Clayton Kershaw’s early struggles – real or imagined?

It’s not news to anyone that Clayton Kershaw’s spring has been disastrous - it’s on ESPN, SportsCenter, blogs, news sites, and everything in-between. Those who remember 2013 will also recall that Kershaw had a poor spring then, but it was nothing like it was in 2014 – his ERA is more than twice what it was last […]

Trevor Bauer’s pitch design

Trevor Bauer uploaded a video talking about his pitch design, including a ton of high-speed video focusing on how he actually releases the ball: The overlay video at the end is especially cool, with this map of his intended destinations for all of his pitches: His pitches in question are: {exp:list_maker}Four-seam fastball Two-seam fastball Cut […]

Brent Strom hired as Astros’ pitching coach

Brent Strom, formerly of the St. Louis Cardinals, has been hired as the Houston Astros big league pitching coach. I first heard the story through the SB Nation blog The Crawfish Boxes, where there’s a great bunch of comments about the hiring. A poster questioned whether Strom was a good pitching coach (in an inquisitive—not […]

Does elbow rehab ever work?

Jonny Venters, Jason Motte, and now Dylan Bundy are those who have had major setbacks after receiving platelet-rich plasma injections in their elbow, combined with a rehab program intended to avoid replacing the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL, Tommy John surgery). Bundy had discomfort in his pitching forearm/elbow on Monday after his rehab for 2013 had […]

Ubaldo Jimenez: perception vs. reality

Cleveland Indians’ hurler Ubaldo Jimenez has a lot in common with his teammates Trevor Bauer and Scott Kazmir—they’re all trying to fix various mechanical issues. Bauer believes how his back leg operated caused a groin strain, so he’s changed how he initiates linear movement. Kazmir’s velocity dropped like a stone and he started becoming more […]

Mark Appel: What the heck happened?

In my last year’s article about Stanford right-hander Mark Appel, I said: …I kept thinking to myself, “If you have a 96-98 mph heater but can’t reliably command it, do you really have it at all?” It’s to his credit that he has the intelligence and humbleness to understand when he can’t throw his best […]

Seeking surplus value: Risk-free wins

At every level of every organization, baseball teams have a group of players they call “organizational players,” or more accurately, “non-prospects.” At best, they exist to provide depth for the team, and at worst, they exist to put a team on the field so the prospects can get plate appearances and innings pitched. However, when […]

Trevor Bauer needs to be left alone

Trevor Bauer has been traded to the Cleveland Indians as part of a three-team deal. Over the weekend, I was fortunate enough to have presented at Ron Wolforth’s Ultimate Coaches’ Bootcamp in Montgomery, Tex., with Bauer, who spoke at length on using the lower half in the pitching delivery (with Eric Binder). Bauer on the […]

How baseball failed Phil Coke

Phil Coke played a major role in Detroit’s rise to the World Series in 2012: Tigers manager Jim Leyland turned to him as the closer over the unstable Jose Valverde. However, his career in the big leagues almost never happened. According to Jonah Keri’s column in Grantland, Coke was heading down pink slip lane: Coke […]