Jump to content

Providing independent coverage of the Minnesota Twins.
Subscribe to Twins Daily Email
Photo

Article: Report From The Fort: Home Run Derby

phil hughes byron buxton jorge polanco jose berrios
  • Please log in to reply
33 replies to this topic

#21 diehardtwinsfan

diehardtwinsfan

    Twins Moderator

  • Twins Mods
  • 10,629 posts
  • LocationThe charred ruins of BYTO

Posted 13 March 2017 - 07:40 AM

yeah, definitely encouraging on the Hughes front.Hitting 92 is something he didn't do much last spring at all if I remember right. Add to it that the HRs came off the changeups, which we know he's working on. That was never a big pitch for him, though it would be nice if he could work it enough to setup the fastball.


#22 Hosken Bombo Disco

Hosken Bombo Disco

    Minnesota Twins

  • Members
  • 6,880 posts

Posted 13 March 2017 - 08:19 AM

You seem to have a dubious understanding of how spring training works, my friend. Hughes was intentionally going to perhaps his weakest pitch in bunches (Vavra said he believes it's the most changeups Hughes has ever thrown) in order work on it. The 103 games the Twins lost last year mattered and this one did not.
 
Yes, it was encouraging. He took a clear step forward in some meaningful ways. He was getting whiffs with his slider. It's not immaterial that he's working at 91 with the FB and hitting 92 when we're not halfway through March. That pitch averaged 90.7 and 90.5 the last two years.

Fair enough, but in the original article there wasn't this much emphasis or detail. There could be still more detail, like how hard was he throwing in the fifth compared to the first, or what his pitch breakdown was, and so on. The velocity is nice to see. He also hit a batter. Is he one of the guys learning to "pitch inside"? :)

I could care less about how Erv Santana and most of the other starters do this season, as long as theirs arms aren't falling off, which seems to be the only hurdle Hughes needs to clear to get into the rotation. It couldn't have been a typical offseason for him. It would be nice to see him get a couple guys out this spring, work on some 1-2-3 innings, not just the mere act of throwing off a mound equals success. But it sounds like he feels really good, so there's that.
When I hear a pitcher is throwing a “simulated game” my first thought is that he repeated the opposing lineup 10,000 times. - Jonathan Judge

#23 D.C Twins

D.C Twins

    Cedar Rapids

  • Members
  • 135 posts

Posted 13 March 2017 - 07:08 PM

So I guess what we can all agree on then is that his change-up is still a non-starter (after many years).... It will be interesting to see how long the current experiment lasts.


#24 Brock Beauchamp

Brock Beauchamp

    Owner

  • Administrators
  • 18,037 posts

Posted 15 March 2017 - 08:39 AM

 

"Outside of the homers, it was mostly an encouraging outing."  I am still trying to wrap my mind around this assessment.  Other than losing 103 games last year the Twins looked pretty good!?  5 innings, 4 runs - I do not see the silver lining other than the fact his arm did not fall off. 

What's wrong with that assessment? Nick noted three things:

 

1. The wind was blowing out in the stadium.

2. Hughes is returning from a serious injury and hit 92mph (though the gun may be generous).

3. Hughes was throwing a pitch with which he's not fully comfortable, which led to the homers.

 

Spring Training isn't (or at least shouldn't be) entirely about results, especially for veterans.


#25 Brock Beauchamp

Brock Beauchamp

    Owner

  • Administrators
  • 18,037 posts

Posted 15 March 2017 - 08:42 AM

 

Fair enough, but in the original article there wasn't this much emphasis or detail.

That's not really fair, as I didn't watch the game and Nick's write-up was the only thing I read about it... yet I gleaned all of those points from Nick's article.

  • Nick Nelson and gbg like this

#26 mikelink45

mikelink45

    Junior Member

  • Members
  • 985 posts

Posted 15 March 2017 - 08:45 AM

 

What's wrong with that assessment? Nick noted three things:

 

1. The wind was blowing out in the stadium.

2. Hughes is returning from a serious injury and hit 92mph (though the gun may be generous).

3. Hughes was throwing a pitch with which he's not fully comfortable, which led to the homers.

 

Spring Training isn't (or at least shouldn't be) entirely about results, especially for veterans.

Perhaps Spring Training is a good time to learn how not to give up HRs when the wind is blowing out, or in Hughes case, not to give up so many under any circumstances.  I understand he is returning from injury and I want to see him succeed, but I do not want to give gratuitous pats on the back when they are not earned.  No "at a boys" for a performance like this and no balling out.  Move on is the only thing to do, but realistically.

 


#27 Brock Beauchamp

Brock Beauchamp

    Owner

  • Administrators
  • 18,037 posts

Posted 15 March 2017 - 08:50 AM

 

Perhaps Spring Training is a good time to learn how not to give up HRs when the wind is blowing out, or in Hughes case, not to give up so many under any circumstances.  I understand he is returning from injury and I want to see him succeed, but I do not want to give gratuitous pats on the back when they are not earned.  No "at a boys" for a performance like this and no balling out.  Move on is the only thing to do, but realistically.

The guy is learning to throw a new (better) pitch. That's literally one of the main reasons Spring Training exists in the first place.

 

Looking at a Spring Training stat line is how we get Aaron Hicks' 2013 season.

 

How much success do you expect Hughes to have when batters see he's leaning heavily on a new pitch and throwing it far more often than he would in a regular season game so he can get a feel for it?

 

As Nick mentioned, two of the three homers were off Hughes' changeup. How many homers does Hughes allow if he doesn't throw that pitch? One? Zero? Seven?

 

That's why Spring Training stat lines don't matter... because pitchers often aren't playing the way they would in a regular season game.

  • gbg likes this

#28 mikelink45

mikelink45

    Junior Member

  • Members
  • 985 posts

Posted 15 March 2017 - 08:59 AM

 

The guy is learning to throw a new (better) pitch. That's literally one of the main reasons Spring Training exists in the first place.

 

Looking at a Spring Training stat line is how we get Aaron Hicks' 2013 season.

 

How much success do you expect Hughes to have when batters see he's leaning heavily on a new pitch and throwing it far more often than he would in a regular season game so he can get a feel for it?

 

As Nick mentioned, two of the three homers were off Hughes' changeup. How many homers does Hughes allow if he doesn't throw that pitch? One? Zero? Seven?

 

That's why Spring Training stat lines don't matter... because pitchers often aren't playing the way they would in a regular season game.

I can agree with your posting.  I enjoy your comments and I wanted to get a second reaction from you.  I have a little different take - not on stats, but performance in Spring, but like your comments and reactions.


#29 Brock Beauchamp

Brock Beauchamp

    Owner

  • Administrators
  • 18,037 posts

Posted 15 March 2017 - 09:06 AM

 

I can agree with your posting.  I enjoy your comments and I wanted to get a second reaction from you.  I have a little different take - not on stats, but performance in Spring, but like your comments and reactions.

Hey, I'm as skeptical as anyone about Hughes being in the Opening Day rotation but I'm not going to use a stat line to make a decision.

 

It's almost impossible for me to care less about the homers. What matters to me is that velocity. If the Hammond Stadium gun is accurate (and many reports suggest it is not), that's an encouraging sign... no, that's an understatement. That's an extremely positive sign and one that should get Hughes into the rotation on its own.

 

If Hughes is throwing 92mph, he's one of the five best starters in the organization (maybe even the best starter in the org). End of story. If he's throwing 92mph and turns his change into an average pitch, he could be a well above average starter again.

 

But I'm skeptical any of that will happen, especially based on a single game in mid-March.

  • mikelink45 likes this

#30 Hosken Bombo Disco

Hosken Bombo Disco

    Minnesota Twins

  • Members
  • 6,880 posts

Posted 15 March 2017 - 09:46 AM

What's wrong with that assessment? Nick noted three things:
 
1. The wind was blowing out in the stadium.

All Nick said was "the ball was flying out." Interesting that you read that as "wind was blowing out" and I read it as "yep, sounds like Hughsie" :)
  • ashburyjohn likes this
When I hear a pitcher is throwing a “simulated game” my first thought is that he repeated the opposing lineup 10,000 times. - Jonathan Judge

#31 Brock Beauchamp

Brock Beauchamp

    Owner

  • Administrators
  • 18,037 posts

Posted 15 March 2017 - 09:59 AM

 

All Nick said was "the ball was flying out." Interesting that you read that as "wind was blowing out" and I read it as "yep, sounds like Hughsie" :)

True, I misread that statement a bit.

 

But that doesn't really change the story much. Hughes was working on a new pitch and it's the middle of March.


#32 USAFChief

USAFChief

    ɹǝɯoפ

  • Twins Mods
  • 17,335 posts
  • LocationTucson

Posted 15 March 2017 - 11:10 AM

It's easy to write off HRs off Hughes' changeup as "working on a pitch in ST."

 

The problem with that, of course, is that off-speed stuff has been Hughes primary weakness throughout his career, in particular lack of a deceptive change.

 

So, while it's good that he's working on it, it's also concerning that it appears he's not fooling anyone with it.  

I am not the paranoid you're looking for.


#33 Brock Beauchamp

Brock Beauchamp

    Owner

  • Administrators
  • 18,037 posts

Posted 15 March 2017 - 11:18 AM

 

It's easy to write off HRs off Hughes' changeup as "working on a pitch in ST."

 

The problem with that, of course, is that off-speed stuff has been Hughes primary weakness throughout his career, in particular lack of a deceptive change.

 

So, while it's good that he's working on it, it's also concerning that it appears he's not fooling anyone with it.  

To me, it really boils down to when he was using the pitch. Did hitters know it was coming because Hughes had just thrown two consecutive changeups after throwing three more to the previous batter?

 

A deception pitch is usually only deceptive if the hitter doesn't know it's coming.

 

All in all, I can't judge much from a single start. If Hughes is mixing in the change better two starts from now and it's still getting hammered, then maybe it's a problem.


#34 USAFChief

USAFChief

    ɹǝɯoפ

  • Twins Mods
  • 17,335 posts
  • LocationTucson

Posted 15 March 2017 - 01:42 PM

 

To me, it really boils down to when he was using the pitch. Did hitters know it was coming because Hughes had just thrown two consecutive changeups after throwing three more to the previous batter?

 

A deception pitch is usually only deceptive if the hitter doesn't know it's coming.

 

All in all, I can't judge much from a single start. If Hughes is mixing in the change better two starts from now and it's still getting hammered, then maybe it's a problem.

All true.  Let's hope.  

 

Hughes represents a chance for some serious positive regression.  Something approximating 2014 would be a pretty welcome sight.   

  • snepp likes this

I am not the paranoid you're looking for.




Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: phil hughes, byron buxton, jorge polanco, jose berrios