03-19-2013, 01:30 PM #1
Souhan: Glen Perkins and the Guru
One of the benefits of pitching for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic was being able to get inside the mind of four-time Cy Young Award winner, Greg Maddux. Twins' closer Glen Perkins took full advantage of pitching under a legend one night over a few beers.
The Star Tribune's Jim Souhan detailed the encounter in which the hurlers discussed their craft. The the pair shared a beer and talked pitching strategy as a baseball game on in the background. That's when Maddux hit Perk with some wisdom:
During their conversation, a spring training game played on the TV. Maddux glanced up, saw a groundball single and said, “That was a stupid pitch.”
“I didn’t even know he was watching, but he picked up on everything,” Perkins said. “A guy had swung late at an outside fastball. The pitcher came back with a breaking pitch, and the guy rolled a single through. Maddux was saying that if you throw a fastball and the batter is late, throw another fastball. That’s why he thought it was a stupid pitch.”
During another at-bat, a pitcher threw two fastballs out of the strike zone. Maddux told Perkins the next pitch should be a changeup. Conventional wisdom holds that when you’re behind 2-and-0, the next pitch should be a fastball for a strike, to avoid a walk.
Maddux turned conventional wisdom on its head.
“I said that everything I’d been taught was that you had to have the hitter swing at a harder pitch, then throw the changeup off of that,” Perkins said. “Maddux said that if the hitter was expecting a fastball, you threw a changeup because of the hitter’s expectations. I had never heard that before. It made so much sense.”@OverTheBaggy
03-19-2013, 02:24 PM #2
I hope it doesn't change his approach too much.
03-19-2013, 02:33 PM #3
Perkins likes to throw heat, heat, and more higher heat. He wants to k everyone. I'll bet he finds other ways to do that this year.
03-19-2013, 02:44 PM #4
Makes me wonder about Rick Anderson a little bit when Perkins says that nobody has ever told him to throw the opposite of what the hitter is expecting.
03-19-2013, 02:49 PM #5
Perkins had never heard of selecting pitches based on a hitter's expectation?
03-19-2013, 03:11 PM #6
03-19-2013, 03:56 PM #7
I wouldn't exactly read a whole lot into any of this....its more of a "puff piece" that makes a nice article. Nothing Maddux said was exactly revolutionary.
03-19-2013, 04:10 PM #8
Plus, Perkins throws fastball, slider... rarely throws a change. It's not like he's off-speeding anyone.
03-19-2013, 04:19 PM #9I wouldn't exactly read a whole lot into any of this....its more of a "puff piece" that makes a nice article. Nothing Maddux said was exactly revolutionary.
What is fairly intriguing (unless Perk is just blowing smoke up Souhan's keister), and PseudoSABR pointed out, is that he claimed to be unfamiliar with the idea of throwing a change on a count when a hitter is expecting a fastball.
Don't get me wrong, if I ever had a chance to chat with a childhood hero, I'd probably think whatever came out of their mouth was the most intelligent thing ever, even after hearing it a million times over.@OverTheBaggy
03-19-2013, 06:05 PM #10
Why does he think it's *called* a changeup, if it doesn't have to do with expectations? Sheesh. Perk's either miles ahead of the rest of us, or miles behind, and I know where the smart money is placed, but still, sheesh.