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Batting Practice Newsbeat

Thursday, May 23, 2019

A Novel Idea in the Majors: Using Batting Practice to Get Better

The staid tradition of batting practice — with its center-cut pitches thrown at speeds in the low 50s — is documented as far back as the late 1880s and has largely remained untouched in major league diamonds. Such game preparation, however, is in direct opposition to various principles of motor learning and vision sciences that suggest traditional batting practice is not only unhelpful but detrimental. So teams are searching for ways to make their B.P. more game-like.

The Reds assistant hitting coach Donnie Ecker summed up the approach: “If you want to sprint faster, you should practice sprinting faster.”

Much of this innovation is happening out of public view — in the minors or in the indoor batting cages at big league ballparks — making an exact accounting of adopters an impossible task. The Astros have implemented competitive batting practice throughout their organization, and have been joined in varying degrees by at least the Blue Jays, Phillies and Reds. The Cardinals and Orioles are among the clubs exploring similar plans.

“If your results are too good in practice, the practice is probably too easy, and you’re not learning something new,” said Albert, who joined the Cardinals as hitting coach last winter. “You’re just performing something you’re already good at it. And there’s certain value for that, especially in the big leagues.

“But on the development side, when you need to improve a couple things, there probably needs to be a little bit more challenge and a little bit more failure in practice to learn from.”

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 23, 2019 at 10:32 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: batting practice

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Yankees’ Lee Mazzilli Hospitalized After Being Hit in Head by Baseball at Batting Practice

TAMPA, Fla. — New York Yankees guest instructor Lee Mazzilli was struck in the head by a ball in batting practice Wednesday and taken to a local hospital.

Yankees spokesman Jason Zillo said in an email that Mazzilli “will spend the night at the hospital for observation.”

Yankees players not on the travel roster for Wednesday’s road game against the Houston Astros in West Palm Beach worked out at New York’s spring training complex at Steinbrenner Field.

Best wishes.

 

QLE Posted: March 21, 2019 at 08:22 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: batting practice, head injuries, lee mazzilli

Friday, March 08, 2019

Why Traditional MLB Batting Practice Is Dying a Slow Death

Pull the screens out, grab a guy who can toss it about 60 mph over the heart of the plate, and let it rip.

On-field batting practice is a time-honored tradition in Major League Baseball, taking place like clockwork before every game. The ritual dates all the way back to the late 19th century, but back in those early days, starting pitchers would actually throw BP. That practice died decades ago, and while modern hitters can expect to face mid-90s heat and filthy breaking balls when the bullets are live, in BP, they’re typically facing a middle-aged coach or staff member. BP pitches come straight as an arrow, yet a fraction as fast. While the throwers usually pitch well ahead of the rubber to try to make up for the massive discrepancy in velocity, there’s only so much you can do to dress up a 58 mph meatball.

And therein lies the problem. A recent article from The Athletic’s John Lott outlines why many MLB clubs are beginning to slowly cut down on this well-worn ritual. The Toronto Blue Jays are one team decreasing their amount of traditional pre-game BP, as the practice is now optional inside the organization.

Some notes on an institution in trouble.

QLE Posted: March 08, 2019 at 04:31 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: batting practice

 

 

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