Cool Bryan Price article

DMZ · January 14, 2005 at 9:50 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Submitted first by long-absent super-reader Aditya Sood:
How I learned to pitch“. It’s an interesting read, worth checking out.


28 Responses to “Cool Bryan Price article”

  1. paul mocker on January 14th, 2005 10:27 am

    The author, Eric Liu, is on KUOW right now.

  2. jtopps on January 14th, 2005 11:49 am

    Maybe I am showing my ignorance here- but what was the deal with Bryan Price/BoMel and the Coaching staff turnover? I understand that most managers have their own coaches they like to use and that letting go of Melvin and company was to make room for Hargrove and whomever he wanted as his coaches (though no one knew it would be Hargrove at the point, of course). But when Lou left, we just inserted Melvin. There wasn’t talk of Lou requesting Price to come with him or turning over the entire coaching staff.

    Which is the league standard, so to speak? Hiring a coaching staff all at once, or just replacing its head?

  3. Josh on January 14th, 2005 12:07 pm

    Its not to uncommon for a Manager to keep a coach or two from the former staff. Hargrove was given the option to replace Price, but the org highly recommended Price to him.

  4. msb on January 14th, 2005 1:12 pm

    “But when Lou left, we just inserted Melvin. There wasn’t talk of Lou requesting Price to come with him or turning over the entire coaching staff.”–Comment by jtopps

    Lou took half of his coaching staff to Tampa (Lee Elia, Matt Sinatro and John McLaren); the only holdovers under Melvin were Price and Moses & Myers. Price was announced by the team as the pitching coach (so Melvin had no choice), and Lou wasn’t given the option of taking Price; he instead took Bosio from the M’s minor league system. Myers & Moses were kept on after Melvin interviewed them.

  5. Jim Thomsen on January 14th, 2005 1:19 pm

    That was an interesting article. (See how I’m staying on topic???)

    However, the lesson can be boiled down into Crash Davis’ immortal advice to Nuke LaLoosh: “Don’t think. It can only hurt the ballclub.”

    I wonder if a pitcher could be successful by throwing several different change-ups at several different speeds, with no breaking stuff or fastball to speak of? I also wonder what range of MPH a pitcher must have between all his pitches to be successful.

    I’d love to see a piece like on this throwing a knuckleball.

  6. taylor on January 14th, 2005 1:27 pm

    I’d love to see a piece like on this throwing a knuckleball.

    Not exactly the same but a good article none the less.

  7. Evan on January 14th, 2005 2:25 pm

    That knuckleball article rocks. I’d love to see the Sox with 3 knuckleballers on their staff; the rest of the league would be apoplectic.

  8. Steve Thornton on January 14th, 2005 2:37 pm

    Jim Thomsen writes: “I wonder if a pitcher could be successful by throwing several different change-ups at several different speeds, with no breaking stuff or fastball to speak of?”

    Sounds like Jamie Moyer to me. Doesn’t he throw at least three different changes – slow, slower, slowest? I don’t they’re separated by more than a few MPH. If you can control it that precisely, that’s all the difference you need.

  9. Montresor on January 14th, 2005 2:56 pm

    Great article. It is cool to hear non-baseball people discussing baseball and getting it. I passed this along to some of my non-baseball friends. They thought it was pretty cool. They were suprised that it was actually intellectual.

    Thanks for the post.

  10. Brian Rust on January 14th, 2005 3:20 pm

    Thanks for the link. Who needs an iPod when NPR does such a good job of analog streaming audio?

  11. wabbles on January 14th, 2005 4:07 pm

    I thought I’ve heard commentators say that you need at least 10 mph difference between your fastball and changeup to really fool the hitter, dunno the range between all the pitches.

  12. Deanna on January 14th, 2005 4:18 pm

    I’d love to see the Sox with 3 knuckleballers on their staff; the rest of the league would be apoplectic.

    And so would their catchers.

  13. David J Corcoran on January 14th, 2005 6:57 pm

    We just signed Benji Gil!

  14. Jim Thomsen on January 14th, 2005 7:55 pm

    As dumpster dives go, Benji Gil is a week-old flattened french fry scraped off the side …..

  15. Graham on January 14th, 2005 7:58 pm

    I think I’d rather have Bloomquist. Actually, yeah, I’d rather have Bloomquist. Good thing this is a minor league deal with an NRI for Spring Training… I doubt he makes it.

  16. Jim Thomsen on January 14th, 2005 8:03 pm

    He’s basically this year’s Eric Owens … a ringer brought in to scare the hell out of the “bubble people” ….

  17. Bela Txadux on January 14th, 2005 8:33 pm

    My recollection on the ‘spread’ needed to make speed differentials effective is about 7 mph miminum; 10 mph is ideal, enought to just eat up a batter’s timing. So for example, a pitcher with your typical 88 mph fastball and your typical 78 mph changeup has an effective pitch in the latter offering.

    Now, Jamie Moyer at his best actually had a ‘triple spread’: 86 mph fastball, 78 mph regular change, and 70-72 mph extra-change or slow curve. As you can see, his spreads were just barely enough to be effective: this is part of why he became a master of pitching _patterns_, he couldn’t rely on the speed differentials alone to ice the batter but had to work hard to make the batter guess wrong on pitch and location as well. Jamie’s big problem in ’04 was that his fastball was regularly clocking in at _82-83 mph_: he lost the spread, which has screwed up his basic repertoire. Furthermore, Moyer also saw a significant deterioration in his control which erased his ability to zig when the batter reads zag. I will be astonished if Jamie can get his ERA under 6.00 in ’05

    Pitchers with a ‘maximum triple spread,’ to give it a name, are very nearly unhittalbe, like Pedro in his prime: 98 mph heater, 88 mph hard curve, 78 mph change up (or slower), all with pretty good to great location. That’s how he turned in ERAs under 2.00 when league average was about 4.50. This is also why a lot of folks think Pedro will still be effective even with an 88 mph fastball, he still has an ideal spead between his ‘off speed’ pitches. Of course his shoulder is a rag, but.

  18. John on January 14th, 2005 8:43 pm

    You people should be ashamed of yourselves for bad-mouthing BENJI GIL.
    Benji made one of the most heads-up plays I have ever seen. With runners on, the batter popped one near the 3B stads. The 3rd baseman made a nice running catch, as he fell over the rolled-up tarp. Benji, in hot pursuit, took the ball from the 3rd baseman’s glove, and ran it back to the infield–to hold the runners on, I guess. And when he realized, that catch had been the 3rd out, he sheepishly rolled the ball to the mound.
    [If he requests permission to play for his hometown of Tijuana, I say let him go.]

  19. Bela Txadux on January 14th, 2005 9:22 pm

    Reading the knuckleball piece via link, I am again reminded just how smart a man is Kid Epstein. If there’s a man alive in baseball who could redesign how teams are built via a different understanding of what talent _is_, Theo’s the one.

  20. Noel on January 14th, 2005 9:47 pm

    Great article about the “bug-throwers”. I’m rooting for that Zink kid to make it to the majors.

    And Epstein is probably working on a way to clone Doug Mirabelli, so having more than one knuckleballer on the staff won’t be a problem.

  21. Evan on January 15th, 2005 12:11 am

    Moyer only ever hit 86 on Fox’s special relativistic gun that assumes space-time dilation.

    Moyer does not throw 86.

    I have, however, seen Piniero throw a 68 mph curveball. Joel does really well when he slows his stuff down.

  22. Steve on January 15th, 2005 3:20 am

    In Freddy Garcia’s rookie year I saw him pitch a game against Tampa Bay where he totally dominated TB. His fastball that night was consistently 95, his curve 85, and his change 75. He was hitting his spots with all three pitches.

  23. David C on January 15th, 2005 7:20 am

    I read a lot of articles about Zink last spring and I started following him last year. He got rocked pretty hard at AA last year then got demoted and stunk it up in A ball. It turns out he has poor circulation in his fingers so the chances of him making it now seem remote.

  24. M-Pops on January 15th, 2005 10:43 am

    The Post has Cameron maybe going to the A’s/Arizona…poop!

  25. Dave in Palo Alto on January 15th, 2005 11:57 am

    OT, but I had earlier posted about A.J. Pierzynski being an option behind the dish for the M’s, although there were suggestions he was “clubhouse poison”. Actually, he’s an a*****e. This is from Bruce Jenkins’ column in today’s SF Chronicle:

    One of those now-it-can-be-told stories the White Sox, A.J. Pierzynski’s new employer, surely haven’t heard: During a Giants exhibition game last spring, Pierzynski took a shot to his, shall we say, private parts. Trainer Stan Conte rushed to the scene, placed his hands on Pierzynski’s shoulders in a reassuring way, and asked how it felt. “Like this,” said Pierzynski, viciously delivering a knee to Conte’s groin. It was a real test of professionalism for the enraged Conte, who vowed to ignore Pierzynski for the rest of the season until Conte realized how that would look. The incident went unreported because all of the beat writers happened to be doing in-game interviews in the clubhouse, but it was corroborated by a half-dozen eyewitnesses who could hardly believe their eyes. Said one source, as reliable as they come: “There is absolutely no doubt that it happened.” …

  26. Jeremy on January 15th, 2005 2:44 pm

    Re: MPH spreads, as someone who pitched in HS and did a fair amount of study on it, whe I remember is the ideal is to have 10 MPH difference between fastball and slider and 15 MPH difference between fastball and change and fastball and curveball.

  27. Elliott on January 15th, 2005 3:46 pm

    Derek- Why no P-I article on Thursday?

  28. DMZ on January 15th, 2005 4:09 pm

    No idea.

    Off-topic: off-topic posts are driving me insane.