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Derek

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Was this level of quality expected from the pitching staff?

I had read that they were going to be quite solid, but Bieber and Civale seem to be young guys really coming into their primes in a big way after a couple good years off the farm.
I was highly confident in our top 3 (Bieber, Clev, Cookie) and was hopeful for Civale. I didn’t know what to expect out of Plesac because his peripherals last year were not good at all. However, first time through the rotation, Plesac had the highest percentage of swinging strikes, over double his rate from last year.

If Civale and Plesac can continue to miss bats like they did in their first start, this group could rival some of the great staffs in team history.
 

DCTribefan

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I was highly confident in our top 3 (Bieber, Clev, Cookie) and was hopeful for Civale. I didn’t know what to expect out of Plesac because his peripherals last year were not good at all. However, first time through the rotation, Plesac had the highest percentage of swinging strikes, over double his rate from last year.

If Civale and Plesac can continue to miss bats like they did in their first start, this group could rival some of the great staffs in team history.
I don’t think they’ll rival the 1954 staff but I am very encouraged.
 
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Keith Law had this writeup on Plesac's first start in The Athletic:

"Zach Plesac dominated the White Sox with his 85-87 mph slider and 78-81 mph curveball, which both have below-average spin rates but breaks down so sharply that he got 15 swings-and-misses on the two pitches, including several in the zone (versus zero swings-and-misses on his fastball). His fastball is just 92-94 mph and doesn’t have a lot of movement, so he uses it to get ahead and tries to spot it to the corners, which he did very well through his eight shutout innings on Wednesday. He works primarily with his secondary stuff, though, throwing just 37 fastballs among his 98 pitches (38 percent), an approach that is supported by the evidence on his pitches’ effectiveness....Civale looks like he’s a fifth starter all the way, but if Plesac can maintain this kind of fastball command he’s got a good chance to be league-average or better."

I thought it was interesting that he pointed out Plesac's slider and curve have below-average spin rates but break very sharply nonetheless. With all the emphasis placed on spin rates you would assume that more is better; that higher spin rates correspond to more movement. Maybe not.

Phil Maton's fastball is in the 99% spin percentile but he hasn't been very successful with it so far.
 

Derek

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I don’t think they’ll rival the 1954 staff but I am very encouraged.
Don’t even have to look that far back.

Our rotations in 2017 and 2018 were arguably our best ever.
 
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More from The Athletic:

"Nearly five times the number of pitchers who went on the injured list in the first week last year have already hit the IL for non-virus reasons this season, including big names like Justin Verlander, Corey Kluber and Clayton Kershaw."

They're considering going with seven innings doubleheaders the rest of the year and keeping the 30-man roster. I don't get the doubleheader thing. Playing 18 innings in one day is THAT much more risky than playing 14 innings?

If that's the case why not make ALL games seven innings?

What's the difference between playing 9 innings on Thursday and 9 innings on Friday or getting rained out on Thursday and playing 18 innings on Friday? Either way the players are exposed to each other for 18 innings.

Edit: This may be because the Marlins had to cancel about six games so they will have to play a lot of doubleheaders.
 

LL3

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I enjoy Law, but he has never been high on Civale...he has seen Plesac with higher upside in the past. I like Civale and am optimistic, if not feeling confident in him, yet.
Plesac has been intriguing with his swing and miss ability, but his "hit-able" fastball, just like most everyone else, has to be located well.
 

Sebastian

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I was highly confident in our top 3 (Bieber, Clev, Cookie) and was hopeful for Civale. I didn’t know what to expect out of Plesac because his peripherals last year were not good at all. However, first time through the rotation, Plesac had the highest percentage of swinging strikes, over double his rate from last year.

If Civale and Plesac can continue to miss bats like they did in their first start, this group could rival some of the great staffs in team history.
Nice.

A deep rotation saves arms over the season.
 

jup

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To be able to use the strategy of bringing hitters to a middle speed and beat them faster and slower, you have to have middle speed pitches that are work horses. In Civale’s case, that is his cutter.

Cutters work off FB’s for the most part. And that is because hitters are trained to hunt FB and whack them. From an early age they are told NOT TO SWING at junk, and it is ingrained in them because most breaking pitches are designed to be chase pitches. Not so with a cutter, it is a strike pitch in most cases because its movement profile isn’t real large. But it can be used as a chase if disguised correctly

Once again, more of a 30 thousand foot view, rather than too much detail.



In the Kzone diagram above you will see some offsets. It is the basis for understanding the way leading edge pitchers use tunneling effectively today. And isn’t necessarily the way it has been popularized by the TV graphics where they show a single tunnel with all a pitcher’s offerings emanating from.

In the diagram there is this grey dotted line to be used as a reference. From there we have a black circle (a typical Civale 4s FB) offset to the upper right corner of the Kzone. Then a red circle offset to the left (a typical Civale cutter) and down from the top of the Zone.

Using average Movement profiles for those two pitches, the differential horizontal movement between a Civale FB/Cutter is 17”. And the differential in vertical movement is 8”. The actual VERTICAL window they come out of (pitchers hand) is way above the strike zone and isn’t really important, given pitchers release points are very consistent and hitters can’t identify the small changes most pitchers have on two similar FB’s like a 4s/cutter. But the horizontal window is important and there is a yellow circle with a black x, that I have put on top of the reference line, to use as the “window” (ie tunnel) that the pitches I am going to look at will come out of.

So we have a FB that moves in to a righty 11” off the tunnel and ends up at the very top of the strike zone. The cutter moves the opposite direction 6” from the horizontal tunnel reference line, and 8” additional inches vertically down from where the FB ends up.
 

jup

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Now for the application in a real world at bat. I chose an Edwin at bat since he played for the tribe and is a familiar face. I pick up the at bat at 0-2 after two Civale CBs.



The next three offerings pictured above are two 4s FBs followed by a cutter. The FBs are takes and the cutter produces an infield ground ball single. Below the snapshot of each pitch is the reference line and tunnel discussed above, which has been superimposed over the actual pitch location to see where a “typical” 4s and cutter would come from if they end up where they did in the actual at bat. Remember the horizontal tunnel is represented accurately whereas the vertical one would be much higher for both pitches, but the placement would still be an equal distance down (for both pitches) from what is pictured above, so locating the reference where it is, is still accurate as far as the vertical displacement for each pitch.



Pictured above (on the left) is the locations of the tunnels for each pitch of the at bat.

Edwin has now watched two FBs away come out of virtually identically tunnels, and end up in virtually the same spot which he hasn’t swung at. Given a runner on with a two strike count, his attention to those two pitches was VERY HIGH. So the last thing in his mind is the shape of those two FBs and where they ended up. Now he sees a pitch out of a tunnel that is further over the plate which would produce a strike on the inner third (pictured on the right red arrow) at the very top of the zone if it were a FB. But it isn’t, it is a cutter and it goes off the plate the other way landing in almost the exact same spot as the prior two FB’s he didn’t swing at. Why did he swing ????

Edwin saw FB given the most recent pitches in his “minds eye” and swung at a FB that was going to end up at the top of the zone inner third. To hit that pitch (if it were a FB) he had to get his bat going quickly or it would beat him given it would be high and in. What happened is seen below.
 
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jup

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Top left, the frame before impact between bat and ball, then 1 frame advanced each time you move to the right. Second row left, Jose fielding the weak ground ball at third. It was hit so slowly that he didn’t even bother to throw to first as Edwin was already there.

Edwin hooks an outside pitch (that should go towards right) down the third base line. He is way on top of it (just like one would expect if he were swinging FB), crushing it directly into the ground a few feet in front of home plate. He was clearly very early on the swing (just what you would expect if he was swinging FB) and caught the pitch at the end of the bat as it was already turning towards third base, given the direction it was hit.

So tunnels created by FBs off the plate, made a tunnel over the plate look like a strike if it was a FB. However, it was a cutter (very hard to distinguish) and it moved the wrong direction, ending up right where the prior 2 FBs were. Only this time Edwin swung, and swung FB.
 
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jup

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Trevor Bauer has helped change the way pitchers train and prepare themselves for increased success. That doesn’t mean he’s the best pitcher in the world. Charlie Lau was perhaps the best hitting guru of the late 20th century, but he himself couldn’t hit a lick. Bauer can certainly pitch better than Lau could hit, but he’s not Bob Feller.

The thing that bothers a lot of the folks who’ve migrated here from IBI is that it seems that every discussion involving Jup evolves into “Bauer talk”. If his information on pitching, which he truly seems to know a lot about, could exclude Trevor more often it would be much more palatable to a few people.
So Marty, I know we didn't always agree on IBI, but I was always respectful enough that I NEVER tried to tell you what you should or should not post about. Haters will hate. And if a mere mention of Bauer, in a post that is now very long about Civale, which also brings up Tomlin, is tooooo much for some, I have a great suggestion :

DON'T READ THE POST

Please return the courtesy shown you. :ok:
 

jup

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I don't believe DetDawg moved over to these boards but I know he was invited/ informed by myself & others. TBH - He could have moved over under a different screen name & doesn't people to know it is him (looking for/ seeking a fresh start)..

Please note: There is someone that came over soon after I did & the post/ reaction count is incredibly high for such a short time on the boards..
I get it, but I don't think so. Posts aren't with the same voice.
 

jup

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This is Jup. This is his bread and butter: pitching. He is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to pitching, his knowledge on pitching was a massive positive for the old IBI forums and will be here for RCF. I am extremely happy he moved over here, as I was worried he would move away with the Bauer trade and the closer of the IBI forums.
Thanks Crap - never would of guessed you would post something like that.
 

jup

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I am starting to believe Jup is an alias for Trevor Bauer....call it a hunch.
Here we ago again with the "its Trevor Bauer" crap.

Man that Trevor is really something - posting away in the middle of a game.

At least I suspect he is at a game right now. Maybe it got rained or something, so the narrative of "its Trevor Bauer under an alias", can continue.

Give me a F....ing break.
 

The Human Q-Tip

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I don't care what he did on old boards. He's made some quality posts on this board. I haven't agreed with everything and that's fine.

If you think his welcome will wear thin, let it happen on its own. Right now you're the one that looks crazy when he says "nice to see you over on this board" and you respond with an elaborate attack.
Sounds like a good suggestion.

@Tondo
 

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