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February 23, 2013 4:14 pm
On the first stop of his spring training tour, Mike talks to John Farrell and David Ross about whether the cutter caused problems for Jon Lester.
Our MLB Network Radio tour takes me to all 15 spring camps in Florida, so I figured I’d jot down some thoughts along the way.
Sort of a Journal, if you will. We start in Red Sox camp… Read the full article...
November 15, 2012 7:05 am
Can Mariano Rivera's cutter be cloned?
“How can I really teach this pitch if I can’t explain how it came to me in the first place?”— in Mariano Rivera March Read the full article...
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July 13, 2012 10:25 am
Brewers pitcher Mike Fiers doesn't throw any harder than we thought he did, but he's succeeding despite his limitations.
You know what to expect when Mike Fiers is pitching. You expect a lot of puns about his name, which is pronounced “Fires.” First inning: “
on the mound and he is setting the mound on Fire recently.” Second inning: “He is heating up.” Third inning: “A perfect name for a day like this. Mike Fiers.” Actual puns from his actual last start. It was 101 degrees in Milwaukee. Mike Fiers
You don’t really know what else to expect, because wait who? Mike Fiers, a guy taken in the 22nd round during his age-24 season. The day he made his pro debut, in short-season ball, he was the same age
is Clayton Kershaw now. Three years later, Mike Fiers is in the majors, and in seven starts he has struck out 48 batters and walked nine, in 46 innings. He has a 2.31 and some guy in your fantasy league keeps offering him to you for ERA . And he is the latest fun story of a guy who did more than he was supposed to do. Adrian Gonzalez
Which individual player tools are favorites of the BP staff? Do his early-season struggles suggest that Royals closer Joakim Soria's best days lie behind him, or can he succeed with a different style?
has been one of the best relief pitchers in baseball over the past four years. From 2007 to 2010, he put up a 2.01 Joakim Soria with 281 strikeouts against only 70 walks and 182 hits in 255 innings. Over that period, he held the opposition scoreless in 82 percent of the games he entered, and he allowed multiple runs only five percent of the time. For comparison, ERA had a 2.05 Mariano Rivera over those four years, held the opposition scoreless 83 percent of the time, and allowed multiple runs five percent of the time. Even while fighting (and usually failing) to avoid the basement in the AL Central, the Royals could claim a truly elite closer in Soria, the rare All-Star on a perennial cellar dweller. ERA Read the full article... A closer look at what the various pitch types mean and how to approach pitch classification.
Several of the leading pitchers in this year’s postseason make their living with a cut fastball, most notably
and Roy Halladay . The list of playoff pitchers who have the cutter as an important pitch in their arsenal, though, is long. It includes Mariano Rivera , Cliff Lee , and C.J. Wilson on the Rangers; Tommy Hunter and Andy Pettitte on the Yankees; and Phil Hughes on the Phillies. Cole Hamels Read the full article...
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February 24, 2009 1:04 pm
The South Siders might have a new southpaw worthy of wearing an ace label.
selected high-schooler Texas Rangers with the ninth pick in the 2003 amateur draft, they were under the impression that the 18-year-old southpaw would be the first of several homegrown hurlers to impact the big-league club. Danks moved swiftly through the system, reaching Triple-A Oklahoma during the 2006 season. While his minor league numbers were solid but less than exemplary, the Rangers decided that Danks could net a more major league-ready pitcher in trade, and they sent the 21-year-old to the John Danks along with White Sox in exchange for lanky right-hander Nick Masset . The White Sox had most of their innings accounted for with Brandon McCarthy , Mark Buehrle , Jon Garland , and Jose Contreras already in the fold, but they issued Danks a non-roster invitation to spring training, with an eye towards letting the newly acquired pitcher compete for the fifth spot in the rotation. Danks looked sharp in camp and, despite a six-walk performance to close out March, he made the team, debuting on April 8 with a six-inning, three-run six-strikeout performance against the division-rival Javier Vazquez . He largely struggled for the remainder of the season. Twins
Fast forward to the end of 2008, and suddenly this pitcher who'd had average minor league marks and a poor rookie season in the big leagues was the no-doubt-about-it, go-to guy in the 163
rd-game playoff against those same Twins. How did such a dramatic transformation occur, and what enabled Danks to emerge as a legitimate ace? The remainder of this post cannot be viewed at this subscription level. Please click here to subscribe.
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