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Thread: Homer Bailey Breakdown

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    BobC, get a legit F.O.! Mario-Rijo's Avatar
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    Homer Bailey Breakdown

    Saw this over at Redreporter via Baseball Intellect, a very good analysis of pre '09 Homer and of course '09 Homer. I'll just add the link because there is actual game footage that I wouldn't begin to understand how to transfer. A must read for all Reds fans.

    Link

    I should add this intro from RR as it kind of sums it up a bit.

    We've heard a lot about Homer Bailey's improved mechanics, and the evidence is definitely there in the results that we saw during the season. Bailey chalks a lot of the improvement up to work that he did with Skip Johnson, pitching coach with the University of Texas:

    "So I went for one bullpen (session) and he was telling me try this and try that," said Bailey, who tossed eight scoreless innings Friday, Aug. 28, in beating the Dodgers. "The whole time I’m kind of like, ‘All right, Homer, keep doing it. It feels funny and it feels different.’ So he told me to come back in a couple of days and throw another bullpen.

    "And he gave me some drills to do at home before I went back and I kept doing them," Bailey continued. "I went back for the next bullpen and the ball just jumped out of my hand and I just stared at it. I threw three pitches and said to myself, ‘It’s back.’ "

    Bailey was regularly hitting above 95 on the radar gun this past season, something that we really haven't seen him do in the big leagues prior to this season. Having that speed has definitely allowed him to pitch more freely and confidently, and I think that is why we saw such good results from him during the last 2 months of the season.

    But what has changed about Bailey's mechanics? Alex Eisenberg at Baseball-Intellect.com has taken a stab at trying to see what is different for Bailey this season compared to 2008. The key, he says, is tempo. After the jump, I've posted two pictures from Eisenberg's post comparing Bailey's tempo from 2008 to 2009. I'm no expert in pitching mechanics, so I have a hard time truly differentiating what is important and what is circumstantial, but I think what Eisenberg points out seems reasonable. I encourage you to read the article and see if you notice anything different than what it points out.
    RR Link
    Last edited by Mario-Rijo; 10-23-2009 at 03:55 AM.
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    Senor Votto Degenerate39's Avatar
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    Re: Homer Bailey Breakdown

    I think we should send Skip Johnson a thank you card for doing something the Reds couldn't do.
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    Unsolicited Opinions traderumor's Avatar
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    Re: Homer Bailey Breakdown

    I wouldn't send the card too soon. Guess who will be the goat if Homer's wing breaks down next year?

    Oh, and wait a minute, I thought Justin Lehr was a hero too for teaching him the split finger. Let's make that two goats ready and waiting.

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    Re: Homer Bailey Breakdown

    Quote Originally Posted by Degenerate39 View Post
    I think we should send Skip Johnson a thank you card for doing something the Reds couldn't do.
    Or even undoing something the Reds did.
    "Bring on Rod Stupid!"

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    Where's my chair? REDREAD's Avatar
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    Re: Homer Bailey Breakdown

    Quote Originally Posted by traderumor View Post
    I wouldn't send the card too soon. Guess who will be the goat if Homer's wing breaks down next year?

    Oh, and wait a minute, I thought Justin Lehr was a hero too for teaching him the split finger. Let's make that two goats ready and waiting.
    Funny because it's so true.

    If Homer gets an arm injury, there will be people angry at Johnson. People will claim that the Reds should never allow their pitchers to work with someone outside the organization because it's such a huge investment to put at risk.
    Thank you Walt and Bob for going for it in 2010-2014!

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    Re: Homer Bailey Breakdown

    I feared the worst when I saw the title.

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    Re: Homer Bailey Breakdown

    Quote Originally Posted by Degenerate39 View Post
    I think we should send Skip Johnson a thank you card for doing something the Reds couldn't do.
    Gotta be honest; it may not be fair, but it's crossed my mind more than once that Homer's turnaround was likely the work of someone other than Pole (and not just Justin Lehr,) and that this may have been a big reason for the pitching coach change. This seems to provide a tiny bit of evidence for that.

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    Re: Homer Bailey Breakdown

    The article claims that Bailey has accelerated his tempo from the point at which he raises his left knee to its highest point to the point at which he releases the ball (and that this is the key to his improved velo). The article seems to say it is showing us visual proof of this acceleration. However, I don't see that proof -- the side-by-side video comparison (2008 vs. 2009) does not show the 2009 delivery gaining ground on the 2008 delivery, at least on my computer. With a head start, the 2008 delivery still reaches the release point well ahead of the 2009 delivery.

    Am I missing something?

    I remain highly skeptical of the pat answers some of these mechanics experts feed us. I'm sure they understand certain elements involved in the biomechanics of deliveries quite well -- and the jargon can be persuasive. Yet I doubt they understand with certainty how all of these elements work together, and I wonder about other elements that don't seem to be addressed, not to mention addressed with any precision -- in particular, arm speed and release point.
    "Baseball is a very, very complex business. It's more of a people business than most businesses." - Bob Castellini

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    Unsolicited Opinions traderumor's Avatar
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    Re: Homer Bailey Breakdown

    Quote Originally Posted by REDREAD View Post
    Funny because it's so true.

    If Homer gets an arm injury, there will be people angry at Johnson. People will claim that the Reds should never allow their pitchers to work with someone outside the organization because it's such a huge investment to put at risk.
    Been here long enough to make certain predictions

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    Re: Homer Bailey Breakdown

    Quote Originally Posted by tixe View Post
    Gotta be honest; it may not be fair, but it's crossed my mind more than once that Homer's turnaround was likely the work of someone other than Pole (and not just Justin Lehr,) and that this may have been a big reason for the pitching coach change. This seems to provide a tiny bit of evidence for that.
    Add to that the fact that one of the biggest contributors for both Edinson & Johnny was Mario Soto and it doesn't look too good for Dickie.
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    Re: Homer Bailey Breakdown

    Quote Originally Posted by REDREAD View Post
    Funny because it's so true.

    If Homer gets an arm injury, there will be people angry at Johnson. People will claim that the Reds should never allow their pitchers to work with someone outside the organization because it's such a huge investment to put at risk.
    No taking my wrath would be Dusty Baker. The Reds had no business pushing him over 200 innings.
    The Sox traded Bullfrog the only player they've got for Shottenhoffen. Four-eyes Shottenhoffen a utility infielder. They've got a whole team of utility infielders.

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    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Homer Bailey Breakdown

    Quote Originally Posted by lollipopcurve View Post
    The article claims that Bailey has accelerated his tempo from the point at which he raises his left knee to its highest point to the point at which he releases the ball (and that this is the key to his improved velo). The article seems to say it is showing us visual proof of this acceleration. However, I don't see that proof -- the side-by-side video comparison (2008 vs. 2009) does not show the 2009 delivery gaining ground on the 2008 delivery, at least on my computer. With a head start, the 2008 delivery still reaches the release point well ahead of the 2009 delivery.

    Am I missing something?

    I remain highly skeptical of the pat answers some of these mechanics experts feed us. I'm sure they understand certain elements involved in the biomechanics of deliveries quite well -- and the jargon can be persuasive. Yet I doubt they understand with certainty how all of these elements work together, and I wonder about other elements that don't seem to be addressed, not to mention addressed with any precision -- in particular, arm speed and release point.
    Its just your computer. Alex did a poor job of presenting that side by side as he used two different images rather than making one. If one loads quicker than the other they won't be in sync and it messes up the visual example. As far as Alex, he has a degree in kinesiology with a minor biomechanics. Does that qualify him to do this? I can't say fully, but I think it gives some of what he says some solid credentials.

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    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Homer Bailey Breakdown

    In terms of whether or not the changes affect his control and velocity in the ways he described, I don't know. But you can certainly see the differences in his delivery, particularly in his knee lift and his front side -- his arm is actually tucked in 2009 after dangling in prior years.
    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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    BobC, get a legit F.O.! Mario-Rijo's Avatar
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    Re: Homer Bailey Breakdown

    Quote Originally Posted by lollipopcurve View Post
    The article claims that Bailey has accelerated his tempo from the point at which he raises his left knee to its highest point to the point at which he releases the ball (and that this is the key to his improved velo). The article seems to say it is showing us visual proof of this acceleration. However, I don't see that proof -- the side-by-side video comparison (2008 vs. 2009) does not show the 2009 delivery gaining ground on the 2008 delivery, at least on my computer. With a head start, the 2008 delivery still reaches the release point well ahead of the 2009 delivery.

    Am I missing something?

    I remain highly skeptical of the pat answers some of these mechanics experts feed us. I'm sure they understand certain elements involved in the biomechanics of deliveries quite well -- and the jargon can be persuasive. Yet I doubt they understand with certainty how all of these elements work together, and I wonder about other elements that don't seem to be addressed, not to mention addressed with any precision -- in particular, arm speed and release point.
    I think maybe you may have missed his point a bit. He has indeed accelerated his tempo in the frames, and too me it's noticeable. 2008 Homer raises his knee and has a slight pause at that point, it's ala Dan Haren. Doing this in most pitchers has a drawback, you lose that momentum therefore ultimately losing velocity. For whatever reason there are those who can do it but most cannot (and who is to say if Haren didn't do it he might have more velocity as well). 2009 Homer raises his knee further and never pauses but has a nice fluid rythym allowing the momentum he loads in the front end to accompany his arm strength in creating velocity. This was explained in the piece and it's better to read it there but that is how I understood.

    The speed of his delivery to the plate is really insignificant because that hasn't really changed much if at all but it's his tempo/rythym that allows him to load up now as opposed to before. The bending of the knee taking the place of the pause in my mind keeps his delivery about the same length of time but now allows for momentum to build.
    "You can't let praise or criticism get to you. It's a weakness to get caught up in either one."

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    Re: Homer Bailey Breakdown

    I think maybe you may have missed his point a bit. He has indeed accelerated his tempo in the frames, and too me it's noticeable. 2008 Homer raises his knee and has a slight pause at that point, it's ala Dan Haren. Doing this in most pitchers has a drawback, you lose that momentum therefore ultimately losing velocity. For whatever reason there are those who can do it but most cannot (and who is to say if Haren didn't do it he might have more velocity as well). 2009 Homer raises his knee further and never pauses but has a nice fluid rythym allowing the momentum he loads in the front end to accompany his arm strength in creating velocity. This was explained in the piece and it's better to read it there but that is how I understood.

    The speed of his delivery to the plate is really insignificant because that hasn't really changed much if at all but it's his tempo/rythym that allows him to load up now as opposed to before. The bending of the knee taking the place of the pause in my mind keeps his delivery about the same length of time but now allows for momentum to build.
    This makes sense to me -- my computer was not showing the clips synchronized correctly. I did notice, as RMR has pointed out, that Homer's left arm was better tucked in the 09 version -- at least in the 1 pitch we see -- apparently a mechanical aid for one's control/command. These refinements seem good, and I have no doubt there is a good basis for believing they would help pitchers in general.

    I still want to register some skepticism re: "experts" on pitching mechanics. The guy who wrote this piece also claimed in 2008 (I think) that Bailey has textbook-bad mechanics, similar to Anthony Reyes, BJ Ryan and Mark Prior, all guys who had persistent and ultimately major elbow problems. To his credit, the author reveals this in the article we've been looking at for this thread. However, it should be noted that Homer has yet to have an elbow issue. Maybe it's coming, I don't know. But when a so-called expert makes a grandiose claim that a pitcher's mechanics are godawful, and that pitcher is now 23 with a clean health history, I'm going to be skeptical about that expert.
    "Baseball is a very, very complex business. It's more of a people business than most businesses." - Bob Castellini


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