26 April 2008
If young players are influenced by their coaches, this might explain the troubles of Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy this season.
Last season these guys looked almost invincible. They aggressively attacked strike zone, throwing strikes.
Their pitching coach last year was Ron Guidry. Guidry was a successful pitcher with a hard slider. One of the keys to his success was that he aggressively attacked strike zone, throwing strikes.
This year Hughes and Kennedy look more reserved, more timid. Nibbling for corners, rarely going inside and walking too many.
Their pitching coach this season is Dave Eiland. Eiland was a failure as a major league pitcher. Eiland spent his carreer nibbling for corners, rarely going inside and walking too many.
All that timid pitching lead Eiland to a 12-27 record, with a 5.74 ERA, .303 BAA, .356 OBP and a .476 SLG.
Joe Girardi recently said that he expects his pitchers to "throw strikes." This leads me to believe that Joe and Dave are not on the same page.
Joe is looking for aggressiveness as Eiland is preaching a more reserved method.
Guys like Mike Mussina, Jimmy Key and Greg Maddux were very successful nibblers, living on the corners. They could also be aggressive and throw some heat.
Look at Mussina today, the fastball is slower and hitters are catching up to it. He's resorted to more nibbling, pitching more defensively than aggressively. His last start was good, his others not so good.
Mussina has taken Kennedy under his wing. Kennedy is looking more like the Mussina of today than how he should look, like the Mussina of 10 years ago. Couple that with the Eiland philosophy and you have trouble brewing.
The veteran pitchers need to step up and mentor these young men on attacking the zone, going after the hitter.
Things needs to change, fast.
Advertise on NYYU
Make me an offer. pins.....................@yahoo.com