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Bullpen Mechanics
— A Scout's View

Thursday, August 30, 2007

THT: Jake Peavy’s Max Effort Mechanics

Here’s the link to the article at THT.

”.....Peavy is a max-effort pitcher with high risk/high reward mechanics…..”

ChadBradfordWannabe Posted: August 30, 2007 at 02:17 PM | 26 comment(s)
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   1. James Darnell's #1 Fan Posted: August 30, 2007 at 03:25 PM (#2504644)
Great job, Carlos.
Been looking forward to a Peavy piece for a long time and wasn't disappointed, although I'm not sure about it, but I think Peavy changed some of his mechanics from '05 to '06.
So, should the Padres/Peavy's fans be worried that he might injure himself with his mechanics? I've always been worried about how he finishes his pitches...
   2. Pennants fly forever Posted: August 30, 2007 at 04:27 PM (#2504704)
Wow, Carlos, you are keep setting your own bar higher each time. The analysis of pitching inside supported by data and observation is fascinating. My only regret is that it's only a matter of time before we lose you to some smart team (which of course we all hope for anyway for your sake). Hope you are grooming someone for that!
   3. ChadBradfordWannabe Posted: August 30, 2007 at 04:37 PM (#2504717)
Jake's #1--

I'm glad you enjoyed it. You know, I didn't really bother to check Peavy's mechanics back in '05 to see if they are indeed different. As to your question....

So, should the Padres/Peavy's fans be worried that he might injure himself with his mechanics? I've always been worried about how he finishes his pitches...

I am worried too. Ya know, the best thing I think we can do as fans is to enjoy it while it lasts. Hey, ya never know....he could be one of those guys that remains somewhat durable with his questionable mechanics. There are many things we don't know about Peavy's conditioning, the state of his shoulder/elbow....

I don't know about you, but I wouldn't mind if he kept pitching like he does and he lands on the DL once or twice a year. You'd get 27-30 starts out of him, that's certanly not bad.


Thanks again. THT edited out a chart (and I understand why since it's ESPN Insider's stuff--stupid me) that showed Peavy, Smoltz, and Brandon Webb's location zones. Peavy and Smoltz were almost identical. If you'd like to see it, send me an email and I'll send it to you.
   4. James Darnell's #1 Fan Posted: August 30, 2007 at 04:50 PM (#2504727)
I wouldn't mind if he kept pitching like he does and he lands on the DL once or twice a year. You'd get 27-30 starts out of him, that's certanly not bad.

That's true, but if I had to choose, I would prefer for him to pitch like he has and not land on the DL; especially if he's pitching for the Padres for a long time.

He's a pretty damn good pitcher, though.
   5. Dag Nabbit: Sockless Psychopath Posted: August 30, 2007 at 04:52 PM (#2504730)
CBW - in Studes's piece today, he mentioned that Peavy has the fewest runs per outfield fly in the game this year. Anything in his mechanics that you think might explain that? If it a fluke? Or is that something mechanics can't quite explain?
   6. ChadBradfordWannabe Posted: August 30, 2007 at 04:57 PM (#2504732)
He's a pretty damn good pitcher, though.

"pretty good?" He's fu#$ing nasty, IMO. Have you seen his K reels at Oh my....


I would need more info before I can make a worthwhile conclusion. I think it's something mechanics can't really explain.
   7. ChadBradfordWannabe Posted: August 30, 2007 at 05:03 PM (#2504737)

BTW, Studes was talking about Penny not Peavy.
   8. James Darnell's #1 Fan Posted: August 30, 2007 at 05:05 PM (#2504743)
Well, of course I think he's f-ing nasty (see handle), I love seeing him pitch, but I could sound a little biased...
He's my favorite pitcher to watch since '05. His k/bb rate is also "pretty good".
   9. _ Posted: August 30, 2007 at 05:50 PM (#2504812)
CBW, speaking of K/BB ratio, would you ever have any interest in looking at Ben Sheets's mechanics? They seem very unusual to me, with that big exagerrated arm whip of his that may have caused the lattisimus tear he suffered two years ago.
   10. joker24 Posted: August 30, 2007 at 07:42 PM (#2505172)
I'll say it again and it really isn't even close (and the gap is expanding): this is the most interesting baseball read/watch on the internet.
   11. FelizForPresident Posted: August 30, 2007 at 07:57 PM (#2505230)'ve done it again...thank you
   12. ChadBradfordWannabe Posted: August 31, 2007 at 05:18 AM (#2505780)
HSFW-- Have never been a big fan of Sheets' mechanics although he does some things very well. He has SUCH a high release point and he yanks his head so much.

Pujols, Feliz---

Don't know what else to say. Thank you.
   13. CFiJ Posted: August 31, 2007 at 09:14 AM (#2505796)
Holy crap. I can't believe how long those two pitches stayed synced up. That was pretty sick.

That was an awesome analysis, CBW. If I may make one small suggestion among all the praise, do some voice exercises, and practice reading out loud. I'm also a fast-talker, so I know what it's like. But if you can modulate your voice a little bit, so everything's coming out clearly, and you're saying "miles per hour" instead of "milesprower", well in this day and age of the internet, I'm sure some kind of awesome job would come your way.
   14. Chase Insteadman Wannabe Posted: August 31, 2007 at 12:47 PM (#2505824)
I decided to plunge into the MLB TV era with a subscription this year. (Deffinately worth the money in my opinion. Especially if one has insomnia.) I generally decide what game to watch based on which who is pitching for which teams (barring extraordinary feats of hitting or hot prospect debuts). Peavey quickly jumped to the top of the pitchers I will watch whenever he pitches. So you would think that I was rising beyond the murky surface of lurkerdom in order burst forth with some valuable and brilliant insight that helped illuminate the beautiful subtleties of Jake Peavey's extraordniary season. The sort of detail that one picks up after seeing a picthcer's rhythm over and over again. Perhaps even a nuance that Carlos Gomez himself missed which might make him exclaim, "Good God! It's all so simple now! Halleluiah, I'm begining to see the light!" But, no. Carlos Gomez is awesome. Needless to say, he showed me a thousand points of light (and rhe smaller, darker pitfalls) that I never saw before. All I could tell anyone if asked to talk about why Peavey is pitching so well would have been, "Dude... He's just ####### good. You know?"

Which is why I'm actually here to ask questions that are more about your personal pitching philosophies. Having read your articles dating all the way back to when Joba Chamberlain was a big fat ass who had questionable mechanics and a relatively recent knee in jury has caused me to take up many of your own theories of pitching. Espetially when it comes to tempo. (You mentioned it once or twice, I think.)
So after a year of reading your collumns and mostly watching pitchers like Peavy, Jahan, and of course (as a Yankee fan prospect hound) every inning of Joba's chareer it came as a shock when I saw Livan Hernandez pitching a couple od starts back. And as I watched him I couldn't help wondering what would happen if you were the pitching coach of a major league team and had a player like that. I seem to recall that he admitted while in Washington that he started throwing more cautiosly and with less effort in order to go deep into games without blowing out his arm. So what would you do if someone like Livan back during his Washington days. Is it worth it to try to convince the player to speed up a bit or do you just decide that he's never going to throw 98 mph, so let's just keep doing what's been working? Similarly, is there a situation where you have a young-guy-who's-suddenly-not-so-young-any-more-and-has-yet-to-convince-anyone-he-can-be-more-than-just-some-guy-who-happems-to-be-in-the-bullpen-even-though-the-most-hardcore-of-fans-stil-don't-really
-recognize-his-name who you would recomend slowing down and taking a Livan approach? Of course, I don't imagine you would tell him to slow his tempo too much, but I assume you must have some cardinal rules of pitching that you might Which whats would you brea at what which times?
   15. Chase Insteadman Wannabe Posted: August 31, 2007 at 12:51 PM (#2505826)
Oy. That post badly needed an editor. And that editor should have been me.

What can I say? Insomnia's a bith. I wholeheartedly apologize.
   16. ChadBradfordWannabe Posted: August 31, 2007 at 03:14 PM (#2505977)

I couldn't agree more. I should really do a few takes when I do those voice overs, but I always tell myself "I just want to sound as normal as possible."
However, that is detrimental to the audience who may not be able to handle my accent and speed of speech.

BTW, thank you for your comments. I'm a "Stream of consciousness" kinda guy so I like the randomness of your post...LOL

MLB TV is a wonderful thing. I also tune in basically to the pitchers that I like to see. Much like you, after having done this analysis, I'll be tuning in
to watch more Peavy starts, that's for sure. I mean, I knew he was good, but good god damn, he is nastier than I remember.

Re: the Livan approach

An example...I met Kris Benson the other day and we talked a bit about mechanics. I was imagining this...
What if he came to me and asked me to help him out?

My first question would be:

Do you want to go the "safe" route and throw 89-92, or do you want to go back to your Clemson days where he was 96-98 but riskier.

Some considerations: If he wants to have the longest career possible, then he would probably want to go the safe route (although I may argue that
safe isn't always that safe---if that made any sense). That way, he could capitalize on the market and make #10 million a year for the rest of his
career for league average innings. The Clemson way is riskier, but he could arguably be more effective.

So anyway, that would be the dilemma facing him. What would you prefer if you're a GM?
   17. ChadBradfordWannabe Posted: August 31, 2007 at 03:24 PM (#2505986)
BTW, does anyone know how to edit this so that the screen isn't so wide? I'm not sure I like the scrolling left and right
to read comments. Oh well...
   18. base ball chick Posted: August 31, 2007 at 03:37 PM (#2506003)

WHAT accent?

i didn't hear no accent

i wouldn't never guess that you even speak another language. of course i don't know anyone who is PR - just mexican and central american and you sure as heck do NOT sound anything like them

you talk fast, but so do a lot of people

me i have got a LOT more accent then you do
   19. James Darnell's #1 Fan Posted: August 31, 2007 at 04:05 PM (#2506049)
Even when you're writing.

   20. ChadBradfordWannabe Posted: August 31, 2007 at 04:09 PM (#2506051)
I got a little of bit of my Puerto Rican accent left in there, no? Dammit...
   21. James Darnell's #1 Fan Posted: August 31, 2007 at 04:49 PM (#2506115)
Just a wee bit, can barely notice it.
   22. peterjay24 Posted: August 31, 2007 at 11:14 PM (#2506655)
I've been reading your stuff for a month or so now and find it both informative and entertaining. The video breakdowns are tremendously helpful, and you explain everything quite well. Anyway, Peavy has been one of my favorite guys to watch (except when he's pitching vs. my Cardinals!) because of his approach, his funky delivery, and his stuff. I went on YouTube once and pulled up the K reel of his 16 K game vs. Atlanta. It was amazing to watch the variety of stuff he was ringing guys up on...fastball in, fastball out, slider/cutter thing away, changeup in, changeup down...I actually went ahead and wrote down all the pitches he got those K's with, and I came up with 7 slider/cutter type pitches (hard to tell w/ out seeing velocities or spin more clearly), 6 FB, 2 changeups, and one other thing that I had no idea what it actually was...Point is, when he's on it doesn't matter what pitch he throws, you're probably not going to hit it.

BTW...I am a sidearm pitcher and was thrilled to see your post from a few months ago on Pat Neshek. He's on my fantasy team, and is certainly the most unique pitcher I've ever seen. I think an entry comparing some of the better sidearm/submarine guys in the MLB would be a good one...Meredith, Neshek, Shouse, etc...Just a suggestion!

Finally, I was wondering how much of your mechanical theory applies to drop-downers? It seems like from my experience its tough to put much on the ball at all unless you keep your tempo up, your delivery smooth, and getting your hips and legs moving.
   23. rr Posted: August 31, 2007 at 11:34 PM (#2506669)
I have mentioned Peavy's mechanics a few times the last couple of years, and I have never seen him lasting a long time.

Good article.
   24. Chase Insteadman Wannabe Posted: September 01, 2007 at 09:21 AM (#2507328)
I'm a "Stream of consciousness" kinda guy so I like the randomness of your post...LOL

Well, thanks. When I was in high school I went to a sports media camp where Ken Rosenthall (back when he was still a genreal Baltimore sports columnist) complimented my writing style. But I think my writing is better when it's more sparse and less self indulgent. One of the reasons I tend to lurk on this blog rather than post is that posting on blogs always makes me more... Well, shall we say loquatious for the sake of pretension? As a result I wind up disgusted with whatever I wrote. Of course, my prose still disgusts me when I actually am sparse, but that's beside the point.

What would you prefer if you're a GM?
Well, of course my answer is colored by being a life long Yankee fan. We always want the superstar. Guys like Livan are certainly going to help you have a solid regular season. But while occasionally Jose Molina or Luis Sojo will win a game for you it's the great players scare you on the other team and give you peace of mind on your side. (Which is why I pissed off my brother in 2004 by reminding him a few times that if Boston the next game they would have Pedro and Schilling the next two games to force a game 7 with ungodly momentum. I'm still not sure he's forgiven me.) But that said, I also used to dream the Yankees could develop one pitcher like Livan or Suppan who could be relied on to be solid every four days. Next thing I know Wang proves my skeptisizm wrong, Hughes is tearing up the minors and Kennedy, Chamberlain and Betances are being praised by different experts after the draft. Now I'm greedy.

Jesus, I'm doing it again...

Short version: If I'm a GM I want the high risk/high potential route. If I'm a pitcher I want to be a mjor league starter for as long as I can.

BTW, thank you for your comments.

Well, just one more and then I'll probably go back to lurking. It's always fantastic to see a guy like Rob Neyer and Keith Law come to threads and engage in actual give and take dialogue. But I think it's safe to say that no columnist I know of is as active in not only answering the questions of others, but also getting as many people as you can to share their views and opinions as possible. You've managed to create an atmosphire on the Bullpen Mechanics that is, even by the standard of the average social blog, remarkable for its openness and equality of opinion. And often I learn just as much reading the discussion threads as I do from the article itself. Someday you'll be hired by an MLB team to coach or scout or some similar such thing. And on that day I think most people who read your collumn will have the same reaction. "That's fantastic! I couldn't be more happy for Carlos. One Step closer to making his dreams come true. Although...This probably means the death of his collumns... ############# #### shit ####!! Ah, good for him. He deserves it." And just as I hope I can briefly meet Joba Chamberlain one day to tell him that following him all year and seeing him dominate when given the chance to play with the big boys probably gave me more pleasure than any other athlete has, I want to take the advantage of the chance to tell you that no collumnist has done more to increase not only my understanding of the game, but even in the way I watch the game. At a very fundamental level, you have deepened the joy of watching baseball. If I ever wind up meeting you somewhere in the real world, I'll pull a Joba on you. "Mr. Carlos." I'll say in the sort of softly stong voice that intones deep levels of respect and an emotional statement to be spoken without emotian at all "Your collumns were routinely outstanding," There's a good chance really emphasize the word outstanding in hope that making it a max-effore type worg will yeild Peavey like excellence. "Outstamdom. And I would just like to thank you for changing the way I watch the great sport of baseball and providing the most consistantly interesting analysises." So if we somehow wind up meeting each other in the real world, I'll say something along those lines to you. If (and this certainly seems more likely) we never meet, then to hell with you.
   25. Chase Insteadman Wannabe Posted: September 01, 2007 at 10:03 AM (#2507331)
I was once told that I am my own worst editor. I'm too lazy to proofresd, edit, or rewrite anything.

Anyway, I'll now stoll on over to the Brackish lurking awamp and thusly shall I slide myself doen the mighty muddy banks of the Brakish Lurking Swamp.

Thank you. I'm sorry I took up so much time and space with those posts. (Why am I apologozing by the way? Well first of all I think I set a new record low for interesting/original diveded by the number of words used in the post. I call this new number eithrer IO\WPP or The Superbly Fantasticly Perfect Number as developed by former hot shot prospect Lwrry Dague which is perfect and infalible for short. I'm still working out some the kinks for my The Superbly Fantasticly Perfect Number as developed by former hot shot prospect Lwrry Dague which is perfect and infalible + formula. That one incorporated things sure as length or words, computer connection speed, the poster's typing speed, etc. The other reason I'm apologizing? It's just what I do. I apologize all the time. I even apologize when someone else made a mistake. It's a bad habit, but certainly not one of my wost habits.) Anway, I apologize for allowing this supposed short note to balloon up into another long rambling rant. One way or another, I will make sure thwt...

Wosh...Lost my trsin of thought there.

I think my sleeping pills are kicking in. Or rather kicked in a little while back and only just noticed it.

Hopefully the rest of the night will promise that I post no more rambling without any sence of structure, style, or even some sort of purpose.

   26. ChadBradfordWannabe Posted: September 04, 2007 at 02:26 PM (#2511011)

you need to post here more often. I enjoy your musings even if I have to reread some of your comments. You are always welcome here.
Of course, everyone else is welcome too.

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