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Thread: Coffey RE: His mechanics

  1. #46
    Unsolicited Opinions traderumor's Avatar
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    Re: Coffey RE: His mechanics

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    I'm saying that his season was a combination of bad luck and bad pitching.
    I'm not seeing how the truth of that is even worth debating. If I'm a bad blackjack player and don't get the cards, that only increases my losses, but I still have to become a better blackjack player if I hope to come out on top. Then, the randomness, good or bad, of the game, won't hurt so much. Plain and simple, Coffey needs to improve his pitching if he is to be of any benefit to the Reds.

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  3. #47
    Matt's Dad RANDY IN INDY's Avatar
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    Re: Coffey RE: His mechanics

    Sounds like Coffee is trying to do just that.
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    Re: Coffey RE: His mechanics

    I haven't had time to read all these posts, but I plan to go back later. First, I have some thoughts on pitchers like Coffey who battle their weight.

    Physical changes due to weight gain, fatigue, or injury can cause problems with mechanics. The act of effectively throwing a baseball is the result of muscles performing in a synchronized series of movements caused by muscle responses. A pitcher can't truly think his way through his delivery as it is happening. He must rely on many, many repetitions to create rote muscle memory. The delivery is almost totally controlled by rapidly unfolding and unconscious movements that occur too quickly for very much conscious control.

    As I said, there are other factors that alter mechanics, but weight fluctuations can cause problems with unconscious muscle performance. The body spends a lifetime learning how to function and it doesn't always make adjustments with the same level of performance.

    Very often, the result of change is a matter confidence. A pitcher tries to think about his mechanics and screws up everything. An infielder with too much time is always in danger of throwing it away, and a pitcher trying to think his way through an adjustment can have similar problems.

    Pitching is like reading. Both acts involve a lot of factors, but the results are dependent the individual's capacity for honing the given abilities. Hooked on Phonics won't really teach a kid to read and Todd Coffey's problems are probably greater than simply a bent back.
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  5. #49
    Matt's Dad RANDY IN INDY's Avatar
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    Re: Coffey RE: His mechanics

    Great post, Spitball!
    Talent is God Given: be humble.
    Fame is man given: be thankful.
    Conceit is self given: be careful.

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    Re: Coffey RE: His mechanics

    Quote Originally Posted by Spitball View Post
    I haven't had time to read all these posts, but I plan to go back later. First, I have some thoughts on pitchers like Coffey who battle their weight.

    Physical changes due to weight gain, fatigue, or injury can cause problems with mechanics. The act of effectively throwing a baseball is the result of muscles performing in a synchronized series of movements caused by muscle responses. A pitcher can't truly think his way through his delivery as it is happening. He must rely on many, many repetitions to create rote muscle memory. The delivery is almost totally controlled by rapidly unfolding and unconscious movements that occur too quickly for very much conscious control.

    As I said, there are other factors that alter mechanics, but weight fluctuations can cause problems with unconscious muscle performance. The body spends a lifetime learning how to function and it doesn't always make adjustments with the same level of performance.

    Very often, the result of change is a matter confidence. A pitcher tries to think about his mechanics and screws up everything. An infielder with too much time is always in danger of throwing it away, and a pitcher trying to think his way through an adjustment can have similar problems.

    Pitching is like reading. Both acts involve a lot of factors, but the results are dependent the individual's capacity for honing the given abilities. Hooked on Phonics won't really teach a kid to read and Todd Coffey's problems are probably greater than simply a bent back.
    I don't disagree with any of this, in fact I'd like to thank you for being so informative. I just think that Coffey becoming more physically fit and consulting (apparently) everyone under the sun about possible solutions shows that he is going about his off-season in a professional manner and is serious about being the best pitcher he can be. It gives me hope.

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    Re: Coffey RE: His mechanics

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    So you mean something magically happened to Todd Coffey in 2007 that made him allow HR on flyballs at 3x the rate he had in the first two years of his career?

    I fully appreciate that he was doing something wrong and needs to correct it. But I just will not attribute that jump fully to a change in his ability to pitch. Partially, sure -- and I hope he corrects it.
    Nothing magical. Simply his poor use of the curveball, as he explained.
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    Re: Coffey RE: His mechanics

    Quote Originally Posted by WebScorpion View Post
    I don't disagree with any of this, in fact I'd like to thank you for being so informative. I just think that Coffey becoming more physically fit and consulting (apparently) everyone under the sun about possible solutions shows that he is going about his off-season in a professional manner and is serious about being the best pitcher he can be. It gives me hope.
    Thanks to you and Randy. It is great news that Coffey is taking his career seriously, and that really was my point. Pitchers need to maintain their physical conditioning more than most position players. David Wells is an exception, but too often we see athletes throwing away their God given gifts.
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  9. #53
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    Re: Coffey RE: His mechanics

    Great post, Spitball.

    Sounds like the kid is working his butt off to get better.
    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
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  10. #54
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    Re: Coffey RE: His mechanics

    Quote Originally Posted by RFS62 View Post
    Great post, Spitball.

    Sounds like the kid is working his butt off to get better.
    I wonder who else is going to show up in Spring Training in better shape. Hasn't this been a drum that Dusty has been beating? If I'm hearing him correctly, he expects his players to be in good shape, ready for the longhaul season.
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    Re: Coffey RE: His mechanics

    Quote Originally Posted by redsmetz View Post
    I wonder who else is going to show up in Spring Training in better shape. Hasn't this been a drum that Dusty has been beating? If I'm hearing him correctly, he expects his players to be in good shape, ready for the longhaul season.


    I've heard him a couple of times on XM talking about calling up players and asking them about their conditioning routine. He was really emphatic about it, how much it matters to stay in top shape and show up in spring training in shape.

    I'll bet there is a "Dusty factor" when he calls. I'm sure it's more impressive to a player than hearing Narron, nice guy that he was.
    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
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  12. #56
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    Re: Coffey RE: His mechanics

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    Look at his LD% Jojo. BABIP and LD% are fairly strongly correlated as you know. Typically, BABIP is around LD% + .120. Todd Coffey's LD% was 15.7 and his BABIP was .365 -- that just doesn't add up. I don't buy the LD turned in to FB-HR. They classify FB as FB and LD as LD regardless of whether they stay in the park or not.

    I'm saying that his season was a combination of bad luck and bad pitching. He is not without blame, but when you look at his batted ball types, and his GB% went up, his LD% was very low. That's called not allowing great contact (when he wasn't allowing homers).
    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    Some of that increase could be due to a complete breakdown in his inability to pitch. But I don't believe he went from allowing less than average HR/FB% to being among the worst baseball -- in terms of real skill. When you look at his non-HR ball in play, he was among the best in baseball at not allowing line drives. And yet his BABIP was a crazy .365. Why!? Is it his fault that he allowed generally weak hits and the Reds fielders literally dropped the ball?
    I understand what you're saying, I just don't think you can make the conclusion about weak hits/poor contact that you're making (i.e. I think you're overstating the case a bit).
    "This isnít stats vs scouts - this is stats and scouts working together, building an organization that blends the best of both worlds. This is the blueprint for how a baseball organization should be run. And, whether the baseball men of the 20th century like it or not, this is where baseball is going."---Dave Cameron, U.S.S. Mariner

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    Re: Coffey RE: His mechanics

    Quote Originally Posted by mth123 View Post
    I agree with this. Coffey had a low line drive rate because his fat pitches were tattooed and end-up in the seats. I think the Line Drive Rate, BABIP and Hr/Fly Ball rates really can't be used as they normally would with Coffey. I think poor defense contributed to Coffey's (and every other Red's pitcher's) performance no doubt. But he was giving up Bombs by being very ineffective not luck or poor defense.

    Coffey's Line Drive rate was good because he wasn't giving up line drives when he made a mistake like many other pitchers do. What made the LD rate low was that his mistakes ended up getting classified as fly balls that happened to go out of the park. He gave up more than his fair share of hard hit balls, its just in his case they didn't effect his LD rate like they normally would, they created that unusual HR/Fly Ball rate instead.
    An excellent explanation -- better than anything I could have come up with. Nice job!
    "I prefer books and movies where the conflict isn't of the extreme cannibal apocalypse variety I guess." Redsfaithful

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    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Coffey RE: His mechanics

    Quote Originally Posted by jojo View Post
    I understand what you're saying, I just don't think you can make the conclusion about weak hits/poor contact that you're making (i.e. I think you're overstating the case a bit).
    I guess I'm just frustrated with the all or nothing approaches many seem to take towards seasons like the one Coffey just experienced. Yes, he pitched poorly at times. But at the same time, if he pitches almost the exact same way next year, we could see his ERA drop in to the 4's easily. Is that ideal, or even acceptable? Perhaps not.

    Clearly he needs to figure out that HR problem. But considering his HR rates from 2005 and 2006 and given the peripheral numbers suggesting he otherwise pitched decently in 2007, I don't think it's not fair to attribute the entirety of massive HR jump in 2007 to horrible pitching and lots of hanging curveballs -- particularly over a 50 IP sample size. I know that most people aren't quite that simplistic, but even if my specfic analysis makes a bad assumption or two as well, I'm just trying to nudge the overall method of retrospective analysis away from your basic ERA and WHIP-based rushes to judgment.

    As for the "liners turned in to HR" thus explaining both the low LD% and high HR/FB, I would point out that LD rates tend not to be under the control of the pitcher. Thus, if this explanation is correct, we would expect the LD% to rise next year and see those liners-turned-FB-turned-HR to turn back in to line drives.

    I'm not trying to make excuses for Todd or anything. I'm just trying to figure out the best way to figure out what actually happened in 2007 and then what's likely to happen in 2008.
    Last edited by RedsManRick; 12-10-2007 at 12:03 PM.
    Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.

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    Five Tool Fool jojo's Avatar
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    Re: Coffey RE: His mechanics

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    I guess I'm just frustrated with the all or nothing approaches many seem to take towards seasons like the one Coffey just experienced. Yes, he pitched poorly at times. But at the same time, if he pitches almost the exact same way next year, we could see his ERA drop in to the 4's easily. Is that ideal, or even acceptable? Perhaps not.

    Clearly he needs to figure out that HR problem. But considering his HR rates from 2005 and 2006 and given the peripheral numbers suggesting he otherwise pitched decently in 2007, I don't think it's not fair to attribute the entirety of massive HR jump in 2007 to horrible pitching and lots of hanging curveballs -- particularly over a 50 IP sample size. I know that most people aren't quite that simplistic, but even if my specfic analysis makes a bad assumption or two as well, I'm just trying to nudge the overall method of retrospective analysis away from your basic ERA and WHIP-based rushes to judgment.

    As for the "liners turned in to HR" thus explaining both the low LD% and high HR/FB, I would point out that LD rates tend not to be under the control of the pitcher. Thus, if this explanation is correct, we would expect the LD% to rise next year and see those liners-turned-FB-turned-HR to turn back in to line drives.

    I'm not trying to make excuses for Todd or anything. I'm just trying to figure out the best way to figure out what actually happened in 2007 and then what's likely to happen in 2008.
    Personally, I like Coffey (ducking my head to avoid the rotten vegetables being hurled my direction).

    Last season Coffey killed the competition in Louisville but got beat up in the majors. He's got a plus fastball and based upon f/x data it averaged 94 mph last season with good movement so he apparently didn't lose his sink on it. Not surprisingly, Coffey threw it about 75% of the time (the change up being the bulk of the rest of his pitches). However, despite his velocity being great, f/x data suggests it was his fastball that got crushed by major league hitters last season. For example, his first pitch was a fastball 90% of the time but despite it being a plus fastball, hitters feasted (.500/.514/.667 OPS: 1.180) on Coffey's first pitch.

    So if it's not velocity/movement, the answer would seem to be location. In AAA, a plus fastball and anything close to a major-league quality change (even an average one) could compensate for poor location (especially later in the season when the best hitters have been promoted to the bigs). In the majors, a 94 mph fastball poorly located ends up being omitted from BABIP data....

    Like others have suggested, make a mistake and major league hitters feast.
    "This isnít stats vs scouts - this is stats and scouts working together, building an organization that blends the best of both worlds. This is the blueprint for how a baseball organization should be run. And, whether the baseball men of the 20th century like it or not, this is where baseball is going."---Dave Cameron, U.S.S. Mariner

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    Matt's Dad RANDY IN INDY's Avatar
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    Re: Coffey RE: His mechanics

    I don't think that Coffey had the movement last season that he has had in the past. Pitches were flat and fat, and they got deposited. Location became a problem as well, cause when they get deposited with regularity, you are not as apt to want to locate the ball around the plate.
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    Fame is man given: be thankful.
    Conceit is self given: be careful.

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