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Eric Cioe

Max Scherzer

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Just found some slow motion side view of Verlander's mechanics. They're pretty. Compared to Scherzer, look at how solid his left foot stays. His arm action is pretty much perfect. It looks very similar to guys who pitched a lot of innings: Maddux, Clemens, etc. If the big deal that people make out of an elbow being below shoulder level at foot plant is true (and it probably is), then Verlander's pretty much perfect. His stride is also longer than it looks, and that probably means he's generating more power with his legs than it looks like.

I think Scherzer's front foot problems are probably pretty easily fixable. I'm not worried about him not being a good fielder. It just isn't a big deal to me unless you're a fringey guy to begin with and it helps bring your game up to an acceptable level of mediocrity.

Too bad they didn't have a clip of Tom Seaver at that link. His mechanics were just about flawless. I loved watching those clips of Koufax. I can recall seeing him pitch a couple times on the Game of the Week way back when. Not many guys retire at 30 and still make the Hall of Fame.

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He can K 10+ any given start. He definately has a ton of strikeout ability. Hopefully, he can start going deep into games and develop into a real solid #2 pitcher.

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He can K 10+ any given start. He definately has a ton of strikeout ability. Hopefully, he can start going deep into games and develop into a real solid #2 pitcher.

I think he will benefit tremendously from watching Verlander. He has already disclosed an admiration for him.

Scherzer has the same probelm Verlander struggles with..pitch economy..

But Justin has improved in that area and maybe Scherzer can leverage his knowledge

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Scherzer has the same probelm Verlander struggles with..pitch economy..

But Justin has improved in that area

Verlander has improved in that area, I guess. But most of the improvement has come from him making himself able to withstand a workload of 112 pitches per game, not by being more efficient. Justin's actually one of the bigger strike-throwers in the AL. His pitch count issues mostly come from foul balls, rather than going deep into the count.

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Verlander has improved in that area, I guess. But most of the improvement has come from him making himself able to withstand a workload of 112 pitches per game, not by being more efficient. Justin's actually one of the bigger strike-throwers in the AL. His pitch count issues mostly come from foul balls, rather than going deep into the count.

Eric..you are far better at this than me..what were his ave pitch per inning numbers, I'm confident they improved as the season progressed..scottwood could also enlighten us on this topic.

No way to improve the foul ball dilema, if you can't put him in play..thats not a bad thing..

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Eric, you would know this better than I, and I can't figure out an answer for the life of me:

How would a pitcher like Verlander go about trying to cut down on foul balls to go deeper in games?

Face NL hitters.

Maybe mix in more changeups. His changeup as the year went on got much better. He was pretty much a two pitch guy early on in the year, but as the year went on he went back to what he had always done: splitting his non-fastball pitches pretty much evenly between change and curve. But mixing in more changes would probably lead to other problems.

He throws a lot of strikes and doesn't walk many. Beyond that, there probably isn't much you can do to bring down a pitch count. What could he do? Make his fastball more hittable? Like sportz said, having stuff good enough that hitters can't put it in play is a problem most pitchers would love to have. Verlander works around it by being durable. That works for now.

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So, what do you think? Are you convinced he'll stay in the rotation? Do you find his delivery problematic? Are you worried about his repertoire?

If I was teaching a kid how to pitch I would not teach that arm slot. Its hard to explain but it is hardly textbook like a Verlander, etc

That said, in my professional opinion - once a man makes it to the professional level without significant arm trouble throwing the way he does I cant call it a problem at all. Ideal? no but it didnt seem to bother the Randy Johnsons, Kevin Browns of the world

With his arm angle I dont see him being able to ever throw an effective curveball but thats probably why he throws a slider.

Bob Cluck taught me how to pitch throughout my high school years so my methodology would follow every closely to his.

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The best way to combat Verlander and Scherzer's high pitch counts is not to change their delivery or the way they pitch. We tried that two years ago with Verlander and it did not work. The best thing to do is to have a light's out 8th and 9th inning guy so you don't have anxiety going to your bullpen late in games when your ace has a high pitch count.

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If I was teaching a kid how to pitch I would not teach that arm slot. Its hard to explain but it is hardly textbook like a Verlander, etc

That said, in my professional opinion - once a man makes it to the professional level without significant arm trouble throwing the way he does I cant call it a problem at all. Ideal? no but it didnt seem to bother the Randy Johnsons, Kevin Browns of the world

With his arm angle I dont see him being able to ever throw an effective curveball but thats probably why he throws a slider.

Bob Cluck taught me how to pitch throughout my high school years so my methodology would follow every closely to his.

Did he teach you to pitch to contact?

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If I was teaching a kid how to pitch I would not teach that arm slot. Its hard to explain but it is hardly textbook like a Verlander, etc

That said, in my professional opinion - once a man makes it to the professional level without significant arm trouble throwing the way he does I cant call it a problem at all. Ideal? no but it didnt seem to bother the Randy Johnsons, Kevin Browns of the world

With his arm angle I dont see him being able to ever throw an effective curveball but thats probably why he throws a slider.

Bob Cluck taught me how to pitch throughout my high school years so my methodology would follow every closely to his.

I bet cluck was an awesome instructor to learn from..my son threw with Ken Howell for 5 years, Ken was unbelievable..he also threw with Geoff Zahn for a winter..Geoff was like the zen master.

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Face NL hitters.

Maybe mix in more changeups. His changeup as the year went on got much better. He was pretty much a two pitch guy early on in the year, but as the year went on he went back to what he had always done: splitting his non-fastball pitches pretty much evenly between change and curve. But mixing in more changes would probably lead to other problems.

He throws a lot of strikes and doesn't walk many. Beyond that, there probably isn't much you can do to bring down a pitch count. What could he do? Make his fastball more hittable? Like sportz said, having stuff good enough that hitters can't put it in play is a problem most pitchers would love to have. Verlander works around it by being durable. That works for now.

I was really glad to see him use more changeups as the year went on. I've always thought Verlander had a great changeup that, used with his outstanding fastball and curve could make him into an elite lever pitcher (which he has become). In '07 and '08 he used his chage around 19% and 16% of the time and that was down to 10% last season. I'd like to see him get back up around 15% to 18%. Then again, he was at 10% last season and had his best season so what do I know!:cheeky:

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I was really glad to see him use more changeups as the year went on. I've always thought Verlander had a great changeup that, used with his outstanding fastball and curve could make him into an elite lever pitcher (which he has become). In '07 and '08 he used his chage around 19% and 16% of the time and that was down to 10% last season. I'd like to see him get back up around 15% to 18%. Then again, he was at 10% last season and had his best season so what do I know!:cheeky:

I guess just as long as he doesn't use the changeup instead of the fastball. Use it instead of the curveball. How often did you use the fastball in '07 and '08 compared to last year?

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I guess just as long as he doesn't use the changeup instead of the fastball. Use it instead of the curveball. How often did you use the fastball in '07 and '08 compared to last year?

'07-18.9%

'08-20.5%

'09-19.8%

The jump was in the amount he used his fastball

'07-62.3%

'08-63.6%

'09-67.8%

He's fastball is his best pitch and he should use it as much as he did last season. Yes, he only used he's changeup 10% of the time last season, but as Eric pointed out he used it more as the year went on. I don't know the break down the last few months of season but i bet he was closer to 12%-15% changeups, so something like that might be better for next season.

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'07-18.9%

'08-20.5%

'09-19.8%

The jump was in the amount he used his fastball

'07-62.3%

'08-63.6%

'09-67.8%

He's fastball is his best pitch and he should use it as much as he did last season. Yes, he only used he's changeup 10% of the time last season, but as Eric pointed out he used it more as the year went on. I don't know the break down the last few months of season but i bet he was closer to 12%-15% changeups, so something like that might be better for next season.

command of your secondary pitches come and go..plus teams scout your patterns and often you need to tweak the sequences and tendencies..hence more or less use of certain pitches.

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command of your secondary pitches come and go..plus teams scout your patterns and often you need to tweak the sequences and tendencies..hence more or less use of certain pitches.

That's true sportz, but do you feel that his increase use of his fastball lead to more success this past season or was it the development of is secondary pitches or something else?

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That's true sportz, but do you feel that his increase use of his fastball lead to more success this past season or was it the development of is secondary pitches or something else?

Improved fastball command..hit 98 either on the black or above your hands b****. It worked pretty well..remember those nights!!!

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Improved fastball command..hit 98 either on the black or above your hands b****. It worked pretty well..remember those nights!!!

Oh I remember well! Dropping your BB/9 over by over 1 will help anyone.

How great is opening day going to be? Verlander vs. Greinke...doesn't get much better!

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I was really glad to see him use more changeups as the year went on. I've always thought Verlander had a great changeup that, used with his outstanding fastball and curve could make him into an elite lever pitcher (which he has become). In '07 and '08 he used his chage around 19% and 16% of the time and that was down to 10% last season. I'd like to see him get back up around 15% to 18%. Then again, he was at 10% last season and had his best season so what do I know!:cheeky:

As far as I'm concerned, throwing that fastball 67% of the time like he did last season is great. He used to throw it 60-62%. It's easier to throw strikes with a fastball. And when you've got literally the best fastball in the league, why not throw it 2/3 of the time?

His changeup is a legit swing and miss pitch. His curveball seems to catch guys looking more than swinging. Whatever he has command of on a given night I'm fine with him throwing, but his changeup was a better pitch than he was giving it credit for early in the season. I've got no problem with 68% fastballs and 16% of each of the others.

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Eric..you are far better at this than me..what were his ave pitch per inning numbers, I'm confident they improved as the season progressed..scottwood could also enlighten us on this topic.

No way to improve the foul ball dilema, if you can't put him in play..thats not a bad thing..

I'd have to dig a little deeper to get those numbers. But, a quick and dirty way to look at it is that he faced 982 batters this year in 240 innings. Last year, he faced 880 batters in 201 innings. Do the math, and he faced 4.09 hitters an inning this season and 4.3 batters an inning in 08. Eventually, over the course of a game, that adds up. The biggest improvement, and it sounds simple, was that he threw a lot more strikes this year. His first strike % improved by 4.3% and he threw 53.9% of pitches in the zone this year (second best in the AL, btw) compared to just 50% last season. What drove up JV's pitch count in 08 was his poor command. Shaving his BB/9 from 3.90 to 2.36 was one of the biggest reasons why he was essentially able to pitch a whole inning longer each game. If he can up his first strike % just a bit more, say in the 65% range, and keep a roughly similar amount of pitches in the zone, then I see no reason why his BB/9 numbers cannot drop next season to 2 or below.

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In 16 of his starts, he went 6+ innings and he was just a touch under 180 innings anyway. If he can improve his command, then he has the potential to be a #1. He K'd over a batter an inning and his swining strike % of 10.4% bodes very well for the future. It is not in Tim Lincecum or Justin Verlander territory of better than 11% but it is a whole percent better than what Josh Johnson did in Florida. He was also 18th in tRA and 17th in xFIP in the NL. As it stands now, he is a legit #2 starter and he has the potential to get even better. His k/9 numbers may regress a bit switching over to the DH league and both his xFIP and FIP should climb a bit if he pitches at the same level as last season. Even with that, though, he'd give us similar or better production than we got out of Jackson.

His first pitch strike %, at above 60% (14th in the NL) was good. In looking at his plate discipline stats, the problem with his command appears to take shape when you see that his zone % was just 50% (Justin Verlander in 08 had that same %) and he does not entice a lot of swings outside the zone. A 24% outside swing % (tied for 36th worst in the NL) is pretty low for a pitcher like him. So, as he steps over to the AL, those are some numbers that might be worth keeping an eye on. Will he throw more pitches for strikes? And, if he doesn't (Lincecum has a zone % just above 50% so you can get away with it), can he entice more swings at pitches outside the K zone/fewer contact on those pitches?

The stuff is there and I don't think his mechanics are that bad off. He K's a guy an inning and is already a legit #2 or a terrific #3. At worst, I would expect a FIP around 4.25 and 180 or so innings. And, if his command troubles get better, then the sky is basically the limit. Fewer walks and balls= the ability to go deeper into games and eat up more innings.

Our top 3 could be absolutely sick from 2011 and beyond. Depending on the progression of Porcello, it could be sick next season. But, the potential of JV/Porcello/Scherzer ranks up there with just about any top 3 in the game. I'm pretty stoked about it. And, if Bondo gets healthy and returns to form...

Edited by Scottwood

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Our top 3 could be absolutely sick from 2011 and beyond. Depending on the progression of Porcello, it could be sick next season. But, the potential of JV/Porcello/Scherzer ranks up there with just about any top 3 in the game. I'm pretty stoked about it. And, if Bondo gets healthy and returns to form...

Yes, yes. A lot of attention from this trade has been on Austin Jackson because he plays Granderson's position, but Scherzer is the centerpiece of the deal. Pitchers of his ability certainly aren't traded very often this early in their careers.

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