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View Full Version : who would be good canidates for adding the knuckleball?



icehole3
03-04-2010, 06:26 AM
http://www.azcentral.com/sports/diamondbacks/articles/0720knuckleball0720.html

For such reasons, Arizona pitching coach Bryan Price is surprised more organizations don't groom knuckleballers. The minors are filled with guys who lack the final ingredient that would get them to the major leagues. Instead of cutting them loose, he said, why not bring in someone to teach them the knuckleball as a last resort?


Since Price likes the knuckleball who would be good canidates for the knuckler? http://www.sternfannetwork.com/forum/images/smilies/Happy/HappyWave.gif

Scrap Irony
03-04-2010, 01:49 PM
Owings would be an ideal candidate, IMO, but he's probably too far advanced to do anything more than fiddle around with it. In the minors, I'd think Watson, Lehr, LeCure, and any AAAA lifer would try to find the grip and let it rip.

Really, what do you have to lose, both as an organization and as a prospect at that point?

Of course, from AA up, the Reds are stacked as starters. This would be a particularly difficult system to try and learn in.

REDblooded
03-04-2010, 01:52 PM
Danny Ray should start toying with one...

JKam
03-04-2010, 02:26 PM
Doesn't Watson have a knuckle-curve, whatever the hell that is?

dougdirt
03-04-2010, 02:42 PM
Doesn't Watson have a knuckle-curve, whatever the hell that is?

Its just a curveball. Homer Bailey also throws a knuckle curve. Its just the way you grip the ball when you throw a curve.

Mario-Rijo
03-04-2010, 03:08 PM
Its just a curveball. Homer Bailey also throws a knuckle curve. Its just the way you grip the ball when you throw a curve.

It's just a curveball? Well yeah and not quite. It basically does the same thing as a straight curve but is a better pitch in theory if you can master it. They generally have better movement (due to a tighter spin) and because of the way you throw it it comes out of the hand looking like a fastball. Watsons kind of plays more like a splitter or filthy change IMO (with the later breaking drop), or at least it did when he was in Dayton. It really is a sick pitch for him but apparently the kid can't get anything else to work right. BUt yeah it's not knuckler like in anyway really, in fact I think they call it a spike curve also.

dougdirt
03-04-2010, 03:27 PM
It's just a curveball? Well yeah and not quite. It basically does the same thing as a straight curve but is a better pitch in theory if you can master it. They generally have better movement (due to a tighter spin) and because of the way you throw it it comes out of the hand looking like a fastball. Watsons kind of plays more like a splitter or filthy change IMO (with the later breaking drop), or at least it did when he was in Dayton. It really is a sick pitch for him but apparently the kid can't get anything else to work right. BUt yeah it's not knuckler like in anyway really, in fact I think they call it a spike curve also.

They do also call it a spike curve. Its all about the grip. You use your index finger on the seam like you would grip a knuckle ball (shown to me by Phil Hughes of the Yankees - Name dropper).

Side note though is that Sean Watson actually stopped throwing the knuckle curve for a while there because he couldn't throw it for strikes at all. Once he left Dayton hitters figured out he couldn't throw it in the zone and they stopped swinging at it. He is throwing a curve again, but I am not sure if its still the knuckle curve or not.

camisadelgolf
03-04-2010, 05:11 PM
They do also call it a spike curve. Its all about the grip. You use your index finger on the seam like you would grip a knuckle ball (shown to me by Phil Hughes of the Yankees - Name dropper).

Side note though is that Sean Watson actually stopped throwing the knuckle curve for a while there because he couldn't throw it for strikes at all. Once he left Dayton hitters figured out he couldn't throw it in the zone and they stopped swinging at it. He is throwing a curve again, but I am not sure if its still the knuckle curve or not.
Judging by the incredible spike in walks, I'd guess that he's throwing it again. :)

redsof72
03-04-2010, 05:51 PM
Knuckleball is a pitch that requires such a feel that you really can't use it as a second or third pitch, you have to throw it almost every pitch. So you are talking about basically trashing everything you have in your arsenal, that you have worked years to develop, to add something that you have never used. For that reason, the only time you see a guy try it is when he has reached a point of total desperation, meaning he is on track to be released and likely not ever be picked up by anyone.

That being said, if a guy, likely a Single-A pitcher, has been told and has seen with his own eyes that he simply does not have the arm to ever compete at the big league level, he might try this if he shows on the side he can throw a pretty good one (most guys have messed around with trying to throw a knuckler at some point in their lives, just for fun, just like all of us probably did a few times). Most guys can't throw one. A few can throw it well enough to convince their organization to give them a shot. A few from that group actually have success in games.

Wakefield was not even a pitcher when he started trying to show the Pirates organization that he could throw a knuckleball. I saw the first game he pitched in the minors.

Someone like LeCure would not be a likely candidate. He is a long way from giving up on pitching in the big leagues and even if he did give up on that, he knows he can make a living in Triple-A for quite some time at the least. A more likely candidate would be someone who throws in the mid 80's without a good secondary pitch. That guy knows he has nothing to lose. And out of all the guys who fit that description, only a tiny percentage would ever be able to develop the pitch well enough to get big league hitters out.

Once every few years, you hear guys on a team talking about a teammate who can throw an amazing knuckleball (he will throw it when the players are warming up for BP at 3:00 in the afternoon). Often, that guy isn't even a pitcher.

Kingspoint
03-05-2010, 04:48 PM
Edwin Encarnacion, then turn him into a Pitcher.

You already don't know where the ball is going to end up when he lets go of it.

chicoruiz
03-05-2010, 10:23 PM
Daryl Thompson, maybe...

kpresidente
03-19-2010, 05:54 PM
Why limit it to players in the organization? It's a knuckleball. You don't have to be able to play baseball in order to throw a knuckleball.

Hell, I'd run open tryouts across the country. Come show us your knuckleball. Everybody gets 10 pitches to show what they've got.