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August 16, 2013

Raising Aces

Elevator Action

by Doug Thorburn


There’s a mantra that echoes constantly throughout the halls of Raising Aces: timing is everything.

A pitcher’s ability to repeat his ideal delivery with the same timing and sequencing is the key to his effectiveness and the essential ingredient in the recipe for pitch command. Command goes beyond raw walk totals or strike frequencies. It also extends to a pitcher's ability to put the baseball on target, hitting the catcher's glove regardless of whether he sets up down the middle, on the edge of the zone, or outside the frame. This is a much more difficult task than it might seem at first glance, and the fact that the vast majority of major-league pitchers miss the majority of their targets underscores the challenge.

Offense would be greatly suppressed throughout baseball if all pitchers were able to locate precisely, such that batter weaknesses could be exploited while pitchers lived on the borders of the strike zone. In an average game, a surprising number of hits come as the result of misplaced pitches, particularly in the case of hits that go for extra bases. Batters will occasionally make hard contact on a well-placed offering, but more often the hardest-hit balls occur as a result of a pitch that missed the target and caught too much of the plate, a trend that is most glaring when we look at home runs.

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Related Content:  Pitching,  Mechanics,  Timing Command

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<< Previous Article
Premium Article Minor League Update: G... (08/16)
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Premium Article Raising Aces: What Hap... (08/09)
Next Column >>
Premium Article Raising Aces: The RP-F... (08/23)
Next Article >>
Premium Article Eyewitness Accounts: A... (08/16)

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