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Article: Matt Hoffman Hopes His Slider Elevates His Career

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#1 John Bonnes

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Posted 02 March 2014 - 09:23 PM

You can view the page at http://twinsdaily.co...ates-His-Career

#2 Don't Feed the Greed Guy

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Posted 03 March 2014 - 08:22 AM

Great story, John. A well-written account of a 21-year-old hurler learning to become a 24-year-old pitcher. It's all there: the pitching coach in Detroit; the slider; the cat-and-mouse game of pitching backwards; the agent who knows his client, and the organizations available to him; and now a 25-year-old young man who's happy with his decision to pitch for the Twins.

Elegant delivery, in under 500 words. Nice pitching.

Edited by Don't Feed the Greed Guy, 03 March 2014 - 08:27 AM.


#3 tobi0040

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Posted 03 March 2014 - 10:42 AM

Great story, John. A well-written account of a 21-year-old hurler learning to become a 24-year-old pitcher. It's all there: the pitching coach in Detroit; the slider; the cat-and-mouse game of pitching backwards; the agent who knows his client, and the organizations available to him; and now a 25-year-old young man who's happy with his decision to pitch for the Twins.

Elegant delivery, in under 500 words. Nice pitching.


I hope for the best, but why doesn't a 23 year old MLB hopeful not know he needs the ability to throw a strike with all of his pitches? It seems elementary that if the batters know your slider will always be a ball, they will never swing at it and sit on your fastball.

#4 Don't Feed the Greed Guy

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Posted 03 March 2014 - 12:37 PM

I hope for the best, but why doesn't a 23 year old MLB hopeful not know he needs the ability to throw a strike with all of his pitches? It seems elementary that if the batters know your slider will always be a ball, they will never swing at it and sit on your fastball.


The slider, by my memory, is supposed to break down and out of the strike zone. Spotting the fastball in the zone is effective because it sets up the batter to flail away when the slider breaks out of the zone. If the batter is merely sitting on the fastball, pitching the slider for strikes is just another step in the chess game. Hoffman switched his strategy, and now throws the slider for strikes.

David Cone would pitch sliders out of the zone to right-handed batters, and he would break into the zone on left-handed batters. Roger Angell tells the story of Cone's slider in the chapter "Get a Grip" from A Pitcher's Story: Innings with David Cone.


http://www.amazon.co...e/dp/0446678465

#5 tobi0040

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Posted 03 March 2014 - 12:43 PM

The slider, by my memory, is supposed to break down and out of the strike zone. Spotting the fastball in the zone is effective because it sets up the batter to flail away when the slider breaks out of the zone. If the batter is merely sitting on the fastball, pitching the slider for strikes is just another step in the chess game. Hoffman switched his strategy, and now throws the slider for strikes.

David Cone would pitch sliders out of the zone to right-handed batters, and he would break into the zone on left-handed batters. Roger Angell tells the story of Cone's slider in the chapter "Get a Grip" from A Pitcher's Story: Innings with David Cone.


http://www.amazon.co...e/dp/0446678465


Right, if a pitcher has a slider that looks the same as fastball it is going to be a very good pitch no matter what. Chris Sale and Randy Johnson come to mind here. Most don't have that kind of slider.

#6 highlander

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Posted 03 March 2014 - 01:11 PM

looks like the twins are going to throw as many south paws at the pen as they can and see what sticks. i would like to see two quality south paws out of the bully, with out gas cans, to toe the bump. if matt is one of them "atta boy" if not glad you had fun. not everybody gets to get paid to play a kids game.

#7 strumdatjag

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Posted 03 March 2014 - 01:21 PM

We already know that a good slider from a lefty can be a strike-out pitch. It was for Francisco Liriano.

#8 ashburyjohn

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Posted 03 March 2014 - 01:54 PM

Right, if a pitcher has a slider that looks the same as fastball it is going to be a very good pitch no matter what.


I think the corollary is that if you're going to start throwing the slider for strikes, you need to throw some fastballs up and out of the zone.