Diamond's Back Foot and Twins Spring Training Dashboards
by, 03-06-2014 at 05:13 AM (507 Views)
Originally published at The Tenth Inning Stretch
The Twins lost to the Baltimore Orioles' travel squad yesterday in a pretty bad way (11-5.) Here are the Spring Training Battle Dashboards updated after yesterday's game:
For position players:
Scott Diamond's performance, even though collectively awful, and reflected by the lowest Game Score this season, it was a tale of two innings: He pitched a really excellent fifth inning (which actually made me think that he might be a decent choice for the pen potentially, if he does not make the rotation,) and a really really poor sixth inning with balls going all over the place and a hard time throwing strikes. What was the difference?
In the fifth inning he pitched fast and had a very fluid delivery. One single fluid non-stop motion. In the sixth inning he was tentative and looked like he was thinking too much about what he was throwing and it was a lot like last season. When Diamond does that, he tends to do this exaggerated pause at the end of his delivery and it is very noticeable with his back leg: The foot hangs up in the air with the cleats facing upwards and his his body parallel to the ground, and he stays there immobile for a full second or two, as the pitch is traveling to the plate and he is watching it hit the glove (or the bat or the dirt) in this position.
It might make a pretty interesting yoga posture, but not good baseball: That pitch is almost in the glove, the delivery should have ended, both feet should be on the ground and he should be ready to field his position. And all those things mentioned in the previous sentence were there for Diamond the previous (successful) inning.
I don't think that it is a cause and effect relationship (as if the exaggerated pausing and posturing would cause bad pitches) but a symptom of maybe forcing it up there or thinking too much or trying to be too perfect, instead of just pitching and letting go. He did the same pausing at the end of his delivery all last season.
Just another thing to watch this Spring.