Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Sox Therapy > Discussion
Sox Therapy
— Where Thinking Red Sox Fans Obsess about the Sox

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.

Page 2 of 2 pages  < 1 2
   101. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: July 30, 2012 at 01:23 PM (#4195924)

I do agree that the bulk of the pitching mechanics discussions with Beckett should be done by McClure, but I would think Valentine would be talking to pretty much all of his players, certainly rather important front-line starters. "Hey Josh, you aren't getting off to good starts, how long have you warmed up early? Oh, your entire career? I'm sure you'll get it worked out then." Is it really a common thing for managers not to talk to their stars like this?


To give this a positive spin for Bobby I can see a mindset where he doesn't want to overwhelm Beckett (or any other struggling player) with input and trusts that his coaches are dealing with it. While no feedback is a bad thing too much feedback for a player can be just as harmful. If four people are telling you to do four different things you get caught up trying to do everything and nothing productive gets done.
   102. The District Attorney Posted: July 30, 2012 at 01:28 PM (#4195935)
At Pro sports Daily some of that circle wanted to trade [Ellsbury] for Andrus and...Olt? Dunno who Olt is but I told them they were crazy for trading last years MVP in everything but name only for a guy who is struggling to stay above 100 OPS+ for the first time in his career.
Umm, jeez, this is not exactly a fair description of a 23-year-old Gold Glove-caliber shortstop with great speed. Surely Andrus is one of the most valuable properties in baseball.

Olt is a 3B prospect, so that'd be a weird fit, although of course there is always an argument for acquiring the most talent and worrying about it later.

Is it really a common thing for managers not to talk to their stars like this?
Earl Weaver had a reputation for not talking to his players. However, there are of course many differences...

A) It's always seemed to me that this was overblown, as Weaver's players seem to report plenty of conversations with him.

B) And even if Weaver didn't talk to a player when he had something to say, he at least had a coach do it. Bobby V often doesn't seem to do that (or doesn't check back with the coach to see how the conversation transpired, which amounts to the same thing).

C) Weaver took over a young team (and had managed many of those same players in the minors), as opposed to being controversially brought in from outside to replace a local institution as the manager of a veteran team.

Probably most importantly, D) Earl Weaver won. In general, I feel like Valentine does a lot of things that a Weaver or La Russa could and often did get away with. But the guy has managed for decades and has one World Series loss to show for it. So, he doesn't receive that same level of deference and respect (and, really, shouldn't.)
   103. villageidiom Posted: July 30, 2012 at 03:39 PM (#4196127)
I'm doing a somewhat scattershot analysis of Beckett's first-inning woes this year. Rather than complete it all offline, I'm going to document what I have, post by post, here. (My schedule isn't conducive to large blocks of free time.) I apologize in advance for what will appear to be incomplete and scattershot analysis. (EDIT: In reality, it is incomplete and scattershot analysis, made to appear even more incomplete and scattershot.)

Going through the Beckett game log and looking at 1st inning results, these are the games that stand out even remotely:

4/7 at Detroit: 2 R on 1H 1BB.
4/24 at Minnesota: 1 R, but with 3 BB
4/29 at Chicago WS: 3 R on 3 H
5/10 vs. Cleveland: 0 R on 1 H... but 7 R in next 1.1 IP.

I'm going to set those aside, partly because it's early in the season, partly because the one that sticks out the most is the one he actually pitched well in the 1st, and partly because hey sometimes pitchers give up runs in the 1st. (I count Detroit this way, given that he held Tampa and Texas scoreless in the first in his subsequent starts.) Also, it's worth noting that after that bunch, Beckett escaped the first inning unscathed in 6 of his next 7 starts.

6/11 at Miami: 3 R on 4 H
7/6 vs. Yankees: 5 R ON 4H 1BB 1HBP
7/15 at Tampa: 3 R on 4H
7/20 vs. Toronto: 2 R on 3H

These I think are the candidate games for understanding Beckett's readiness for the first inning.
   104. villageidiom Posted: July 30, 2012 at 03:54 PM (#4196157)
Here's the first inning of the Yankees game, organized by pitch type (according to BrooksBaseball.net). Numbers represent pitch sequence in the inning.

4-seam FB:
single 1
foul 4
single 6
ball 12
ball 13
single 14
ball 20
called strike (on 3-0 count) 21

2-seam FB:
ball 5
ball in dirt 11
ball 18
ball in dirt 19
foul 22
called strike 32

cut FB:
ball 2
ball 3
foul 8
fb out 17
single 23
foul 29

curve:
HBP 7
ball 15
ball 16
called strike 24
ball in dirt 26
ball 30
ball 31
gb out 33

changeup:
ball 9
ball 10
swinging strike 25
ball 27
fb out 28

A quick review suggests they were pounding his 4-seamer at every available opportunity, except the get-it-over 3-0 count offering. Early in the inning, he doesn't appear to have been able to get any other pitch over the plate. His 2-seamer and his curve were all over the place.
   105. OCD SS Posted: July 30, 2012 at 05:34 PM (#4196283)
Umm, jeez, this is not exactly a fair description of a 23-year-old Gold Glove-caliber shortstop with great speed. Surely Andrus is one of the most valuable properties in baseball.

Olt is a 3B prospect, so that'd be a weird fit, although of course there is always an argument for acquiring the most talent and worrying about it later.


I think if I had suggested this package earlier in the thread I would've been shot down pretty loudly...
   106. villageidiom Posted: July 30, 2012 at 05:43 PM (#4196291)
Here's the Tampa Bay game, similary classified.

4-seam FB:
ball 1
foul 6
ball 7
called strike 22
fb out 26

2-seam FB:
single 2
swinging strike 5
ball 8
ball in dirt 9
single 10
swinging strike 12
foul 13
foul 17
swinging strike 21
HBP 23

cut FB:
single 3
swinging strike 11
foul 20
single 25

curve:
foul 14
ball 15
swinging strike 16
ball 24

changeup:
swinging strike 4
foul 18
foul 19

Bizarre pitch selection here. His first 3 batters (through pitch 10) got singles, and along the way they saw no curves and one change. The first two batters got their hits within Beckett's first 3 pitches, so maybe his FB-happy ways were a running-game-control thing. (With Rhymes and Pena on? Doubtful.) Nonetheless, Beckett was able to get swings and misses on every pitch type, and managed to get two strikeouts after the first 3 batters reached. (Then HBP, single, flyout, within 4 pitches.) Without looking at location it doesn't look like his pitches weren't working; it just seems like he was emphasizing his 2-seamer a lot.

Looking at location, Rhymes got a hit on a pitch on the outside edge of the zone. Pena got a meatball. Zobrist saw 7 pitches, NONE in the zone; he swung at four of them, making contact with two, one for a single. On Upton's K, Upton fouled off the third pitch that got too much of the zone, otherwise Beckett's pitches were all on the edge of the zone or just outside it. Same with Matsui's K, all pitches close to the edge of the zone except one, a low pitch Matsui should have laid off but instead swung and missed.

I could continue looking at location, but to this point Beckett seemed to be close to the edge of the zone other than with Zobrist, who he clearly seemed to be pitching around but Zobrist wanted nothing to do with it, and only threw really one bad pitch (to Pena). His location seemed fine. Velocity was good, too.

Perhaps Tampa Bay hitters figured the "new" Beckett would try to get ahead in the count early, and were swinging with that expectation? I don't know.
Page 2 of 2 pages  < 1 2

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
JE (Jason Epstein)
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Syndicate

Demarini, Easton and TPX Baseball Bats

 

 

 

 

Page rendered in 0.3394 seconds
60 querie(s) executed