Chronic Inability to Throw Strikes

Plympton91

bubble burster
SoSH Member
Oct 19, 2008
11,800
Prior to coming to the Red Sox, Andrew Cashner had walked 29 batters in 96 innings. In 30.1 innings for the Red Sox, he has now walked 17. Including 11 in his last 3 outings.

This just highlights how much the Red Sox have a strike throwing problem. The whole organization is a nightmare right now. I posted a joke last week about maybe “walks are the new market inefficiency,” but this is ridiculous. It extends beyond the major leagues to pitching prospects throughout the system.

The staff as whole is currently 5th worst in Major League Baseball, though there are 8 or 9 teams very clustered around them, 8 of which suck, plus Atlanta. This is despite having the advantage of Sale’s and Price’s fantastic walk rates, which keeps the team stats from being even more of a horror show.

The bullpen is itself also fifth worst in BB, with added suck of having anywhere from 20 to 100 less innings pitched than the 4 teams “ahead” of them. (MLB unhelpfully doesn’t break out BB/9.)

You might say that a high K, high BB strategy is in place. Perhaps. They are 2nd in K/9. But they are only 9th overall and 10th for bullpen only in K/BB. So that’s no working if that’s the strategy.

Now turn to prospects:

Darwinzon Hernandez’s inability to know where the ball goes after it leaves his hand is well established. The other top two upper level relief prospects we’ve head about are Houck and Feltman. Both of whom are control disasters. Houck has walked 10 in 11 AAA innings. Feltman has walked 30 in 44 AA innings. Other prospects we’ve seen this year—Shawaryan, 41 walks in 71 innings. Pathetic. Lakins, 21 walks in 40 innings. Bad.

The worst part is that pitchers seem to get worse the more they’re exposed to the Red Sox system rather than better. Feltman was excellent last summer after being drafted. Walking only 5 in 25 innings. Somehow, he lost the ability to throw a strike after working with Red Sox coaches. Kutter Crawford moves from Salem to Portland, walk rate skyrockets to 14 in 17 innings. Granted the jump to AA is the biggest, but the plate is the same size, right?
 

moondog80

heart is two sizes two small
SoSH Member
Sep 20, 2005
5,167
Cashner's BB rate over the past 3 years is 3.8, which is what his rate with the Sox was before today.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 23, 2009
10,712
Maine
Cashner's BB rate over the past 3 years is 3.8, which is what his rate with the Sox was before today.
So basically, he's reverting back to his career norms as opposed to keeping up his uncharacteristically low walk rate from earlier in the season. It's not some Red Sox-based conspiracy to intentionally not throw strikes or something.
 

Plympton91

bubble burster
SoSH Member
Oct 19, 2008
11,800
Before today, when he turned into Steve Blass. Or “Before two times ago,” where he also walked 5. Sure, just reversion to the mean.

Being 5th worst in the majors despite having a top 2 as good as anyone. Nope. No systemic problems with the other 10 - 15 guys suspected. Just irrational on my part. So sorry. In Dana LaVangie we trust — what with his long track record of excellence and all. Why question him?

And, sure, the guy who a year ago blew through the minors and had half the Board projecting him to be the major league closer by now, can’t throw strikes in AA. Nothing to see there either. Normal development problems. Memory hole those projections of grandeur from spring training about him.

There clearly a top notch minor league staff. All problems with developing pitchers and throwing strikes are just our bad luck and drafting too low.
 

Mueller's Twin Grannies

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 19, 2009
4,717
Dana LeVangie is the pitching coach at all levels in the minors? No wonder everyone is performing poorly; the guy probably has to give tips in brief seminars on the tarmac between flights.

If the issue is systemic, it's not because of LeVangie, it's because the pitching program that has been implemented at all levels is a failure and that probably goes back to Brian Bannister, if it goes to anyone.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 23, 2009
10,712
Maine
I'm curious what is it that indicates a system wide thing? I mean, the examples of Cashner's walk rate increasing in a Red Sox uniform or of Feltman plateauing at AA seem to suggest that the team is doing something intentional to change and thus screw up these otherwise good pitchers. Seems to me the simple explanation is regression in Cashner's case and Feltman reaching a level where he's more challenged so of course he's going to struggle more than he did at lower levels.

Last year, the Sox had a team BB/9 of 3.2 (14th best in MLB) and a K/BB ratio of 3.04 (6th best in MLB). This year, those numbers are 3.5 (17th best in MLB) and 2.87 (9th best in MLB). No question they're walking more batters than they were last year and it isn't a good thing, but it's not as though they've made changes in the coaching staff or the front office. Why is what they were doing last year not working this year?
 

Savin Hillbilly

loves the secret sauce
SoSH Member
Jul 10, 2007
18,159
The wrong side of the bridge....
Saying the Sox are "5th worst in BB" is technically true but reflects an error that's come up a few times lately: using rank in raw stat categories to judge team performance when not all teams have played the same number of games. Only three other teams have played as many games as the Sox, and only one of them has played more. Using BB%, the Sox are 13th worst in MLB and 7th worst in the AL -- more or less middle of the pack.

Also, a high BB rate could very well reflect an organizational strategy if the strategy is to focus on avoiding hard contact, and throw the pitch that has the lowest chance of being hit hard even when that's not the pitch you can throw most consistently for a strike. This could make sense strategically, since walks are less onerous than extrabase hits (and happen, league-wide, at about the same frequency), though it would carry the poison pill of higher pitch counts.
 
Jul 5, 2018
147
Saying the Sox are "5th worst in BB" is technically true but reflects an error that's come up a few times lately: using rank in raw stat categories to judge team performance when not all teams have played the same number of games. Only three other teams have played as many games as the Sox, and only one of them has played more. Using BB%, the Sox are 13th worst in MLB and 7th worst in the AL -- more or less middle of the pack.

Also, a high BB rate could very well reflect an organizational strategy if the strategy is to focus on avoiding hard contact, and throw the pitch that has the lowest chance of being hit hard even when that's not the pitch you can throw most consistently for a strike. This could make sense strategically, since walks are less onerous than extrabase hits (and happen, league-wide, at about the same frequency), though it would carry the poison pill of higher pitch counts.

It seems like it would make more sense to work on each pitcher's strengths and weaknesses. Power pitchers don't need to nibble and guys that top out at 90 can't challenge hitters. I doubt the Sox are applying the same strategy to every pitcher in the organization.
 

Plympton91

bubble burster
SoSH Member
Oct 19, 2008
11,800
The Pawtucket Red Sox are second worst in the International League in BB/9


The Portland Sea Dogs are worst in the Eastern League in BB/9.



The Salem Red Sox are 7th out of 10 in the Carolina League


The Greenville Drive are 12th out of 14 in BB/9 in the South Atlantic League

 

sean1562

Member
SoSH Member
Sep 17, 2011
2,296
i remember this article from earlier in the season. Barnes, at least, specifically said he wasnt worried about walks. maybe it is an organisational thing?



"The go-to reliever for the Red Sox has become one of the top strikeout pitchers in all of baseball, in some part because he decided to be. He’s hunting strikeouts every single at-bat...

Don’t believe that Barnes is a dominant reliever? He is, and it isn’t just about this year.

Entering Tuesday’s game, Barnes had struck out 51 percent of the hitters he’s seeing, second-best in MLB. Only two relievers — ever — have finished a season striking out over half of the batters they saw. Aroldis Chapman did it in 2014 and Craig Kimbrel in 2012...

The philosophy is essentially this: Barnes is betting he can strike out three before he walks four. A walk puts a runner at first base. He can live with that. Contact might be a single, or it might be a double, or a home run. With today’s hitters and their launch angles and exit velocities, Barnes can’t take that chance.

“When one swing of the bat can change it,” he said, “you have to be willing to go extremes and play punchouts...
“Pitchers are facing all kinds of challenges nowadays, and it’s requiring more pitch quality on every pitch,” Red Sox assistant pitching coach Brian Bannister said. “Everybody talks about the strikeout rates, but the reality is that hitters are getting better at damaging pitches when you throw a bad pitch.”

It’s not that Barnes is opposed to quick innings and easy outs. He just can’t trust those outcomes the way he trusts a strikeout, and while he’s fairly extreme in his approach to a leadoff hitter in a three-run game, he gets even more radical when it’s a one-run game or the decisive run is in scoring position.

“Like, a man at third and less than two outs,” Barnes said. “I can promise you he’s either striking out or walking. I’m just going to go extremes, and I have no problem with that. Or man in scoring position, less than two outs. Or even in a one-run game with nobody on where one swing of the bat changes it.”

Barnes thinks back to the three-game series in Tampa earlier this season. Two nights in a row, he entered with a one-run lead. Five of his six outs were strikeouts, but he also allowed a tying home run in each game. He’s allowed just two hits since.

“If I don’t let anybody put the ball in play, I can’t give up homers,” he said. “I would rather walk guys – I know I said earlier this year that I want to cut down on dumb walks, and I still do, I’m still going to do that – but after giving up those two homers in Tampa, one of which was on a good pitch to (Yandy) Diaz, I thought, it’s just – they both got barrel on the ball, but the way the game is right now, you can make a good pitch and still give up a homer more likely than I think in recent years. So, if that’s the case, you just start going to extremes and plan for punchouts or walks. That’s kind of the way the game has gone.”
 

Sampo Gida

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 7, 2010
5,038
Workman said the same thing. Walk is better than a long drive
Unless a walk precedes the long drive. OBP is far more valuable (hurtful) when HR’s come in bunches. In the relative deadball era of 2010-2015 walks didn't hurt as much. In the superball era (esp 2019) walks are deadly.
 
It seems to me like it's a chronic inability to put batters away. I don't know how to quickly find lots of stats on this, but I feel Sox pitchers get ahead, say 0-2, and then take forever to finish a PA. I get that you don't always want to throw a strike in certain counts, but batters are seeing lots of pitches. Take the Sale game of July 18, the 12 K's in 6 innings. Really it was 12 K's in 5 innings, as the 1-2-3 6th was three ground-outs. Sale was cruising, but his pitch count was so high it made sense not to try for the 7th inning. Even though he got the 12 K's, he'd get ahead and then take forever to get the third strike. The whole staff just doesn't seem to bear down and get into attack mode with two strikes. Is this part of a new philosophy because of all the home runs? If so, it doesn't make sense to me, because it wears out starters, and results in walks, which means guys on base when the home run comes.
Also, thanks for the stats on the mL pitching staffs...they paint a picture that is not encouraging.
 

maufman

Anderson Cooper x Mr. Rogers
Staff member
Dope
Gold Supporter
Red Sox are 2nd worst in the AL in percentage of pitches thrown for strikes. They were middle of the pack last season, so I’m not sure it’s a matter of organizational philosophy.
 

Plympton91

bubble burster
SoSH Member
Oct 19, 2008
11,800
Red Sox are 2nd worst in the AL in percentage of pitches thrown for strikes. They were middle of the pack last season, so I’m not sure it’s a matter of organizational philosophy.
Wow. That explains why they are so unwatchable, too.
 

mfried

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 23, 2005
1,535
Barnes, by design, throws his curve ball in the dirt 50%+ of the time. When his fastball is thrown at 96 or higher he loses command and is prone to hard contact. He works very slowly - thus, numbers aside, he is one of my least favored Red Sox players. Workman, on the other hand, works at a reasonable pace, accepts a fair number of walks, but throws his 94 heater and his excellent curve reasonably close to the strike zone. The guy is not hit hard at all. Same “philosophy” - different kind of performer.
 

BaseballJones

goalpost mover
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
5,727
Barnes, by design, throws his curve ball in the dirt 50%+ of the time. When his fastball is thrown at 96 or higher he loses command and is prone to hard contact. He works very slowly - thus, numbers aside, he is one of my least favored Red Sox players. Workman, on the other hand, works at a reasonable pace, accepts a fair number of walks, but throws his 94 heater and his excellent curve reasonably close to the strike zone. The guy is not hit hard at all. Same “philosophy” - different kind of performer.
Barnes also isn't trying to induce weak contact. He's trying to induce NO contact. He's on record saying he "hunts strikeouts", and that's how they want him approaching hitters. So this is absolutely a philosophical issue for Barnes and the Sox' staff (at least with respect to Barnes in particular).
 

Plympton91

bubble burster
SoSH Member
Oct 19, 2008
11,800
Barnes also isn't trying to induce weak contact. He's trying to induce NO contact. He's on record saying he "hunts strikeouts", and that's how they want him approaching hitters. So this is absolutely a philosophical issue for Barnes and the Sox' staff (at least with respect to Barnes in particular).
Well, it’s not working. ERA up to 4.70. Or, maybe this is just who he is. That 4.70 ERA isn’t much different from his career mark of 4.23.
 

Mueller's Twin Grannies

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 19, 2009
4,717
It seems the solution is to fire Bannister (who was a mediocre-at-best pitcher as it was, so I still doubt he lacks the true aptitude to collaborate on an entire pitching staff, including many who are probably better than he ever was or at least could be) and revamp the entire pitching approach. Will they do that in Dombrowski's walk year or will they play it out one more season to see if things rebound and just have wholesale changes if they decide to move on from Dombrowski?

Barnes would have been a great trade chip before this season undid all the positive progress from last season.

"Hunting strikeouts?" FOH with that bullshit. Get outs. That's all that matters. Stop being fascist.
 

The Needler

lurker
Dec 7, 2016
1,613
Barnes also isn't trying to induce weak contact. He's trying to induce NO contact. He's on record saying he "hunts strikeouts", and that's how they want him approaching hitters. So this is absolutely a philosophical issue for Barnes and the Sox' staff (at least with respect to Barnes in particular).
Yeah, and as noted above, he's also on record as saying "'Like, a man at third and less than two outs,' Barnes said. 'I can promise you he’s either striking out or walking. I’m just going to go extremes, and I have no problem with that.'"

Of course, in practice, in the 14 batters he's faced in that situation, the ball was put in play 10 times and he's allowed 12 runs. So if that's how he's approaching it, he's sure not succeeding.
 

Hank Scorpio

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 1, 2013
5,218
Is part of the problem that the Red Sox are trying to emulate the successes other teams have had with high octane flamethrowers blowing hitters away, except without the right flamethrowers? Rather than going after hitters, they’re trying to be cute nibbling and going out of the zone, falling behind and getting runners on, then being forced to throw garbage fastballs that get hit 450 feet and plate three runs.

Barnes for instance. He’s talented, but his approach and subsequent results have been awful for a while now.
 

absintheofmalaise

too many flowers
Dope
SoSH Member
Mar 16, 2005
12,883
The gran facenda
It seems the solution is to fire Bannister (who was a mediocre-at-best pitcher as it was, so I still doubt he lacks the true aptitude to collaborate on an entire pitching staff, including many who are probably better than he ever was or at least could be) and revamp the entire pitching approach. Will they do that in Dombrowski's walk year or will they play it out one more season to see if things rebound and just have wholesale changes if they decide to move on from Dombrowski?

Barnes would have been a great trade chip before this season undid all the positive progress from last season.

"Hunting strikeouts?" FOH with that bullshit. Get outs. That's all that matters. Stop being fascist.
Is your main reason to fire Bannister the performance of the staff this year or that he was a mediocre at best pitcher? The list of very good pitchers who also succeeded as pitching coaches seems to be pretty short.
Bannister had the same role last season. How do you account for the performance of the staff last season?
I can see them revamping their approach next year, but I don't see them firing Bannister this off-season.
 

Mueller's Twin Grannies

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 19, 2009
4,717
Is your main reason to fire Bannister the performance of the staff this year or that he was a mediocre at best pitcher? The list of very good pitchers who also succeeded as pitching coaches seems to be pretty short.
Bannister had the same role last season. How do you account for the performance of the staff last season?
I can see them revamping their approach next year, but I don't see them firing Bannister this off-season.
My main reason for firing Bannister would be because someone has to answer for this debacle of a season. As Plympton has pointed out, this is an issue across all levels, which points to an institutional issue and not something plaguing one specific staff. He may have served in the role last season but the pitching staffs are not the same as last season. Looking purely at the ML roster, they lost Kelly and Kimbrel, so their efficacy needs to be removed from the rest of the picture to get a sense of how much stability and ability they brought. Kelly was up and down last year and Kimbrel had his struggles here and there, but they still ate up innings and recorded outs that others are having to take care of this year. Sale missed basically half the season last year with his health issues, Eovaldi came in about midway, and they have a few relievers this year that they didn't last year. So to say he's working with the same staff is a bit misleading since he didn't even have the same staff throughout all of last season. Last year may have also been partly the result of the Shiny New Manager Effect, which the Red Sox have parlayed into world titles on three separate occasions since Grady Little was shitcanned. Alex Cora isn't bright and shiny and new this year and there's less motivation to shove it up Farrell's ass by those who had to put up with him, not to mention the vengeance factor against the Astros. Even if you discount all of that, though, Bannister's program has simply not yielded good results across the board and this may be the bottoming out year.

Basically, this was a year where they were expected to contend, possibly to repeat, and the reason they're going to wind up doing neither is the pitching staff. Even with the one-year grace period coming off the title, the results have been either mixed or really poor and that falls at the feet of the person in charge of the pitching protocol. If that's Bannister, and no one has led me to believe it isn't, he is the one who should have his head on the chopping block, possibly alongside LeVangie. To do nothing is an indication that it's acceptable and that's the wrong message to send. You can't fire (all of) the pitchers, so you need to make a move where you can. It's also entirely possible that Bannister's/the organization's philosophy simply doesn't work in the launch angle era, not any more, and a complete revamp is needed to keep up with the changing times. If they believe Bannister is the right guy for the job and want to give him a little more rope provided there is an overhaul done, fine. But if he is convinced that his way is the best way, they have to decide if they agree and act accordingly. I believe it isn't and the results have borne that out.

To quote Owen Hart, "enough is enough and it's time for a change."

Note: Firing Bannister isn't going to be a simple fix, either; there needs to be some serious attention paid to roster construction, more than this past offseason, and there may need to be some hard moves that are made if they want to contend. If they are going to keep crying poor mouth because of the luxury tax ceiling, then maybe they aren't looking to be in it every year but are just hoping that's what will happen.
 

Dahabenzapple2

Member
SoSH Member
Jun 20, 2011
7,660
Wayne, NJ
Fwiw - Kimbrel continues pitching poorly with the same issues that raised red flags to those of us who didn’t want him signed/extended - plus obviously The Red Sox saw the same issues. Don’t forget the team barely escaped him being what would have been the major reason for losing any of the 3 post season series last fall.
 

Plympton91

bubble burster
SoSH Member
Oct 19, 2008
11,800
I think the questions are, 1) Is Bannister / LaVangie being nimble enough in making adjustments as the league adjusts to them and their influence on the staff, and 2) who is responsible for the inability / unwillingness to throw strikes. It’s not working.

(And this 6th inning vs CLE tonight is another example of Cora leaving a starter in beyond his expiration date because the bulllpen sucks.)
 

maufman

Anderson Cooper x Mr. Rogers
Staff member
Dope
Gold Supporter
Bannister had a 3.0 BB/9 in 667 career innings in The Show. Throwing strikes was literally the only thing he did well as a player. I highly doubt he’s responsible for an organizational philosophy of nibbling instead of challenging hitters.

Personally, I doubt it’s a philosophy at all. Nobody coaches pitching prospects to nibble — if you can’t challenge minor leaguers, you’re never going to make it in the majors. The lack of strike-throwing in the minors is likely nothing more than a measure of the lack of pitching talent in the organization, which has been a problem for a while.
 
Jul 5, 2018
147
It seems the solution is to fire Bannister (who was a mediocre-at-best pitcher as it was, so I still doubt he lacks the true aptitude to collaborate on an entire pitching staff, including many who are probably better than he ever was or at least could be) and revamp the entire pitching approach. Will they do that in Dombrowski's walk year or will they play it out one more season to see if things rebound and just have wholesale changes if they decide to move on from Dombrowski?

Barnes would have been a great trade chip before this season undid all the positive progress from last season.

"Hunting strikeouts?" FOH with that bullshit. Get outs. That's all that matters. Stop being fascist.
Hey, wait a minute. There was a linked article about Bannister on another thread about his revolutionary use of data that he could access on his phone. He would bump into the starting pitcher in the outfield and show him some insightful data to give him an edge that night. When I dared to question what that data could possibly be, I was mocked and called, gulp, "Luddite".

A common theme on SOSH is that when someone is performing well it's due to brilliant coaching and if he is later struggling that same coach should be fired. The only one that is safe is the self-coached J.D.
 
Last edited:

Savin Hillbilly

loves the secret sauce
SoSH Member
Jul 10, 2007
18,159
The wrong side of the bridge....
Vis. that "poison pill" I mentioned -- there is one pitching stat--the only one I can find--in which the Sox clearly trail their league (or lead it, to be more precise, but not in a good way):

25602

The Sox staff "leads" the #2 team in this category by about the same margin that separates #2 from #7. The gap between #2 and #14 is less than twice the size of the gap between the Sox and #2.

This may be the true cost of "strikeout hunting": a team full of tired arms.
 

joe dokes

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 18, 2005
12,859
It seems the solution is to fire Bannister (who was a mediocre-at-best pitcher as it was, so I still doubt he lacks the true aptitude to collaborate on an entire pitching staff, including many who are probably better than he ever was or at least could be) and revamp the entire pitching approach. Will they do that in Dombrowski's walk year or will they play it out one more season to see if things rebound and just have wholesale changes if they decide to move on from Dombrowski?
It reads like you're tying "aptitude to collaborate" to his professional mediocrity. Did you ever see Brent Strom pitch? (I did). Or Kyle Snyder?
OTOH-- I never saw any of Larry Rothschild's 7 major league pitching appearances, Don Cooper's 44, or any of Leo Mazzone's or Dave Duncan's.
But compared to those losers Bannister was Cy Young.
 
Last edited:

BaseballJones

goalpost mover
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
5,727
Vis. that "poison pill" I mentioned -- there is one pitching stat--the only one I can find--in which the Sox clearly trail their league (or lead it, to be more precise, but not in a good way):

View attachment 25602

The Sox staff "leads" the #2 team in this category by about the same margin that separates #2 from #7. The gap between #2 and #14 is less than twice the size of the gap between the Sox and #2.

This may be the true cost of "strikeout hunting": a team full of tired arms.
Maybe. But Houston does the same thing - their organizational strikeout numbers at all levels are tremendous - and they are in the bottom half in pitches thrown as per your graph. They're obviously just better at it than the Sox are.
 

Harry Hooper

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jan 4, 2002
25,515
Conor Ryan at BSJ had this postgame quote of note:

“We’ve been talking about it – limiting damage. The way you limit damage is avoiding walks, especially when you’re way ahead in the count. In those two at-bats (against Santana), (Rodriguez) didn’t put him away, and it cost us five runs.” – AlexCora
 

E5 Yaz

Transcends message boarding
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Apr 25, 2002
60,106
Oregon
It seems the solution is to fire Bannister (who was a mediocre-at-best pitcher as it was, so I still doubt he lacks the true aptitude to collaborate on an entire pitching staff, including many who are probably better than he ever was or at least could be) and revamp the entire pitching approach.
Bannister was a better pitcher than Dave Duncan
 

JBJ_HOF

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 5, 2014
275
fwiw bannister has been away from the major league team since the all star break as things have turned to shit
 

joe dokes

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 18, 2005
12,859
Maybe. But Houston does the same thing - their organizational strikeout numbers at all levels are tremendous - and they are in the bottom half in pitches thrown as per your graph. They're obviously just better at it than the Sox are.
This is the likely answer.
 

Sprowl

mikey lowell of the sandbox
Dope
Jun 27, 2006
31,522
Haiku
It reads like you're tying "aptitude to collaborate" to his professional mediocrity. Did you ever see Brent Strom pitch? (I did). Or Kyle Snyder?
OTOH-- I never saw any of Larry Rothschild's 7 major league pitching appearances, Don Cooper's 44, or any of Leo Mazzone's or Dave Duncan's.
But compared to those losers Bannister was Cy Young.
Most of us saw Kyle Snyder trying to pitch during 2006-2008 when he appeared in 64 games for the Red Sox. He had a good 12-6 curveball, but iffy command and didn't miss many bats. He was indeed professionally mediocre.
 

joe dokes

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 18, 2005
12,859
Most of us saw Kyle Snyder trying to pitch during 2006-2008 when he appeared in 64 games for the Red Sox. He had a good 12-6 curveball, but iffy command and didn't miss many bats. He was indeed professionally mediocre.


Precisely.
The TB staff is No. 1 in ERA in the AL, #2 in Ks and #3 in BB.
 

mfried

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 23, 2005
1,535
If a former pitcher is the pitching coach I hypothesize that a middling pitcher with a long career would be ideal. Someone with modest talent who had to problem solve to get outs. That's a familiar dynamic in music - performers who become pedagogues: the really talented ones don't understand why their charges fail. The pretty good ones learn to get by.
 

Salem's Lot

Andy Moog! Andy God Damn Moog!
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
6,102
Gallows Hill
If a former pitcher is the pitching coach I hypothesize that a middling pitcher with a long career would be ideal. Someone with modest talent who had to problem solve to get outs. That's a familiar dynamic in music - performers who become pedagogues: the really talented ones don't understand why their charges fail. The pretty good ones learn to get by.
Ted Williams as a manager was a great example of this. He didn’t understand why everyone couldn’t hit .350.
 
Aug 11, 2019
6
Barnes also isn't trying to induce weak contact. He's trying to induce NO contact. He's on record saying he "hunts strikeouts", and that's how they want him approaching hitters. So this is absolutely a philosophical issue for Barnes and the Sox' staff (at least with respect to Barnes in particular).
Barnes has only come into games this year with the bases empty just over 50% of the time and in games with runners on, nearly a third of them have been with runners in scoring position. Of those games with RISP, about 22% had a runner on third and less than two outs, which is probably a good time to strike out a next batter given the club has only averaged 0.7 DP per game (which includes all DPs) and there are not necessarily force opportunities available.