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Why pitchers need to work more quickly

Feb 1, 2010, 10:30 AM EDT

Buehrle pitching.jpgI had no idea that former Royals catcher Brent Mayne even had a blog, but Buster Olney points it out this morning with a link to a great post.  Brent Mayne on why pitchers need to pick up the pace:

Here’s a question for you. From 2003 to 2009, can you guess who the five quickest working pitchers were? Just five schleprocks named Greg Maddux, Mark Buehrle, Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt and Jake Peavy. I’m might be crazy, but I’ll take that starting staff.

Once again, let me reiterate that working quickly works . . . Pitchers who work quickly are more effective. The defensive players behind a fast working pitcher are more consistent. Hitters facing a quick pitcher are less effective. Girlfriends of pitchers who pitch quickly are happier. Short games are a thing of beauty.

He’s so, so right. As a fan, I certainly want the game to move more quickly. Not lighting fast, of course — I want some time to soak it all in — but at least back to the pace we used to see as recently as the 80s when guys would get the ball and fire it back in there in less than a minute or eight.

But as a manager, I’d definitely want my guys working faster too.  Sure, not everyone is Greg Maddux or Roy Halladay, but as Mayne points out in the rest of his post, hitters benefit way more than pitchers do from all that extra time.  Whaddaya need all that time for anyway? To think?  Don’t think, for God’s sake. It can only hurt the ball club.

  1. John Miller - Feb 1, 2010 at 1:34 PM

    Bull Durham

  2. Alex Poterack - Feb 1, 2010 at 1:37 PM

    I do agree that it’s nice to see pitchers working fast, but I’m skeptical that working faster makes you a better pitcher. Rather, I think it’s the case that better pitchers tend to have a gameplan that they know and are confident in, and that allows them to work faster. In other words, pitching faster doesn’t make you a better pitcher, but being a better pitcher makes you pitch faster.

  3. RoyceTheBaseballHack - Feb 1, 2010 at 1:52 PM

    I’m going to figure out a way to work, “schleprocks” into my next design review.

  4. RobRob - Feb 1, 2010 at 1:53 PM

    You know who else is a quick worker? Tim Wakefield.

  5. damian - Feb 1, 2010 at 1:55 PM

    AMEN to that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Robert In Alabama - Feb 1, 2010 at 1:58 PM

    I grew up in New York City watching Allie Reynolds, Vic Rashie and Ed Lopat (and occasionally Joe Page in relief). Then it was Whitey Ford and Don Larson. I lived in Yankee Stadium in the summer. Then I moved to Chicago and spent the summer at Wrigley Field. Today I hardly ever see a baseball game, in person or on TV. The game has become so slow you can take a good nap between pitches. You can’t even keep track of the pitchers coming and going in a game. Pitchers who would be in the minors before now make millions to pitch an inning every few days. Hitters with batting averages that would have kept them out of the minors, are now regulars. Baseball needs lots of fixes, speed of the pitchers just being one of them.

  7. Bob Timmermann - Feb 1, 2010 at 3:49 PM

    Aren’t some of those pitchers fast workers because they are already good? They don’t allow a lot of guys to reach base. That’s about 90% of the battle.

  8. CharlieH - Feb 1, 2010 at 5:24 PM

    You are right. The trouble with some pitchers is they think way to much. Just rock and fire. Quit *%#*ing around and pitch theball.

  9. Thumper - Feb 1, 2010 at 7:45 PM

    There’s another common thread running through that list of pitchers: good mechanics, low arm torque on their deliveries.
    SO, if we make it a mandate that all pitchers must approach the plate with a rapid delivery, are we also prepared to pay the medical bills on high torque pitchers who blow out their arms because of this mandate?
    Some guys need time between pitches to cool/reset their arms (if you’ve ever pitched, you’ll know what I mean). Ever throw a hard scewball? 4 or 5 of them in a row? It burns man. Takes a sec or 2 (or more) to go back to normal (and everybody is different on what is needed for cooldown). Continuing to build up heat in your arm, without relief, is a surefire way to blow it out.
    Just a thought. Interesting observation, though. Just not sure it means what we assume it means…
    I do know it’s a pretty big leap, saying “ABC are great pitchers and have a rapid delivery”; therefore, “if XYZ switch to a rapid delivery, they too will be great pitchers” (universal quantifier, improperly applied, as the conclusion does NOT follow from the premise). An even bigger break with logic is the fact any one of us keyboard warriors could be a “fast worker”. THAT does not guarantee we will be successful. Simply means we can hit the showers faster, LOL.
    I will give Brent Mayne credit for discovering quantifiers, well done. However, in logic, more often than not, it is an existential quantifier that better describes the underlying reality (“there exists one” instead of “for all X”). The set of universal axioms is actually quite small in the greater scheme of all exhibited behavior.
    You cannot find one universal quantifier to explain Nolan Ryan’s career; otherwise, there would be more like him. There exists one…

  10. bonfield - Feb 1, 2010 at 8:05 PM

    if you’ve played behind a slow worker, you know — your mind is wandering and you get bored and lose concentration, it adds up. brandon mccarthy doesn’t become nolan ryan by working faster, but he gets plays made behind him and becomes a better mccarthy.

  11. search engine optimisation - Feb 8, 2010 at 6:15 AM

    Hello, nice comment. I look forward to your next post. Thanks, Zoe

  12. search engine optimisation - Feb 8, 2010 at 6:25 AM

    Hello, good post. I look forward to your next topic. Thanks, Saskia

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