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.


Jason said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jason said...

I'd def have to respectfully disagree with this post. Your basically implying that Eiland and Girardi are in disagreement about their pitchers throwing strikes. I'm sure Eiland is not telling the kids not to throw strikes, and to nibble on the corners. In fact he has stated many times that they need to get ahead of hitters and throw strikes. I'm sure Girardi and Eiland both see eye to eye on the need to pitch in the strike zone.

As for the Guidry argument...Kennedy pitched 3 major league games last year so any impact Guidry had on him was insignifigant. Hughes started at AAA last year where he was successful before being called up. Who was the AAA pitching coach? Dave Eiland.

In fact one of the reason to bring Eiland aboard was because of how glowingly the young kids talked about Eiland.

Sorry but this Eiland/Guidry theory doesn't hold much weight.

YankeeFan said...

I see we are on the same page on this.

Mike said...


Even though we disagree, I appreciate you making a comment and visiting New York Yankees Update.

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