Everything from March is "noise," distracting at best and misleading at worst. Well, at times it can be helpful; if a player's component skill set is completely different, maybe. Or a pitcher adds a pitch. Or an injured guy is jumping up and down like a jumping bean. Or, specifically, if Marc-O Gonzales' changeup is clocking 79 MPH instead of 85 MPH.
Henceforth Dr. D offers his tongue-in-cheek reaction to the noise we've gotten the last coupla days.
...well, I want to join you and have hope, so I'll just call attention to the comments from Felix after his last bullpen session in which he raved about his mechanics being free and easy for the first time in a while and the coaches all liked what they saw.
Refreshed Felix giving us an ERA in the threes would really REALLY help.
Dr. D sees Felix as very well-rested the last two-three years, in context, and a candidate for a bouncy comeback to start with. The more he's feeling his oats in March the happier we'll be. A 92 fastball, and a reach of the glove to the catcher in a hurry to throw the next pitch .... off we go.
ANDREW MOORE'S MAKEUP
Shannon Drayer axed Servais was he was hoping for over the next few weeks on Moore and Miranda:
"With Andrew Moore it was the first time in his career he ever struggled,” Servais pointed out. “You find out a lot about people when they do struggle, when they face adversity, and can they bounce back. What adjustments do they make? He has looked very good this spring so far and there are a couple of adjustments our pitching group, Mel (Stottlemyre Jr.) and Jim Brower an Brian DeLunas have brought to his attention and he has addressed it and hopefully it continues and shows well on the field once the games start.”
So Skip allos a mild "attaboy" on the attitude he's seeing right now, which must be 'Frame-adjusted up to "good" considering how hard is is to go out on a limb much for Andrew Moore before he shows the QS's to justify same.
With Moore, that struggling was born in the fact that his slider is not good enough to be thrown except as a nibble pitch, a slider starting in the zone and breaking out. The curve, even more so.
His cutting, rising, well-located fastball is ML bread and butter, and his changeup has the makings of a putaway pitch.
So for Andrew Moore and the 'Frame it's all real simple. The more he pitches like Hisashi Iwakuma -- ladder pitch, 0-1 count, nibble slider, change for shuuto, the better off we are.
Miranda has to cut down on homers, we're told, which is a little like saying a .132 hitter has to get his average up. The key? Being willing to throw secondary pitches when behind in the count - any ML hitter can sit dead red on 2-1, and if the pitch misses a little, they're changing the scoreboard.
Watching Miranda is tougher. He has to throw the 80 MPH "splitter" in hitter's counts -- anywhere in the zone is fine, now -- and then it's better yet if he can mix the 84 "changeup" to steal a strike one.
Failing that he'd better be able to jam hitters effectively, or else have the luck go his way.
DIAZ: STORM GATHERING
Good read on Edwin Diaz' progress as a year-3 player. It makes sense that young pitchers should gradually improve their release points, and Dipoto advises us that such is the case early in camp. Fine by Dr. D.