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Thread: Article: Gabbin' Grapefruit: Francisco Liriano's Delivery

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    Owner All-Star Parker Hageman's Avatar
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    Article: Gabbin' Grapefruit: Francisco Liriano's Delivery


  2. #2
    Is there any way to get Twins pitching coach Rick Anderson to read this article? Mr. Hageman, your point is very insightful and sure as heck should be considered by the coaching staff. Maybe someone should mail him the article.

  3. #3
    Seems to me there's a chance that "throw downhill" is a thinly-veiled euphemism for "WOULD YOU JUST THROW THE BALL ****ING STRAIGHT FOR ONCE IN YOUR LIFE."

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    Senior Member All-Star Thrylos's Avatar
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    Liriano's release point has always been a mess. Here is what I wrote about it about 3 seasons ago (the beginning of the '09 season.) If you look at the PitchFx graphs from his performances there (in the linked post) are eerily similar to these ones. (and at that thing 3 years ago I made the same plea as Apostle43, only a tad stronger )

    Then I start watching him pitch closer and, yes, he drops occasionally. That is problem 1 and accounts for the vertical variance mostly. Problem 2 is that he has been, more than occasionally, changing the side of the rubber he stands on when facing Lefties or Righties. This is why that major horizontal variation. That practice is nuts imho and a pitching coatch should change that. The camera ankle in the Dominican games was awful so I could not see much this winter as far as that goes.

  5. #5
    Owner All-Star Parker Hageman's Avatar
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    Is there any way to get Twins pitching coach Rick Anderson to read this article? Mr. Hageman, your point is very insightful and sure as heck should be considered by the coaching staff.
    Thanks Apostle. Not sure if Andy needs my questioning but it is curious to me why he would prefer to move forward with getting Liriano to raise his arm angle/release point when he had so much more success with his methods in 2010.

    Liriano's release point has always been a mess.
    Here
    is what I wrote about it about 3 seasons ago (the beginning of the '09 season.) If you look at the PitchFx graphs from his performances there (
    in the linked post
    ) are eerily similar to these ones.
    Yes, his release point/arm action has been a knock on him since he was in the Giants organization.

    Then I start watching him pitch closer and, yes, he drops occasionally. That is problem 1 and accounts for the vertical variance mostly.
    He occasionally drops and he occasionally stretches to release more vertically -- as evidenced by the pitch f/x charts. More importantly, watching video of him while he is struggling you see that he rushes through his delivery and overthrows (pulls to the third base side, as both Anderson and Williams said) which causes him to lose command no matter which release point he has.

    Problem 2 is that he has been, more than occasionally, changing the side of the rubber he stands on when facing Lefties or Righties. This is why that major horizontal variation. That practice is nuts imho and a pitching coatch should change that.
    In theory I agree with you. We saw Matt Capps last year suddenly decide to implement shifting spots on the mound depending on if there was a lefty or righty at bat. This was strange because he had never done that before in his career. In Liriano's case, he's been practicing the rubber shifting dating back to at least 2008 (video and pitch f/x quality before then are pretty tired). It was terrible for him in 2009 and 2011 (particularly against righties who hit a combined 34 HRs off of him) but it worked well in 2010. While I would not necessarily encourage the practice, I do not see it as a problem for Liriano.

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    Owner All-Star John Bonnes's Avatar
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    Nice analysis Parker. I have a lot more to watch on Liriano than his body language, it seems.

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    Senior Member Big-Leaguer jimbo92107's Avatar
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    If I'm reading the two charts correctly, and if the two photos are representative, then the higher release point was giving Liriano a tighter snap and a better look-down angle, a phenomenon I recognize from tennis. A lot of people think that a good flat serve requires leaning as far as possible into the shot, thus theoretically giving you more forward thrust via body lean. Instead, the best serves are met higher in the air, with relatively modest body lean. The idea is to drive the heel of your hitting hand upwards and forwards, like a shot putter, then relax the hand at apex and let the racket head snap over naturally, like a mouse trap. If you do it right, you create an effortless wave of power that starts from your feet and moves up your body, ending in a loud bang as the ball explodes off your racket. A pitcher like Tim Lincecum does the same thing by executing what amounts to a low aerial cartwheel, using his entire body to create the power wave. That's why he's able to generate the fantastic power - he's using his gymnastic training to throw a baseball.
    Liriano isn't going to throw himself through the air like Lincecum, but he is able to generate a lot of pop at the top if he gets upward thrust. That's why the higher release point works so well for him.

  8. #8
    First, the disclaimer - I am a full-blown "amateur" at analyzing pitching mechanics.

    With that said .... who throws well to the plate when their momentum carries them toward the third-base on deck circle? It's like he's constantly trying to throw a bit "behind" himself.

    Find a way to get Frankie to drive all his momentum toward home plate & I'd bet he gains command.

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