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Thread: Harang's not hurt, but his mechanics are...

  1. #1
    Passion for the game Team Clark's Avatar
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    Harang's not hurt, but his mechanics are...

    There is no injury. Not yet anyway. I watched Harang throw last night and I knew exactly what was going on. What baffles me is that I was at a restaurant watching and I know what is wrong but his pitching coach, bullpen coach and oddly enough he himself have no idea. (Tom Glavine has always said YOU should be your own best pitching coach) The reason I know they don't have a clue is because the fix for what is wrong is so simple that it is really a matter of a bullpen session to fix the problem. (Not to mention I keep hearing they can't figure out what the problem is)

    Harang is a "down the slope" pitcher. Meaning he walks his way down the mound through his delivery. Every pitcher comes to the same balance point and separation. Just like hitting. Your stance may be different but everyone gets to the same point of balance. Harang has always been deliberate and methodical up and until the point of planting your front foot and throwing your hips. Very effective, especially if you have a good breaking ball. Which Harang does. I saw Majewski go through this same thing when he came over from the Nats. They have a similar release. Not necessarily the same mechanics but similar releases. Maj has NEVER regained his mechanics to date. His arm still drags and he is NEVER on top of his pitches. Granted he was hurt when he got here but it was his mechanics that were the problem to begin with.

    So, I am sitting there watching Harang stand straight up throughout his delivery and stay tall during his release. All the while I hear Welsh say "he's looking good". Welsh, who should know better is a real homer just like Grande. I actually laughed out loud. I said to my wife and the guy sitting next to us at P.F. Chang's "All of his pitches are up, his fastball is straight and he is about to get hammered ". Ludwick swung through a ball in the first that he may never miss again in his career. He struck out and gave a false sense of security to all who were watching. He got away with some dangerous high pitches in the first but not so in the second. He certainly didn't "look" good. He got very lucky but anybody that really knows mechanics knew what was going to happen.

    His mechanics are so far off that he virtually has no chance of delivering a low strike without a stroke of luck. His body is simply not in a position to get there. I noticed his breaking ball was out of control and his slider was hanging big time. The slider that not only hung but came out out of his hand wild to Molina was very telling. That slider was not intended to be inside. Molina ripped that baby and probably thanked Aaron on the way to first. Before that was the horrible straight fastball that Glaus just absolutely ripped to left. He hit it so hard it barely roatated. Dickerson didn't catch it and I can't blame him. Not a lot of guys sting the ball that way in AAA.

    Oddly enough he was able to strike out Piniero twice enabling him to keep 2 bad innings from really getting out of hand. He was so hittable that I saw guys basically coming out of their shoes to take a rip.

    What's worse is the injury he suffered is a result of his mechanics being off. Not the other way around. Your brain will find a way to deliver the baseball to the area you want to throw it no matter how fouled up you may be. There is just no guarantee it will be a strike. The more stress you put on a body part in a bad mechanics scenario the greater risk of injury. The forearm really comes into play in Harang's slider and curve. You extend the forearm muscles a bit more with stress on those breaking pitches. If you recall early in the season he went to those pitches a lot when he couldn't locate his fastball. (Due to his mechanics) Not long after, his forearm locked up.

    What amazes me even more is that Harang had impeccable mechanics in San Diego during his relief stint. He knew he wasn't going out there trying to throw at 100%. Amazing what happens when you take some pressure off of yourself, slow your mechanics down and just throw. His next start wasn't all that bad but he fell off the wagon soon after.

    I honestly do not know why Pole or Harang have not figured it out. I have seen Harang pitch roughly 40 times. Maybe 15 in person. He has ALWAYS had very solid, compact mechanics, great explosion and a nice outstretched release. He's at least 12-18 inches shorter on his stride and stands straight up during his release. This is something you see High School kids do at a camp. These types of mechanics will cause your fastball to be up. Belt to shoulder high. Your change to stay right at belt level, your curve to be short. (58-59) feet. (Like the one he bounced through Hanigan's wicket). Your slider never really gets out of your hand. It's just a spinner or if you can get "around" the ball it will be well out of the zone. So simple to fix but when you don't have the eyes to see it.....

    If he stays on this bad track I expect his shoulder will start to hurt soon. His forearm will probably lock up again before that happens. In any event if it's not fixed he could be shelved for months.
    Last edited by Team Clark; 08-17-2008 at 04:48 PM.
    It's absolutely pathetic that people can't have an opinion from actually watching games and supplementing that with stats. If you voice an opinion that doesn't fit into a black/white box you will get completely misrepresented and basically called a tobacco chewing traditionalist...
    Cedric 3/24/08

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  3. #2
    Passion for the game Team Clark's Avatar
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    Re: Harang's not hurt, but his mechanics are...

    Just saw this little tid bit from Dusty:
    "He's throwing the ball well but it's just not moving. Right now it's a matter of command and it's all about location and movement," manager Dusty Baker said.

    Dusty. Seriously. Stop talking. If it's a "matter of command and it's all about location and movement", none of which Harang has right now then how can he be "throwing the ball well"? Now I see why the Dusty haters go after him.
    It's absolutely pathetic that people can't have an opinion from actually watching games and supplementing that with stats. If you voice an opinion that doesn't fit into a black/white box you will get completely misrepresented and basically called a tobacco chewing traditionalist...
    Cedric 3/24/08

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    BobC, get a legit F.O.! Mario-Rijo's Avatar
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    Re: Harang's not hurt, but his mechanics are...

    Yeah he's not been following through for quite a long time, he's way out of wack. I noticed he wasn't bending like he used or basically standing straight up. Why I don't know but I thought maybe his back or legs were injured or something, because he isn't using them much.

    Whatever the reason it needs fixed before it destroys him and his career.
    "You can't let praise or criticism get to you. It's a weakness to get caught up in either one."

    --Woody Hayes

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    Pitching is the thing WVRedsFan's Avatar
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    Re: Harang's not hurt, but his mechanics are...

    Thanks for the analysis, TCII. I don't know enough about pitching mechanics to have an informed opinion, but this makes sense. I taped part of the game last night because I missed the first two innings. I just watched it and I can see what you mean. The puzzling part of this whole thing is that the pitching coach is so clueless that he can't see this. All the more reason to jettison the entire coaching staff with the exception of maybe Billy Hatcher, but that's another story.

    Of course, as long as Dusty's here none of that is likely to happen.
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    I thought you'd be bigger OldXOhio's Avatar
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    Re: Harang's not hurt, but his mechanics are...

    "He's throwing the ball well but it's just not moving. Right now it's a matter of command and it's all about location and movement," manager Dusty Baker said.
    Did someone forget to inform Dusty that Harang's fastball was also only hitting mid to high 80s much of the night?
    Originally Posted by nate
    Chapman can be downright pornographic at times.

  7. #6
    Passion for the game Team Clark's Avatar
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    Re: Harang's not hurt, but his mechanics are...

    Quote Originally Posted by OldXOhio View Post
    Did someone forget to inform Dusty that Harang's fastball was also only hitting mid to high 80s much of the night?
    I am beginning to wonder if he watches the same game the rest of us do?
    It's absolutely pathetic that people can't have an opinion from actually watching games and supplementing that with stats. If you voice an opinion that doesn't fit into a black/white box you will get completely misrepresented and basically called a tobacco chewing traditionalist...
    Cedric 3/24/08

  8. #7
    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Harang's not hurt, but his mechanics are...

    Thanks for the insight TC.
    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.

  9. #8
    Passion for the game Team Clark's Avatar
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    Re: Harang's not hurt, but his mechanics are...

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    Thanks for the insight TC.
    No problem. In a way I wish I never had to make this type of post. Certainly no reason that Harang can't be fixed.

    Funny thing is I saw some similar deficiencies in Volquez. Only when throwing his Changeup. He was really trying to force it down. He was getting hammered when he threw the change. Seems like a good dose of "Soto" got that straightened out.
    It's absolutely pathetic that people can't have an opinion from actually watching games and supplementing that with stats. If you voice an opinion that doesn't fit into a black/white box you will get completely misrepresented and basically called a tobacco chewing traditionalist...
    Cedric 3/24/08

  10. #9
    THAT'S A FACT JACK!! GAC's Avatar
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    Re: Harang's not hurt, but his mechanics are...

    I've been saying that - about his mechanics - for most of the year now. And I'm no pitching coach!

    I personally believe that the early season losing messed with him somewhat psychologically, and he put added pressure on himself to try to make corrections.

    And he's not hurt now; but he could end up hurting himself.

    Thank God we got Dusty and Dick to look over him.
    Last edited by GAC; 08-17-2008 at 06:22 PM.
    "panic" only comes from having real expectations

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    Haunted by walks
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    Re: Harang's not hurt, but his mechanics are...

    So can you boil it down to something the fans can chant from the stands? It might be the only way to get the message through.

  12. #11
    Passion for the game Team Clark's Avatar
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    Re: Harang's not hurt, but his mechanics are...

    Quote Originally Posted by BCubb2003 View Post
    So can you boil it down to something the fans can chant from the stands? It might be the only way to get the message through.
    "THROW DOWN HILL", "THROW DOWN HILL"........ That would be a good start!
    It's absolutely pathetic that people can't have an opinion from actually watching games and supplementing that with stats. If you voice an opinion that doesn't fit into a black/white box you will get completely misrepresented and basically called a tobacco chewing traditionalist...
    Cedric 3/24/08

  13. #12
    Passion for the game Team Clark's Avatar
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    Re: Harang's not hurt, but his mechanics are...

    Quote Originally Posted by GAC View Post
    I've been saying that - abut his mechanics - for most of the year now. And I'm no pitching coach!

    I personally believe that the early season losing mesed with him somewhat psychologically, and he put added pressure on himself to try to make corrections.

    And he's not hurt now; but he could end up hurting himself.

    Thank God we got Dusty and Dick to look over him.
    It's amazing isn't it? Personally I think Pole does a pretty good job overall and NO COACH catches every mistake. Having said that, how do you miss something that has been going on all year?
    It's absolutely pathetic that people can't have an opinion from actually watching games and supplementing that with stats. If you voice an opinion that doesn't fit into a black/white box you will get completely misrepresented and basically called a tobacco chewing traditionalist...
    Cedric 3/24/08

  14. #13
    THAT'S A FACT JACK!! GAC's Avatar
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    Re: Harang's not hurt, but his mechanics are...

    Quote Originally Posted by Team Clark View Post
    It's amazing isn't it? Personally I think Pole does a pretty good job overall and NO COACH catches every mistake. Having said that, how do you miss something that has been going on all year?
    Because personally I have no faith in Dick Pole (and Dusty) in this area.
    "panic" only comes from having real expectations

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    Re: Harang's not hurt, but his mechanics are...

    This an excellent post by Team Clark and it's a great illustration of why observation is so important. These are things that need to be noted and, before I get pummeled as a 'stats basher', let me say that, while the numbers show what the results were they don't show what the cause was.

    Team Clark used his observation and experience to lay out a reasonable explaination as to why Harang is being lit up like he is. For Dusty to say that it's "a matter of command and it's all about location and movement," begs the question of why that isn't happening. There is a physical explaination somewhere. It's either injury, improper mechanics or a decline in the players' ability.

    Rem

  16. #15
    Knowledge Is Good Big Klu's Avatar
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    Re: Harang's not hurt, but his mechanics are...

    Quote Originally Posted by WVRedsFan View Post
    All the more reason to jettison the entire coaching staff with the exception of maybe Billy Hatcher, but that's another story.
    I agree. I have little confidence in Dick Pole or Brook Jacoby, and I thought Mark Berry should have been fired along with Jerry Narron and Bucky Dent (or at least he shouldn't have been retained when Dusty Baker named his new staff). I would like to see Leo Mazzone (or Mario Soto) as the pitching coach.

    I am OK with Chris Speier--he seems pretty knowledgeable, and he is a decent infield coach. (At least, he was a good infielder as a player, so I'm guessing he is a good infield instructor.) But he is Dusty's man--if and when the time comes that Dusty goes, Speier will likely go with him.

    I would tend to keep Juan Lopez at the bullpen coach, mainly because the performance of the bullpen has exceeded expectations. I don't know how much that actually has to do with Lopez, though.

    I think Billy Hatcher is a future managerial candidate, and he is good influence on some of the young players. I was at the game yesterday, and Hatcher and Eric Davis were holding court at the far end of the dugout (the opposite end from where Dusty and Speier sit). In particular, I noticed Chris Dickerson and Brandon Phillips spending a lot of time around Davis. I would like to see Davis on the staff in some capacity--possibly as the new first base coach (with Hatcher taking over as the third base coach), or maybe as the hitting coach. Someone else who I have always thought would make a great hitting coach is Kevin Mitchell, though I don't know if either he or the Reds would have any interest.
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