Inside Pitch on Casey Kotchman

Inside Pitch sez,

I loved Casey Kotchman coming up, he did a lot of things right, but he was trending in the right direction.  Injuries had been his big question mark and just when it looked like he had turned the corner and was finally going to be healthy he was beaned sliding into second base....   Since then..  NOTHING. 

I have no idea if there is any real connection, but the man has been in a steady regression since then.  He should have been Mark Grace part 2, possibly with a tad more power but it's just never happened.  His pitch recognition has completely fallen apart which has resulted in a complete inability to load up on a pitch. It's been sad to watch.  Both he and Dallas McPherson should have been better. But where with Dallas we can point to the injuries and say they completely ruined his fledgling career with Casey there is that weird beaning and then a slow regression that really makes no sense.

Possibly the most bizarre thing is that Casey is a baseball lifer, most everything he used to do he had ben doing since age 5..  The man literally grew up on ballparks and lived, breathed, ate, baseball.

If you could look at the scouting videos of Casey in HS and compare them to the guy he is now, you wouldn't believe it's the same guy.   Maybe, and this is a really good possibility, but maybe he wasnt that good, he was juust so very well coached that he had an edge on less experienced players and that just wasn't going to carry him once he got to MLB.

Kotch will always be the one guy I won't ever know what the hey happened to..   Outside of that shot he took off the temple sliding into 2B, it's hard to point to any one thing.


Chance, any time you want half the blog, the offer's always open man... let's talk :- )



It's interesting that you suggest the shot off the head as being a turning point in his career.
The first thing I noticed about Kotchman, as a Mariner, is how tentative and fragile that he looks giving an interview.  His body language, his tone of voice, his eye movement, everything looks twitchy and anxious to me, as though there is an uber problem with his self-belief.
On the field, also, as he battles in the batter's box, you'll often see him grimacing as if under fate-of-the-world pressure.  He pushes through it, but...
Wouldn't consider it farfetched at all that a super-painful accident sort of robbed him of his gusto and attack.  The same thing happened to me in a motorcycle wreck.


Interesting. My initial reaction is this:
If you were "robbed" of your "gusto and attack" by a motorcycle accident, Jeff, I can't imagine what you were like before. You seem to have plenty of "gusto and attack" when you need it now!


More in certain athletic situations.
The pain of the crash was so electric and overwhelming, that now when I'm doing something that might involve a collision, I'm not quite as "who cares" as before.
I take a split-second and make sure I'm not going to catch a clothesline or what have you.  I sky 18 inches for a rebound and make sure I'm not going to twist my ankle on somebody's foot.  Stuff like that.
Not sure if that makes sense.

I.P.'s picture

That's it in a nutshell.  He's been skittish every second of every minute of every moment that he has been on the field since then -- and yes... his interviews almost come off as if he's suffering from severe personality disorder since then too.
I really want to believe that there is more to it, that maybe everyone and their brother missed something but it makes no sense at all.  Guys get older and their batting eye improves, Casey's has gone poof and it'd done so in the ugliest most uncanny of ways.  He used to GIDP cause he hit the ball hard and you could see the developing spin..  Since then he seems to "hatchet boy" every at bat...  Almost like a scared child fighting off an attacker..
You can almost certainly start his fall from grace to that shot to the side of the head.
Given the freak streak of injuries he had early on I sometimes wonder if he's not just living in some state of fear waiting for the next thing to happen.

Top Cat's picture

It's about time you commented on Krotchman.  I recall you signing his praises when he was coming up and as he arrived.  I always wondered why he went astray.
And you still owe me a call. I've got something really cool I want to show you Chance.

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