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Raising Aces 

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05-21

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1

Raising Aces: Debut Ante: Noah Syndergaard
by
Doug Thorburn

05-14

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3

Raising Aces: Debut Ante: Carlos Rodon
by
Doug Thorburn

05-04

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2

Raising Aces: Postmortem: Chris Sale vs. the Minnesota Twins
by
Doug Thorburn

04-24

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4

Raising Aces: Debut Ante: Raisel Iglesias
by
Doug Thorburn

04-17

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1

Raising Aces: Walker on the Wild Side
by
Doug Thorburn

04-10

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7

Raising Aces: Mechanical Notes from Opening Week
by
Doug Thorburn

04-06

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0

Raising Aces: Pitching Trident: Downers
by
Doug Thorburn

03-27

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8

Raising Aces: Pitching Trident: Uppers
by
Doug Thorburn

03-20

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2

Raising Aces: Auditing the Mechanics Report Card
by
Doug Thorburn

03-13

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4

Raising Aces: Over the Radar 3.0
by
Doug Thorburn

03-06

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11

Raising Aces: Under the Gun 3.0
by
Doug Thorburn

02-27

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14

Raising Aces: The Eyes of March
by
Doug Thorburn

02-06

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10

Raising Aces: Trailblazers of Funk
by
Doug Thorburn

02-03

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35

Raising Aces: Grading the Funk
by
Doug Thorburn

01-23

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14

Raising Aces: Best and Worst Mechanics: NL East
by
Doug Thorburn

01-16

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8

Raising Aces: Best and Worst Mechanics: AL East
by
Doug Thorburn

01-09

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19

Raising Aces: Best and Worst Mechanics: NL Central
by
Doug Thorburn

12-31

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7

Raising Aces: Best and Worst Mechanics: AL Central
by
Doug Thorburn

12-19

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4

Raising Aces: Best and Worst Mechanics: NL West
by
Doug Thorburn

12-05

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7

Raising Aces: Best and Worst Mechanics: AL West
by
Doug Thorburn

11-21

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0

Raising Aces: Free Agent Pitchers: The Top Tier
by
Doug Thorburn

11-10

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4

Raising Aces: Partners in Crime: The Long Home Runs of 2014
by
Doug Thorburn

10-31

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11

Raising Aces: Bum Deal
by
Doug Thorburn

10-24

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2

Raising Aces: Ghosts of World Series Past
by
Doug Thorburn

10-17

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2

Raising Aces: Brandon Finnegan, the Debut Ante
by
Doug Thorburn

10-14

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13

Raising Aces: Stuffing the Ballot, Reliever Edition
by
Doug Thorburn

10-03

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0

Raising Aces: Daniel Norris, the Debut Ante
by
Doug Thorburn

09-30

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16

Raising Aces: Stuffing the Ballot
by
Doug Thorburn

09-19

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3

Raising Aces: Carlos in Charge
by
Doug Thorburn

09-12

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2

Raising Aces: Angelic Arms
by
Doug Thorburn

09-05

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3

Raising Aces: Cub Replacement Level
by
Doug Thorburn

08-29

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1

Raising Aces: Mis-Priced
by
Doug Thorburn

08-22

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7

Raising Aces: Police and Thieves
by
Doug Thorburn

08-15

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14

Raising Aces: Have Pitch Counts Gone Too Far?
by
Doug Thorburn

08-08

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6

Raising Aces: The Road to Recovery
by
Doug Thorburn

08-01

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3

Raising Aces: The Rabbit Hole
by
Doug Thorburn

07-25

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6

Raising Aces: Shelby Miller's Fall From Grace
by
Doug Thorburn

07-18

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1

Raising Aces: Outta Nowhere
by
Doug Thorburn

07-11

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2

Raising Aces: Breakout Breakdown: Corey Kluber and Garrett Richards
by
Doug Thorburn

06-27

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4

Raising Aces: Houston, We Have Lift-Off
by
Doug Thorburn

06-20

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6

Raising Aces: A Tale of Two Aces
by
Doug Thorburn

06-13

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1

Raising Aces: Under the Hood of the 2014 Draft, Part Three
by
Doug Thorburn

06-06

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0

Raising Aces: Under the Hood of the 2014 Draft, Part Two
by
Doug Thorburn

05-30

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4

Raising Aces: Under the Hood of the 2014 Draft, Part One
by
Doug Thorburn

05-23

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6

Raising Aces: Going Vertical
by
Doug Thorburn

05-16

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13

Raising Aces: The Injury Puzzle
by
Doug Thorburn

05-09

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4

Raising Aces: Making Setup Man Magic
by
Doug Thorburn

05-02

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7

Raising Aces: Too Early to Worry?
by
Doug Thorburn

04-25

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6

Raising Aces: Too Soon to Swoon?
by
Doug Thorburn

04-18

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5

Raising Aces: Masahiro Tanaka, the Debut Ante
by
Doug Thorburn

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February 6, 2015 6:00 am

Raising Aces: Trailblazers of Funk

10

Doug Thorburn

After breaking down some of the funkier deliveries in baseball history, we now take a look back at those who were the original bringers of funk.

In the previous edition of Raising Aces, we attempted to establish a grading system for pitcher funk, and this week we look at how some of that funk has translated across time and cultures. A key ingredient to funk is novelty, but what might seem novel to the modern observer might actually have been commonplace 60 years ago, and the techniques that are common in specific areas across the globe might be considered uncommon here in the States. So let's dive into some of the specific forms of funk that have appeared multiple times in the major leagues, and see if we can attach a grade that teases out some of the contextual factors.

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February 3, 2015 6:00 am

Raising Aces: Grading the Funk

35

Doug Thorburn

Some of the odder deliveries in the history of baseball are broken down.

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January 23, 2015 6:00 am

Raising Aces: Best and Worst Mechanics: NL East

14

Doug Thorburn

The best and worst pitcher mechanics in the NL East are broken down.

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January 16, 2015 9:42 am

Raising Aces: Best and Worst Mechanics: AL East

8

Doug Thorburn

The best and worst pitcher mechanics in the AL East are broken down.

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January 9, 2015 6:00 am

Raising Aces: Best and Worst Mechanics: NL Central

19

Doug Thorburn

The best and worst mechanics in the NL Central are broken down.

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December 31, 2014 6:00 am

Raising Aces: Best and Worst Mechanics: AL Central

7

Doug Thorburn

The best and worst pitcher mechanics in the AL Central are broken down.

Our journey through baseball's mechanical extremes continues with a tour of the American League Central, a division that is teeming with power deliveries that created bottlenecks at the top and fueled stiff competition in every category. Before we get started, here's a quick refresher on the rules: pitchers must have thrown 40 or more innings in 2014 and finished the season playing for a club in the AL Central.

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December 19, 2014 6:00 am

Raising Aces: Best and Worst Mechanics: NL West

4

Doug Thorburn

The best and worst pitcher mechanics in the NL West are broken down.

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December 5, 2014 6:00 am

Raising Aces: Best and Worst Mechanics: AL West

7

Doug Thorburn

The best and worst pitcher mechanics in the AL West are broken down.

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November 21, 2014 6:00 am

Raising Aces: Free Agent Pitchers: The Top Tier

0

Doug Thorburn

Significant money will be handed out to a trio of arms this offseason, so how their mechanics grade out is certainly of great interest.

There is a thick crop of free agent pitchers this offseason, including a trio of arms at the top of the class who will likely command nine-figure deals with commitments of at least five years apiece. Pitching mechanics take on greater importance in these cases, given the long-term timeframe and the heavy cost expenditure; the physical elements of the delivery play a role in a pitcher's ability to consistently execute his pitches, the reliability of his performance, his injury risk, and his long-term adaptability as stuff naturally wanes and these pitchers get further from their physical peak.

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November 10, 2014 6:00 am

Raising Aces: Partners in Crime: The Long Home Runs of 2014

4

Doug Thorburn

The longest long balls of the season are broken down.

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October 31, 2014 12:18 pm

Raising Aces: Bum Deal

11

Doug Thorburn

Madison Bumgarner dominated in an unfamiliar role on Wednesday night to help the Giants claim their third World Series in five years. How did he do it?

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The dominant arms of Octobers long ago are broken down mechanically.

The thrills of the 2014 postseason have harkened memories of my childhood, when every playoff game carried extra significance due to my lack of postseason experience. Back then, it seemed that each World Series was personified by a single starting pitcher who led his club to victory, and the awards reflect that particular narrative – a starting pitcher was named the MVP in six of the seven World Series from 1985 to 1991, yet starters have accounted for just five of the 21 series' MVP awards since.

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