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Nationals think Edwin Jackson has been tipping his pitches

Feb 16, 2012, 1:13 PM EDT

Edwin Jackson Getty Images

Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post interviewed Nationals pitching coach Steve McCatty about a variety of topics today, including the idea that Edwin Jackson has been tipping his pitches for years now.

McCatty reviewed video of Jackson’s starts and thinks he was letting batters know what was coming out of the windup:

These guys are so good, they look at every single thing. Hitting coaches are looking at every guy on video. You pick up on stuff. It’s simple as not laying your hands down on a slider or fastball or changeup. Once these guys see it, it makes a big difference.

Most pitchers are better working from the windup with no runners on base, but the opposite has been true for Jackson during the past three seasons. Kilgore notes that he held opponents to a .246 batting average and .693 OPS out of the stretch, compared to a .283 batting average and .782 OPS out of the windup.

Whether or not that actually means he was tipping pitches on a regular basis and is capable of significant improvement if McCatty helps him fix that is obviously unclear, but it at least provides some reason to think Jackson has more upside than he’s shown.

  1. Old Gator - Feb 16, 2012 at 1:23 PM

    I think that’s really considerate of Jackson. His pitches have made him rich. Slipping them a buck or two once in a while is the least he could do. What kind of cheapskate Scrooge McLoria right wing fatass Republican right-to-work supporting clone knockoff wouldn’t tip his pitches?

  2. braddavery - Feb 16, 2012 at 1:33 PM

    Gee, I wonder if they told him this AFTER they signed him. lol “Hey, Edwin. Now that you are already signed, we’ve reason to believe that there is a distinct possibility that you could actually be BETTER than your contract dictated.”

    • Francisco (FC) - Feb 16, 2012 at 2:23 PM

      Considering he signed a 1-year deal and will again be a free agent at the end of this coming season… who do you really think is smiling?

  3. busieks - Feb 16, 2012 at 1:42 PM

    Well, it seems to have worked out for him… You know, winning the world series and stuff.

    On a side note, just because they “know what’s coming” doesn’t mean they will hit it.

    • hammyofdoom - Feb 16, 2012 at 1:49 PM

      Well yeah, but if you know that, say a change up is coming you at least know the speed of the pitch. Plus with all of the video this guys look at they probably know where he likes to throw his change up most of the time, so that also gives you a spot. Knowing speed and spot goes a long way to helping them hit

      • protius - Feb 17, 2012 at 3:11 AM

        Well, does he have a hope in hell of fixing it, or is he going to screw the pooch all season long?

    • baseballisboring - Feb 16, 2012 at 2:10 PM

      Actually, uh, it pretty much does.

  4. mdpickles - Feb 16, 2012 at 1:53 PM

    Hmm..Brad Lidge was tipping his pitches 2 years ago and he plays for the Nats too. Maybe Edwin and Brad can teach Strasburg how to tip his pitches too!

    • protius - Feb 17, 2012 at 3:12 AM

      Oh that’s just crazy talk.

  5. brewcitybummer - Feb 16, 2012 at 1:57 PM

    “including the idea that Edwin Jackson has been tipping his pitches for years now.”

    For years? This concept fascinates me. MLB players constantly move around the league and Edwin Jackson is a great example. They go out after games, they all know each other and do offseason training programs together. Are you telling me that he’s been tipping his pitches for YEARS and none of his friends have told him? None of his fellow pitchers on each team he has been traded to said, “Hey, so I heard guys are picking up cues from your delivery?” Especially after a rough start, no one thinks to mention that they heard throught the grapevine that hitters know when his slider is coming? Thats pretty cutthroat. Also, kind of crappy of his teammates.

    • thetruth113 - Feb 16, 2012 at 2:06 PM

      This was happening to Shane Reynolds. When he came to the Braves very late in his career(35+), he said the first thing Chipper said to him when they met was that he had been tipping one of his pitches his entire career. Chipper had something absurd like a .370+ avg off of him lifetime. He said that Chipper was right and he was stunned

      • Baseball Beer Burritos In That Order - Feb 16, 2012 at 4:20 PM

        I loved this comment so I had to look up the article in question, it’s a Nate Penn piece for GQ. Great read.

    • protius - Feb 17, 2012 at 3:40 AM

      Sometime AJ would sing an old Arkansaw pitch’in song to lift his spirts:

      Fast balls is a comin theres dancin tonight, fast ball is a comin theres dancin tonight, why don’t you hurry hurry hurry home, why don’t you hurry hurry hurry home. Cause the fast ball is a comin theres dancin tonight. The next pitch might be a cutter but he sing the same tune. Cutter be a comein theres dancing tonight, cutter be a comein theres dancing tonight, why don’t you hurry hurry hurry home, why don’t you hurry hurry hurry home, ‘cause ma cutter be a comin theres dan cing to night.

  6. drkincaid - Feb 16, 2012 at 2:22 PM

    EJax was tipping his pitches in Arizona and Don Cooper supposedly fixed this and got a good 2 months out of EJax for the Sox in 2010. I guess EJax didn’t show up in demonstratively better shape this years so they had to come up with something else to fill the BSOHL void.

    • Francisco (FC) - Feb 16, 2012 at 2:25 PM

      Maybe it’s a bad old habit that’s resurfaced…

  7. drunkenhooliganism - Feb 16, 2012 at 2:58 PM

    Forget about telling him that he’s tipping pitches, I can’t believe no one’s told him to give up the wind-up considering that he’s an all-star pitcher from the stretch and replacement level from the wind-up.

  8. nightrain42 - Feb 16, 2012 at 4:27 PM

    Wow…Dave Duncan and tony larussa didn’t pick up on that? Lol

  9. dgs2012 - Feb 16, 2012 at 5:33 PM

    This is not new … as soon as he was traded to STL, Dave Duncan noticed the same thing. Jackson is an innings eater … and that’s about it. You will never go to a game in which Jackson starts and have the time of game under 3 hours. He walks too many batters, and is just your typical 5-6 inning pitcher with a good heater. for more sports, please google Daily Grind Sports

    • brewcitybummer - Feb 16, 2012 at 6:05 PM


      • dgs2012 - Feb 17, 2012 at 12:40 PM

        Are you a brewers fan? just wondering …

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