ innings in multiple starts? Rogers clearly had lots of help maintaining his high level of adrenaline.


Certainly a possibility.
   13. Bunny Vincennes Posted: March 15, 2007 at 05:02 PM (#2312595)
Some function better by behaving like madmen on the mound (me? An outta control nutjob, by the way).


Is this the "Carlos Zambrano" model?
   14. ChadBradfordWannabe Posted: March 16, 2007 at 02:31 AM (#2312855)
Carlos Zambrano could be the best example of this phenomenon.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Randy Jones
for his generous support.

Demarini, Easton and TPX Baseball Bats

 

 

 

 

Page rendered in 0.4025 seconds
71 querie(s) executed

Page rendered in 0.4025 seconds
71 querie(s) executed