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Bob McClure says some interesting things


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#1 Buzzkill Pauley


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Posted 21 February 2012 - 10:00 AM

From Speier's excellent WEEI.com article:

-- he implied a 130-140 IP limit for Bard in 2012:

“If Daniel’s in the rotation, I think that at some point you still have to keep an eye on him. How long ago did he pitch 100 innings? You’re not going to go out and let a guy like that pitch 220 innings,” said McClure. “I think we’ve seen enough of the studies where, if a guy is 30, 40, 50 innings over [his innings total of the previous year], that’s enough, and if they go 70, 80 innings over what they did prior to, you usually see a downside the next year, or it might be the following year.”


-- he's working on footwork, not arm action, with Miller:

“I think Andrew can be a starter,” said McClure. “But I don’t believe he can be a starter stepping two feet across his body. I don’t think you can repeat and command a baseball by being that off line, then having to redirect as the ball is coming out of your hand. I just don’t think you can do that. I don’t know anybody that’s accurate that steps that far across his body.


-- he's also working on footwork with Doubront, to reduce injury risk:

“Doubront lands this way (smacks palm against hand) a little bit, which causes [stress in his elbow] and he’s going to get hurt, I think,” said McClure. “Your alignment and landing are really, really important.”


-- he was extremely impressed with Padilla's first bullpen:

“That was outstanding -- I mean real good,” said McClure. “Very eye-opening. Not only was the stuff good, but he hardly ever missed the glove.”


______________


Honestly, I'm more impressed right now with McClure than I was at any time last season with Curt Young. At least he seems to know what he's doing, and why.

#2 Carl Everetts Therapist


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Posted 21 February 2012 - 10:06 AM

That sounds really sound in his review of Miller. Obviously the proof will be in the results and everyone looks great at this time of year. As BP says he already sounds infinitely better than Young.

If someone could straighten out Miller it could mean the difference between an innings eating AAAA pitcher and an ace

#3 someoneanywhere

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 10:18 AM

He says Padilla hardly ever missed the glove?

Man oh man is that going to change.

#4 JMDurron

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 11:51 AM

One man's "impressed right now with McClure" is another man's "Awesome! Changing deliveries always works out, just ask Craig Hansen!"

I have nothing against the man, but "all we need to do is completely change his delivery" doesn't inspire me with confidence that either one of those pitchers will be better than useless in 2012. I don't think there's too much to lose with either one of those pitchers based on their previous results to date at the MLB level, but even if this works, it may take most or all of a season for them to become what McClure is trying to put them in position to be.

#5 ShaneTrot

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 11:56 AM

One man's "impressed right now with McClure" is another man's "Awesome! Changing deliveries always works out, just ask Craig Hansen!"

I have nothing against the man, but "all we need to do is completely change his delivery" doesn't inspire me with confidence that either one of those pitchers will be better than useless in 2012. I don't think there's too much to lose with either one of those pitchers based on their previous results to date at the MLB level, but even if this works, it may take most or all of a season for them to become what McClure is trying to put them in position to be.

Well, he's messing around with the fringe guys which he should. It's not like he is trying to re-tool Lester or Beckett.

#6 Carl Everetts Therapist


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Posted 21 February 2012 - 12:00 PM

One man's "impressed right now with McClure" is another man's "Awesome! Changing deliveries always works out, just ask Craig Hansen!"

I have nothing against the man, but "all we need to do is completely change his delivery" doesn't inspire me with confidence that either one of those pitchers will be better than useless in 2012. I don't think there's too much to lose with either one of those pitchers based on their previous results to date at the MLB level, but even if this works, it may take most or all of a season for them to become what McClure is trying to put them in position to be.



Just sayin: working on footwork is not = to completely changing ones delivery.

Whats the guy supposed to say "These guys suck, the hell if I know how to fix a pile of shit"

At least he's got something else to tinker with in Chris Carpenter

#7 JMDurron

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 12:10 PM

Well, he's messing around with the fringe guys which he should. It's not like he is trying to re-tool Lester or Beckett.


Absolutely, I completely agree.

Just sayin: working on footwork is not = to completely changing ones delivery.

Whats the guy supposed to say "These guys suck, the hell if I know how to fix a pile of shit"


I'm not trying to be critical of McClure, just making sure we're reasonable in our expectations of what his statements mean. This just means that our fringe guys need some additional, potentially significant re-work on their deliveries (I think footwork is a major part of the delivery, and the degree of change sounds potentially significant for Miller at the very least) before they can be useful. It doesn't mean that we should expect to have some excellent additional depth coming out of ST because McClure has fixed them over 6 weeks. I mean, if he does manage that with either one of them, then sign me up for the Bob McClure Fan Club, I just don't think that his statements mean that at this point. I think the thread title nails it - this is interesting.

I think I also read Buzzkill's initial post as more "rah rah McClure!" than I should have, which informed my initial response. Re-reading it, I see the last sentence as being meant more as an indictment of Young than as a overly excited reaction in favor of McClure.

#8 zenter


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Posted 21 February 2012 - 12:22 PM

I'm not trying to be critical of McClure, just making sure we're reasonable in our expectations of what his statements mean....

Re-reading it, I see the last sentence as being meant more as an indictment of Young than as a overly excited reaction in favor of McClure.


Aaron Cook's reported reaction to McClure (and his results under McClure) are the parts that most impressed me about this article. Maybe Buzzkill's reaction was like mine - halfway in between pure indictment of Young and "rah rah McClure".

McClure’s presence played a significant role in Cook’s decision to sign with the Sox. Cook raves that McClure, who was his pitching coach in two different levels of the minor leagues while in the Rockies system, was the person who taught him how to pitch effectively to contact with his sinker.


“He never molded any pitcher into the same type of pitcher. He looked at guys’ individual abilities and really helped them figure out what was going to work best with them,” said Cook. “For me, it was my sinker, pitching to contact and learning to go for strikeouts when you needed them, but if you didn’t need them, get the hitter out of the box in four pitches or less.”



#9 Buzzkill Pauley


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Posted 21 February 2012 - 01:26 PM

One thing I took away from this article -- and maybe it's just the way Speier structured it -- was the implied "Plan A" = work heavily with Miller and Doubront on their footwork in-season (while both pitch out of the MLB bullpen), because the Sox are going to need someone to cover the last third of the season for Bard.

Obviously, the Sox' needs will change as the season goes along, but I like how he seems to be thinking of the above group as a single, relatively young #5 SP unit worthy of significant development time, while the "yeah, they're just really throwing so great" group includes the various fringe veterans who (if all goes well) will be replaced mid-season by Matsuzaka.

And in terms of his working with Bard -- I don't think we need to worry too much about the attention on footwork given as indicative of a "change in mechanics" because Bard's learning to work out of the windup again for the first time in a long time. Frankly, it's more like he's starting over than changing something.

#10 David Laurila


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Posted 21 February 2012 - 01:33 PM

Andrew Miller, from an interview 11 months ago:

"The general thought was always that I had pretty good stuff, but for me it was that the more I thought about mechanics, and the more I worked on mechanics and carried that to my pitching, the more my stuff diminished. I became more and more of an average or below-average stuff kind of guy. If you don’t have perfect command, it’s hard to pitch that way, so I’m trying to get back to throwing the ball in what is more of a natural way for me—more the way I threw before I ever thought about mechanics."

#11 Smiling Joe Hesketh


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Posted 21 February 2012 - 01:34 PM

Andrew Miller, from an interview 11 months ago:

"The general thought was always that I had pretty good stuff, but for me it was that the more I thought about mechanics, and the more I worked on mechanics and carried that to my pitching, the more my stuff diminished. I became more and more of an average or below-average stuff kind of guy. If you don’t have perfect command, it’s hard to pitch that way, so I’m trying to get back to throwing the ball in what is more of a natural way for me—more the way I threw before I ever thought about mechanics."


Well, he sucked when throwing naturally, that's for sure. He either gets with McClure's program or he'll be picking up my trash every Thursday morning.

#12 Savin Hillbilly


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Posted 21 February 2012 - 01:52 PM

Well, he sucked when throwing naturally, that's for sure. He either gets with McClure's program or he'll be picking up my trash every Thursday morning.

A UNC Chapel Hill degree ain't what it used to be, apparently.

Seriously, though, Miller's quote sounds like the kind of thing people say when the real problem is that they don't have enough confidence in the people whose advice they're trying to follow, and therefore have never fully bought into it. If that's the case, then there's always at least the possibility that McClure will be able to push the right buttons and get that buy-in. It's worth hoping for, at least.

#13 Kull


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Posted 22 February 2012 - 12:22 AM

From Speier's excellent WEEI.com article:

-- he implied a 130-140 IP limit for Bard in 2012:


That begs the question: "And then what?" Assume 140 IP and an average of 6 innings per start, that's roughly 23 starts for Bard. Assume a couple starts in April, and maybe 4 in May, it's going to be every 5th day come June and that puts Bard at 140 innings by late August. The bullpen is the obvious destination after that, but the Sox can't max out his innings and then put him in the pen. So we have to assume the limit of 140 IP over the whole season also includes bullpen time - let's say 110 starting and 30 bullpen. Now that drops him from the rotation by the end of July. I don't dispute the need to limit his innings, but getting the whole thing to actually work sounds pretty sketchy.

#14 maufman


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Posted 22 February 2012 - 01:17 AM

Bard's innings limit is less of a big deal if the Sox can add payroll at the deadline to acquire a starter.

Sounds like Miller has the inside track on that 5th spot, with Aceves and Padilla fighting for the chance to step in if he falters. Cook is my favorite of the invitees, but it sounds like he's Pawtucket-bound to start the season.

#15 Buzzkill Pauley


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Posted 22 February 2012 - 09:32 AM

Bard's innings limit is less of a big deal if the Sox can add payroll at the deadline to acquire a starter.

Sounds like Miller has the inside track on that 5th spot, with Aceves and Padilla fighting for the chance to step in if he falters. Cook is my favorite of the invitees, but it sounds like he's Pawtucket-bound to start the season.


Actually, I took away from McClure -- and this may have simply been due to the structure of the article -- that Miller and Doubront were both going to get regular coaching at the MLB level while members of the bullpen, to see whether one of them could become Bard's in-season replacement.

The fifth starter role seems to be a competition between the he's-just-throwing-so-well-already veterans.

#16 reggiecleveland


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Posted 22 February 2012 - 11:13 AM

Not sure how this can place hjim above Young. Young didn't give specific details abouot guys to the press. He wasa more of a "no comment" "He looks great" "Well if throws strikes Heidi..." type of interview

#17 aron7awol

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 11:48 AM

I don't think we should assume Bard will be limited to around 140 IP or less. All McClure really said is he doesn't want him to pitch 220 innings.

From Valentine:

Well, if he pitches 196, is he supposed to be disappointed? If he pitches 185 quality [innings] and misses two starts because we're going to rest him somewhere, is there something wrong with that? Effective innings, as often as possible.


Assuming he is healthy and effective, they could easily skip Bard a few times during the year to keep him under 30 starts and around 180 innings, and then still have him available for the playoffs in either role.

#18 Alternate34

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 11:54 AM

A UNC Chapel Hill degree ain't what it used to be, apparently.

Seriously, though, Miller's quote sounds like the kind of thing people say when the real problem is that they don't have enough confidence in the people whose advice they're trying to follow, and therefore have never fully bought into it. If that's the case, then there's always at least the possibility that McClure will be able to push the right buttons and get that buy-in. It's worth hoping for, at least.


I read it a bit differently. I think that it may be a guy who cannot follow the advice he is being given. The ability to adjust one's mechanics is a skill that not everyone may possess. It goes beyond hand eye coordination and intelligence. It is a particular kind of intelligence to be aware of what your body is doing and then to make it automatic. To bring an outside sport, this skill is one of the primary bases for Tom Brady's success. The guy drills like crazy to the point where everything has become natural. It is especially difficult for pitchers to do because you can't just throw as often as you want without your arm falling off, so you have to be able to make the change quickly then make it instinct or reflex.

#19 Snodgrass'Muff


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Posted 22 February 2012 - 12:04 PM

Bard's innings limit is less of a big deal if the Sox can add payroll at the deadline to acquire a starter.

Sounds like Miller has the inside track on that 5th spot, with Aceves and Padilla fighting for the chance to step in if he falters. Cook is my favorite of the invitees, but it sounds like he's Pawtucket-bound to start the season.


I'm guessing that plan A is for Matsuzaka to be Bard's replacement in July with Bard shifting to the pen for the rest of the year. We know Matsuzaka is good enough to be that guy when he's healthy. The only question is whether his recovery can keep progressing fast enough and well enough for the timing to work out.

After that, I imagine Padilla, Cook and Silva are all probably ahead of Miller in the depth chart. I'd imagine they view Miller as a AAA or bullpen experiment they're hoping to get some use out of. It's not like he'd be terribly likely to be claimed if they have to pass him through waivers.

Edited by Snodgrass'Muff, 22 February 2012 - 12:05 PM.


#20 kneemoe

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 12:11 PM

That begs the question: "And then what?" Assume 140 IP and an average of 6 innings per start, that's roughly 23 starts for Bard. Assume a couple starts in April, and maybe 4 in May, it's going to be every 5th day come June and that puts Bard at 140 innings by late August. The bullpen is the obvious destination after that, but the Sox can't max out his innings and then put him in the pen. So we have to assume the limit of 140 IP over the whole season also includes bullpen time - let's say 110 starting and 30 bullpen. Now that drops him from the rotation by the end of July. I don't dispute the need to limit his innings, but getting the whole thing to actually work sounds pretty sketchy.


And then Dice-K?
edit: as Snod hits on above, should've reloaded the tab before I replied...

Edited by kneemoe, 22 February 2012 - 12:12 PM.


#21 aron7awol

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 01:58 PM

I'm guessing that plan A is for Matsuzaka to be Bard's replacement in July with Bard shifting to the pen for the rest of the year.

You think that's plan A? You think they will give Bard less than 20 starts if he is healthy and effective? Obviously neither of us know what they are going to do, but I haven't seen anything to suggest they would move him back to the pen that early.

My guess is that plan A doesn't involve moving Bard back to the pen at all, unless it turns out he is only the 4th best starter or worse and he could be better utilized as another bullpen arm in the playoffs. They can skip a few starts and easily keep him to a reasonable inning total with him starting the whole year. I'd prefer that to switching him between roles in the middle of the year. From what Valentine has said, skipping starts to rest him seems to be the plan.