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  • Popular Now

  • The Latest Blog Entries

  • Our picks

    • The Slider: A Key to Bundy & Canning's success
      Looking into the numbers, Canning and Bundy have shown both success on the mound and solid K rates based on slider & offspeed usage. 

      Let's take a deeper look. 

      Griffin Canning

      Canning had a solid 2019 debut thanks mostly to a strong whiff rate on his slider, but then came the elbow trouble in spring training in 2020 that saw him throw the pitch less (2019: 29.2% vs. just 20.4% in 2020) and with lower velocity, which also resulted in a lower whiff rate on the pitch. The slider just didn't have same effectiveness, and the rest of his arsenal wasn't good enough to compensate due to a lower FB velo early on. 

      That could have been a product of him not throwing his pitches at 100% due to fear of injuring his elbow to the point of requiring TJ surgery or because he felt just enough pain to fully let it loose. Canning mostly likely needed time to regain trust in his elbow because late in the year, he started snapping off that slider again, pairing it with an improved curveball for maximum effect & see a rise in his FB velo.

      Canning's swinging-strike rate jumped from 9.9 in his first six starts to 14.5 in his final five, and with it, his K/9 jumped from 7.5 to 10.4.

      Here is a good example of Canning late in the season against a good hitting Padres team where he generated a bunch of whiffs off his slider & an increase in fastball velo hitting 95 MPH throughout the game -- when he was 89-93 early on in the season. 


      Dylan Bundy

      You didn't have to be even a casual observer to know that Dylan Bundy would fall apart in 2020 when he didn't have his slider and/or changeup working.
      • 13 replies
    • Like someone farted in church...
      This is quite the read..

      https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/mlb/columnist/bob-nightengale/2021/02/24/jarred-kelenic-mariners-prospect-service-time-manipulation/4568463001/
      Dipoto apologized to the Mariners’ players before their first full-squad workout Monday for Mather’s comments, insisting it did not reflect the way the organization truly felt about their players.

      How was it received?

      “Strange,’’ Kelenic said. “It was literally like someone farted in church. That is the exact expression on everybody’s face.’’...

       
      • 55 replies
    • Mental Health and Baseball
      So the Andrelton Simmons situation really hit home for me. I won't get into details about my personal situation as many already know it and this thread isn't about me anyway. I just figured this was a discussion worth having.

      Joe Maddon said he didn't realize what Simmons was going through, and it got me thinking about every other player in baseball, and professional sports in general, really. It's not something that's ever really visible. You don't look depressed. You can look sad, sure, but depression doesn't have a face. It's not easy to recognize.

      Nobody knows I have depression unless I tell them. And pulling down your guard like that can be an extremely difficult thing to do. It's easier to just suffer on the inside and make people think everything is fine. Maddon said Simmons was "upbeat" when they talked. I'm sure this is common.

      I'm not surprised Simmons didn't open up about it to Maddon. I wouldn't be surprised if he didn't talk to any teammates about it, either. 

      Simmons is far from the only player dealing with this, in any sport. We look at these guys like machines: cold and predictable. Everything is at face value. They mess up? They suck. They're slumping? They don't care.

      If a player is struggling, or slumping or whatever, what's going on in their head? No one, myself included, ever truly considers that. It really should humble us as sports fans to see things like this. They're all people, just like us, and sometimes they struggle through life, like a lot of us do. 

      Mental health is just as important, if not more so than physical health. Joe Maddon said they always focus on the physical stuff, which I'm sure is true in every professional sport. I truly hope they all have access to help on the mental side of things. Doesn’t matter who you are or how much money you make, no one should have to suffer with mental illness.

      One thing is for sure, I'll definitely be rooting for Simmons this year. And I'll also be watching what I say about the players going forward.
      • 16 replies
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