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INSIDE THE GAME

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#81 biggentleben

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Posted 13 December 2017 - 08:40 AM

I left it alone for people to chime in, but swing plane is one of the things that I really enjoy discussing, especially with the guys at Driveline. They have tremendous research into the makeup of the ideal swing and it's absolutely fascinating to listen to them break down a swing step by step.

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#82 Parker Hageman

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Posted 11 February 2018 - 03:45 PM

At first glance this might appear to be a big old nothingburger of a tweet but this is actually an indication of change within the surface of the organization.

 

 

For most familiar with the game, j-bands and other resistance bands are commonplace. Visit any number of youth complexes and you will often see all players warming up with these rubber tubes along the fence line. Go to an area baseball facility and you'll likely see pitchers using these in a conditioning program for arm care. 

 

Prior to this, the Twins did have some generic tubes and some instructions/programs, but Alan Jaeger's combination of j-band workouts and long toss regimens has been controversial in many organizations. Some orgs only want pitchers throwing up to 120 feet in distance while Jaeger's program often has pitchers throwing from over 300 feet. The Twins, I'm told, were on the conservative side of the long toss programs.

 

The Twins organization also had pitching coaches and instructors that were resistant to newer training methods like weighted ball programs. After one pitcher was hurt last year in spring training, some coaches blamed the injury on the weighted ball program that pitcher embraced during the offseason. Other coaches have banned the weighted balls in the bullpen as well, never mind this was a staple of Mariano Rivera's warm-up routine. 

 

In discussing pitching development with Derek Falvey last year, it was clear he was open to all and any programs that pitchers felt like they could benefit from. After all, the Indians were one organization at the front of some of these methods. Falvey did not say it in so many words but one of the major reasons the Twins hired multiple coaches out of the college ranks is because they have been more receptive to using new training methods. 

 

Most amatuer pitchers today have tried or have been exposed to these programs and training methods. It is somewhat backwards to tell a pitcher who is brought into the system they have to stop doing their preferred training and warm-up methods because someone doesn't approve for unscientific reasons. 

 

In the end, each pitcher is an individual and they should be allowed the freedom to develop in certain ways. 

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"You spend a good piece of your life gripping a baseball and in the end it turns out that it was the other way around all the time." -- Jim Bouton, "Ball Four"


#83 Parker Hageman

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Posted 26 February 2018 - 03:46 PM

GET SOME SLEEP!

 

All you high school and college players reading this, do yourself a favor and get more sleep. Student-athletes can be run ragged during the school year, with early classes and pre-school workouts, but make sure you get a solid seven-to-eight hours a night.

 

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One of the hotter topics coming out of camps this spring has been teams altering their workout schedules in order to optimize the recovery times and improve learning retention. And the data behind it shows it can do 

 

The Cardinals are one such example highlighted at MLB.com:

 

The Cardinals conducted a sleep-efficiency study on their players last spring and decided to push both the earliest optional and mandatory report times back an hour as a result. Players aren't allowed in the clubhouse before 7 a.m., and they can arrive as late as 10:30 a.m.

 

"As we went through our sleep trackers last year, we found our guys were getting less than seven good hours of sleep a night," Cards manager Mike Matheny said. "That's just not enough for what we're asking them. ... For us to get that information and not do something with it -- and not do something proactive -- I think is a misuse of the information."

 

 

The Kansas City Royals were another such club to introduce a later start time to their camp. The science behind it is to be able to retain things learned and help commit it to muscle memory more efficiently. 

 

One of those areas is sports science, the application of scientific literature to practice and training methods. The Royals sought to explore the discipline last season, hiring Austin Driggers, a minor-league strength coach with a background in sports science, to be the club’s first ever sports science coordinator.

 

 

{snip}

 

 

The benefits are basic, yet substantial. In athletes, additional sleep is connected to memory consolidation, Driggers said, the ability to both remember concepts and techniques taught during a workout and the physical muscle memory needed to master something like a baseball swing. Driggers compares the process to downloading information onto a computer hard drive. To be sleep deprived is the equivalent of turning off your computer without saving a document.

 

 

While additional sleep can help the body recover quicker, sleep has also been shown to help in other areas on the field.

 

One such 2013 study theorized that the reason hitters tended to chase more pitches outside of the strike zone as the season progressed was that they would be getting less and less sleep due to the rigorous schedule. More sleep would give a player an improved comprehension of the strike zone.  

 

Along the same line, a 2017 study found that players who received one additional hour of sleep per night for a five-night cycle have a better reaction time.

 

Results show that after five nights of sleep extension, professional baseball players from an MLB organization demonstrated a 13-percent improvement on a cognitive processing speed test by reacting 122 milliseconds faster. They also responded 66 milliseconds faster on a test of selective attention when confronted with distractors. According to the authors, a fastball takes approximately 400 milliseconds to travel from the pitcher to the hitter, requiring batters to have optimal visual search strategies to distinguish and react to different types of pitches.

 

Think about that. It's a built-in advantage for you at the plate to have a split-second more time to react to a pitch. It's one of the easiest and cheapest performance-enhancing drug out there. 

 

Yet another study found that getting more sleep can lead to longer careers. Those players who struggled to get the prerequisite shuteye found themselves out of the game sooner than those with an abundance of rest -- presumably because they let their plate discipline and reaction time slip from lack of sleep. 

 

Coaches can aid in this process as well. In Major League spring training, workouts are pushed back. In-season, teams make efforts to allow for additional sleep. Instead of arriving at 11 AM for a 7:05 PM after a cross-country flight, Cubs' manager Joe Maddon has instituted "American Legion Week". When enacted, Maddon orders his players to stay away from the ballpark until an hour before the game, opting for rest versus batting practice, going so far as saying pre-game BP is overrated (more on that at a later date). 

 

This is not a new revelation at all. Scientists have been studying the effect of sleep on the human body for years. As disinterested as they seem in the health of their players' brains at times, the NFL has been at the forefront of implementing sleep regulations. MLB teams, on the other hand, has been slower to embrace the science. While one football game can be more physically taxing, Major League Baseball's arduous schedule and cross-country travel can chip away at the sleeping habits of its workers more so that football. As the NFL study found, if players continually get four hours of sleep or less in a cycle, it's the equivalent of aging yourself 11 years. 

 

All this being said -- if it is good enough for professional athletes, it certainly would behoove you to try to get more rest. 

 

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"You spend a good piece of your life gripping a baseball and in the end it turns out that it was the other way around all the time." -- Jim Bouton, "Ball Four"


#84 Steve Lein

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Posted 27 February 2018 - 12:09 PM

My company is big on this idea and research, as demonstrated by their recent deal with the NFL!

It's legit, haha!
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Scouting Report: Power: 30, Hitting: 50, Arm: 60, Defense: 45, Speed: 45. "Line drive swing and shows good contact and on-base abilities. Double's power at his peak. Strong arm from 2B or the OF, stiff hands. Not a fast runner, but above average instincts on the bases. Skinny body doesn't look the part, but will sneak up on you. ACL surgery sapped much of his athleticism." (Probably)

#85 Parker Hageman

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Posted 27 February 2018 - 12:25 PM

 

My company is big on this idea and research, as demonstrated by their recent deal with the NFL!

It's legit, haha!

 

Care to elaborate on that?

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"You spend a good piece of your life gripping a baseball and in the end it turns out that it was the other way around all the time." -- Jim Bouton, "Ball Four"


#86 Steve Lein

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Posted 27 February 2018 - 12:40 PM

 

Care to elaborate on that?

 

I'll do so with these links:

 

http://www.startribu...tner/450665943/

 

http://www.startribu...-bed/472016353/

 

https://www.techrepu...tes-smart-beds/

 

(Page 17): http://sleepnumber.n...Paper_FINAL.pdf

 

https://blog.sleepnu...for-poor-sleep/

 

As far as the actual research conducted and numbers and what not I know about, a lot of it is probably proprietary ;)

 

 

Edited by Steve Lein, 27 February 2018 - 12:46 PM.

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Scouting Report: Power: 30, Hitting: 50, Arm: 60, Defense: 45, Speed: 45. "Line drive swing and shows good contact and on-base abilities. Double's power at his peak. Strong arm from 2B or the OF, stiff hands. Not a fast runner, but above average instincts on the bases. Skinny body doesn't look the part, but will sneak up on you. ACL surgery sapped much of his athleticism." (Probably)

#87 Parker Hageman

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Posted 07 March 2018 - 11:21 AM

If anyone has been following this thread, I'm sliding my entries over to the blog section. I feel like there is not as much community interaction I was hoping for here and the blogs will be able to make it easier to go to the newest topic without having to dig through six pages of this thread.

 

You can read the inaugural entry on Lance McCullers two-seamer here: http://twinsdaily.co...our-two-seamer/

 

 

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"You spend a good piece of your life gripping a baseball and in the end it turns out that it was the other way around all the time." -- Jim Bouton, "Ball Four"




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