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redsmetz
08-30-2007, 08:33 AM
I wasn't sure what to name this thread, but here's my question. The Reds have over the last two years accumulated quite a number of young pitchers either here or in the minors.

Currently on the ML roster, the pitchers under the age of thirty are

Bray, Burton, Coutlangus, Belisle, Majewski, Harrang & Gosling.

At Louisville, every pitcher except Victor Santos and Ricky Stone (neither of whom are prospects) are under the age of thirty. Among those who have been with the big club this year are:

Coffey, Dumatrait, Ramierez, McBeth, Saarloos, Salmon & Bailey (DL).

Not with the Reds at all this year: Pelland, Maloney & Gardner.

Some of these pitchers have had uneven years, in fact, most have. The reason for my thread title "Can They Learn?" (or perhaps "Can They Be Taught?") is that I wonder what the Reds can do to step up the learning curve.

Many of these pitchers have some very raw talent. Some here would argue that quite a few have reached their pinnacle and can get no better. I'm not sure I buy that, but the critical question again, in my mind, is how do we teach these pitchers to be better, smarter, get the most out of the talent they do have.

I'm sure those who know baseball history can speak of pitchers from years past who started with fairly pedestrian stuff and ultimately developed good, productive careers. Perhaps some that means moving to the bullpen, others becoming more effective starters.

One former player that comes to mind is Tommy Hume who started out both starting and relieving. He had some horrific times, even to the point of acquiring the nickname "Boom Boom Hume". He was never stellar, but in the middle of his career he wasn't too bad a pitcher.

Two other Reds who come to mind, who developed once pretty decent careers once they arrived in Cincinnati (albeit on the BRM teams) were Fred Norman & Jack Billingham.

I'd like to hear about others, but more so, I'd like to hear what the Reds need to do to kick these pitchers up a notch, as Emeril would say.

GAC
08-30-2007, 08:59 AM
Acquiring as many young arms as they can, emphasizing development, is the only feasible route for this team (and many others). Some are gonna be misses, and you hope you can get some hits. But looking at what may be available in this year's FA crop, which looks worst then last off-season's, it's the most logical (and sensible) route they should take.

You would love to get some high level talent so you're not waiting around as long for them to develop in your farm system; but it seems GMs aren't so easily letting those prospects go anymore. And wisely so.

BCubb2003
08-30-2007, 11:24 AM
I've asked this before, and I'm still trying to figure it out. We talk a lot about guys who start out as throwers who eventually learn to pitch. But I've always wondered, what is it that they have to learn, and why isn't it in a book or in a catcher's head that can be conveyed to young pitchers quickly and efficiently? Are these young pitchers who haven't learned to pitch shaking off lots of pitches on the mound? Why hasn't the catcher "learned to pitch" after all this time?

westofyou
08-30-2007, 11:31 AM
I've asked this before, and I'm still trying to figure it out. We talk a lot about guys who start out as throwers who eventually learn to pitch. But I've always wondered, what is it that they have to learn, and why isn't it in a book or in a catcher's head that can be conveyed to young pitchers quickly and efficiently? Are these young pitchers who haven't learned to pitch shaking off lots of pitches on the mound? Why hasn't the catcher "learned to pitch" after all this time?


Guys come up blowing guys away at each level, once they get to the bigs they have to learn that that approach isn't a 100% return approach, hence learn the weakness of certain types of pitchers, learn the parks big areas and try and get the ball in that area, learn their mistakes and exploit them.

Catchers can help, but the pitcher is the guy holding the ball, Ed Bailey used to intimidate the younger pitchers on the Reds and it was not a good thing.

Like everything else in this game it's a learning process, but one tied to health and the ability to adapt.

redsmetz
08-30-2007, 02:27 PM
Guys come up blowing guys away at each level, once they get to the bigs they have to learn that that approach isn't a 100% return approach, hence learn the weakness of certain types of pitchers, learn the parks big areas and try and get the ball in that area, learn their mistakes and exploit them.

Catchers can help, but the pitcher is the guy holding the ball, Ed Bailey used to intimidate the younger pitchers on the Reds and it was not a good thing.

Like everything else in this game it's a learning process, but one tied to health and the ability to adapt.

WOY, this is what I'm talking about though. Aside from the pitching coach at each level, might we not benefit from having a general pitching instructor or such. I know we have some roving guys, but I'd like to see if there's a way to move these guys up and learn to be better pitchers.

Chip R
08-30-2007, 02:37 PM
Burton certainly has learned. I remember his first outing he was so nervous he couldn't throw strikes. Now he's the #1 setup man. Not bad for a Rule 5 guy.

paulrichjr
08-30-2007, 02:40 PM
Burton certainly has learned. I remember his first outing he was so nervous he couldn't throw strikes. Now he's the #1 setup man. Not bad for a Rule 5 guy.

Notice our #1 starter and what is or will soon be our best reliever all came from Oakland and not from our farm system.

redsmetz
08-30-2007, 02:44 PM
Of the names I mentioned above, the following have been acquired via trade, waivers or Rule V:

Bray
Majewski
(granted controversial trade)

Burton (rule V)

Coutlangus
Livingston (forgot him in my first post, we'll cross our fingers that he's not done)
McBeth
Saarloos
Maloney

All have been acquired in the last two seasons. On top of that are the core of young pitchers we've already had.

redsmetz
08-30-2007, 02:49 PM
Notice our #1 starter and what is or will soon be our best reliever all came from Oakland and not from our farm system.

You're right. Actually the only home grown pitchers on this list, whether with the Reds this season or with AAA are Coffey, Salmon and Bailey. Everyone else started somewhere else even though some have been in our system for a while.

I think Chattanooga might have a lot of Reds drafted or signed players.

redsmetz
09-11-2007, 04:58 PM
So with the shake-up today of some of the minor league operations, I thought I'd resurrect this thread, particularly in light of this comment from Team Clark in the Dumatrait thread


I hate to tell you this but just because you are in an organization doesn't mean you are 1) being coached 2) being coached by someone who knows what they are talking about or 3) being coached by someone who actually gives a hoot. There are A LOT of Reds minor leaguers who in simple terms are just hung out to dry

So can the Reds hire some folks who can begin teaching some of these young arms to be effective major league pitchers. It seems like we have some raw talent, but they're not developing to their potential. Any thoughts?

dougdirt
09-11-2007, 06:12 PM
While Harang was drafted by the A's, he became a different pitcher with the Reds. The improvement he has made since coming over is due to him and the Reds.

Topcat
09-11-2007, 07:10 PM
While Harang was drafted by the A's, he became a different pitcher with the Reds. The improvement he has made since coming over is due to him and the Reds.

Well it can be in spite of the Red's can't it ?:confused: