Author Topic: On The Farm  (Read 296376 times)

craig

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 12178
Re: On The Farm
« Reply #10950 on: February 19, 2023, 11:48:38 am »
https://www.baseballamerica.com/stories/a-simple-way-the-rays-help-fix-pitchers-control/

https://www.bleachernation.com/cubs/2023/02/18/adding-lefty-power-stealing-control-improvements-from-the-rays-joking-about-the-pitch-clock-and-other-cubs-bullets/

I'm not a BA subscriber, so not reading the article.  But the BleacherNation synopsis: 

"In short, the Tampa Bay Rays have an established history now of finding pitchers with good stuff and poor control, and then improving their control just enough to allow them to be effective ... One of the very simple ways the Rays do it? For some guys, the catcher does not set a target other than just straight up setting up in the middle of the zone. Let the stuff do the work, and donít even worry about trying to locate to a particular spot."

It's an interesting concept. 
1.  Much to admire about Toronto's development system, so I respect whatever they're doing, and am sure it is thoughtful, practical, and appropriately nuanced. 
2.  I've often thought this might hypothetically make a lot of sense for a lot of the relievers the Cubs have had.  Erratic stuff, no hitter can guess location if you don't even know where it's going.  I recall some specific AB's with Yu Darvish where he got swing-and-miss K's while missing the target by several feet.  (Target set low-away; guy whiffs on ball up-and-in...).
3.  So many outs and K's come on chase pitches.  But hitters chase way differently with 2 strikes or behind in the count.  so I can see hypothetical value in sacrificing location early in the count so that you can get ahead more often. 
4.  Counterargument:  "wild" is perhaps essentially interchangeable with inconsistent.  Inconsistent guys can get inconsistent movement.  Aim 10 pitches down the middle, and maybe 7 of them will have natural and erratic movement all over the place.  But if they are just aiming it at a middle-target, might 3 of the pitches randomly go straight, and get hammered?  I wonder whether with a guy like Jensen, whether this might not look like a great strategy on a bunch of pitches, but whether some would just stay straight and his HR-rate would get even worse?