Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca reports that the Blue Jays have reached a verbal agreement on a minor league contract with Tomo Ohka, who has reinvented himself as a knuckleballer since he last appeared in the majors in 2009. The expectation is that he’ll begin the year with Double-A New Hampshire.
Monday, November 11, 2013
A good knuckleball has the unique ability to revive a baseball career. Tomo Ohka is looking to harness the pitch’s magic.
Ohka, who last appeared in the majors with the Indians in 2009, is attempting to make it back to The Show as a knuckleballer, according to NikkanSports.com. The 37-year-old reportedly turned to the pitch after having shoulder surgery in 2011.
Ohka posted a 3.73 ERA in 21 games with the Toyama Thunderbirds of Japan’s Baseball Challenge League in 2013, and arrived in the United States in October to continue training.
Monday, August 12, 2013
[Phil] Niekro’s assignment is to help the Orioles transform three pitchers into full-time knuckleballers: Clark, 30, now with Class A Frederick, Md.; Zach Staniewicz, 27, in the rookie Gulf Coast League; and Eddie Gamboa, 28, of Class AAA Norfolk, Va. [...]
The Orioles’ strategy is a lifeline to pitchers trying to salvage their careers, and a low-risk, high-reward proposition for the organization. It involves identifying prospects who are likely to remain in the minor leagues or to reach the majors only briefly.
But Duquette, Showalter and the Orioles’ pitching coach, Rick Adair, said that even middling candidates for conversion must fit basic criteria.
A player must sublimate his ego to embrace an unorthodox pitch; stick with it despite inevitable poundings when the knuckleball refuses to dip, dart and flutter; and be athletic enough to field squib hits when a batter makes contact. He must also limit base stealers, using a quick delivery from the stretch to offset the pitch’s slower journey to the plate.
Above all, Showalter said, “you have to have failed at a very high level.”
Posted: August 12, 2013 at 11:40 PM | 11 comment(s)
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