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Parker Hageman

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Everything posted by Parker Hageman

  1. Thielbar is almost a completely different pitcher this second time around. And his time with Driveline and the new pitching development staff with the Twins have unlocked a lot for him. This thread is from August 2020, but it still applies today. Driveline helped him improve his spin rates/spin direction so that the fastball and the curveball now have mirror spin at nearly 100% active rates. The Twins helped him activate more lower half muscles by staying in his glute longer during the delivery process (it's probably no wonder why he's able to generate a little more velo, especially late in the season, when he's not solely generating off his quad and arm). I think this year you also see a little bit better movements out of his top half as well. He get a bit more layback in his shoulders, aiding in that slight velo increase. Credit him and the S&C staff for working on that. He's also moved over to the third base side of the rubber this year, allowing for a more direct path to the plate. As someone with that good 12-6 spin, this provides the best route and maximizes that spin direction.
  2. Wrote about Polanco's 2020 season and how there was a definite change in his swing last year. All of the changes resulted in a longer swing in 2020. This was before we found out that he was playing hurt. And this year he acknowledged that the injury was causing him to alter his swing, which makes sense: His swing got longer because he was likely trying to muscle up more, but the change also made his swing worse. This year's swing looks so much more like his 2019 cut: The output now is very similar to the 2019 juiced ball era: Polanco vs RHP 2019: 40% pull rate / .441 pull-side BA / 334 ft pull-side FB distance 2020: 38% pull rate / .229 pull-side BA / 307 ft pull-side FB distance 2021: 57% pull rate / ,417 pull-side BA / 343 ft pull-side FB distance The one other notable change in-season this year is that he opened his stance more and backed away from the plate, given him much better barrel coverage throughout the entire zone: He's a switch-hitter, obviously, but because he faces more right-handed pitchers, his left-side swing really has to carry him through the season. His performance from the right-side has been almost the same over the last three years so finding his swing from the left-side was much needed.
  3. Is that backed by some data or based off of visual scouting reports?
  4. Jack Morris has drawn sharp criticism after delivering comments in an Asian accent. The Tigers broadcaster later apologized in the ninth inning of the game saying that he did not "intend for any offensive thing" and offered an apology to the Asian community. You can read more on the story on ESPN. Here are some reactions:
  5. One of the things that always gets me about watching games from that era and prior to it is the absolute lack of advertising. Look at Metrodome. There are like three tiny advertisements on the ring between decks. The two scoreboards at the top of the upper deck were flanked by two Winston and Coke ads. I know we are at where we are at as a society in sports* because there is money to be made (by owners) and money to be paid (to players) but I wouldn't mind it if we went away from the constant bombardment of ads at every inch of space in the stadium and during the broadcasts. I was recently watching Game 7 of the 1987 World Series and comparing it to the 2019 ALDS game versus the Yankees. It's absurd how many more direct ("brought to you by...") and indirect (signage at the stadium) advertisements there is between the two eras. Hate sounding like an old man yelling at clouds over here but I got to think there is some effect from all of this. *Not just sports.
  6. Yes! I stream games on AT&T on my Roku device. It just randomly fades out. Wasn't sure if it was my internet or the app.
  7. And music videos. Remember music videos? Wasn't there a channel that used to play nothing but music videos on TV?
  8. For those seeking a little nostalgia: Musical artist and parachute pants enthusiast MC Hammer posted a video of him taking batting practice at the Metrodome, donning a Twins uniform and everything. The former Oakland A's bat boy says he took a trip down to the Dome while he was living at Paisley Park and finishing up his 2 Legit 2 Quit album. The album was released in October of 1991 -- a very good year for the Minnesota Twins -- but the footage must be from the 1990 season. We see glimpses of Randy Bush (25) taking soft toss into a net, Kent Hrbek lurking in the background, and hitting coach Tony Oliva chatting it up with Hammer -- all of whom were on the team in 1991. However, it's not the 1991 squad because John Moses (1) is throwing Hammer batting practice. Moses, who hit .276 in 3 seasons with the team, would become a free agent in November 1990 and would not return to the 1991 World Series run, signing with the Tigers instead (all-time pinch runner Jarvis Brown would acquire Moses' uniform number). Moses did more than just throw the occasional batting practice: he was one of the first iterations of position players to pitch for the Minnesota Twins. He make three appearances between 1989 and 1990 seasons, allowing 3 runs on 5 hits and 3 walks. He did not record a strikeout. Hammer is wearing number 37 -- pitcher Paul Abbott's number. Abbott, who was a rookie in 1990, wouldn't make his major league debut until August of that year. So it's likely Hammer did not have to buy Abbott a Rolex for the use of his number. While we're on the subject, go ahead and throw out your favorite late 1980s/early 1990s Twins' memories. Did you take BP like MC Hammer did? Did you collect empty souvenir beer cups after everyone left? Who was your low-key favorite player? Did you remember a specific game?
  9. Who is the most impressive talent you’ve seen with the Saints?
  10. Jax made some important adjustments when he was sent back down to St. Paul. When he returned, he added 2 inches of induced vertical break (more carry) and an improved slider. Fastball | First 5 outings: 15.6 IVB, 1:32 spin direction at release, .293 BAA Fastball | Last 4 outings: 17.3 IVB, 1:21 spin direction, .194 BAA (albeit those were some HAMMERED home runs off of Sox bats) This is notable because the added carry gives his fastball ride (a combination of carry and run). If you look at the top induced vertical break pitchers, you'll find that most have a spin direction close to 12:00. That's essentially the pure backspin fastball. At 1:20, Jax's fastball now not only has above average carry (16.1 MLB avg), but it has run that darts into a right-handed hitter. His slider's performance is much better: Slider | First 5 outings: .429 BAA, 12% swing strike rate Slider | Last 4 outings: .040 BAA, 22% swing strike rate He adjusted his release point for his slider, letting it go a few inches higher than before and it appears to have added a few inches of vertical drop. I don't know what these means for him going forward. The fastball is intriguing. It's not a unicorn but it's a bit of an outlier and outliers can flummox hitters. The slider is showing signs of being a tough pill. Stay tuned.
  11. If you are planning on going to the Mall of America, it's always neat to show kids the place where home plate for Met Stadium used to be. Then you can point way up to the wall across all the rides and see the seat Harmon Killebrew hit his home run into. That blew my daughter's mind when she was young. Squirrel nailed a lot of things to do around the town. I'll add going to Minnehaha Falls -- good trails to walk around there.
  12. @mnfireman That's a really good point about the 3-batter rule. What is interesting is the reliever ERA league-wide is 4.16 -- which is down from 4.43 in 2019 -- but the inherited run scored percentage is up to 34.9 from 31.9. You have to wonder if the increased IRA is partially a byproduct of a manager leaving a pitcher out for those extra few hitters, allowing them to reach, and then pulling that pitcher after 3 plate appearances instead of the one in prior years. It's weird. Relievers have a much lower batting average allowed, on-base, slugging against and home runs allowed than 2019 but more runners on base are scoring.
  13. I think the Twins tried to construct a bullpen similar to their 2020 one -- a pen that was reliant on breaking balls instead of fastballs. In the off-season, they acquired established personnel that would fit that blueprint (Colome, Robles) to replace guys like Romo, Clippard and May while adding Matt Wisler-like arms that could potentially fire sliders (Derek Law, Luke Ferrell, Glenn Sparkman, Ian Hamilton) like he did. I don't think anyone thought Colome was going to regress this much. Maybe they were too optimistic on Jorge Alcala and Cody Stashak taking strides forward. Or that Randy Dobnak would become a strong reliever. Maybe they believed too much in their system that they could create a reliever off the waivers like they had done in the past (Shaun Anderson). With no reliable relievers at the beginning of the year, it's hard for me to challenge the Twins' in-game bullpen management. Whatever button Rocco pushed was set to implode. It will be interesting to see how the Twins handle this off-season with their bullpen. They are clearly auditioning some arms now. Do they stick to the same script and find a few established free agent arms while grabbed up an assortment of slider-throwers to see what sticks? Do they go out and try to trade for some? Do they pivot away from the breaking ball-heavy plan and try to get power arms?
  14. Speaking of trying to attract a younger audience...it would appear that MLB and Barstool Sports are in talks for Barstool to potentially broadcast some games: Love or hate Barstool, you can't argue that they aren't grabbing what MLB sees as prime demographics. From CivicScience.com article in August 2019: I doubt this development will do anything for our current community members who have commented here but the notion that MLB could broadcast their games on Barstool's multiple platforms (Twitter, YouTube and Instagram) that is dominated by younger consumers must be very appealing.
  15. His slider was a work in progress this offseason. Because he has altered his arm angle and is now presetting his wrist angle for his fastball (trying to increase the vertical carry numbers), he felt that his slider needed more work. You can see the shape on some of those in this video from May. It's ok, he just needs to get more consistent with it. The thing that I want to stress about him is that because of his low release point and high fastball carry, his attack angle plays a lot like Josh Hader. Obviously he's not as side-windy or coming at hitters from close to the first base bag, but what makes his fastball difficult to hit is that it come out of a low slot and then the ball just doesn't fall. So, data-wise, Varland has that effect. The velocity is really nice, don't get me wrong, but the special sauce is that angle plus carry.
  16. Not necessarily the hinge pattern but trying to engage hip drive more. I will also add that he has blamed his new leg issues on this change.
  17. Not sure how Aaron made his calculations but all non-Bally teams are down 3.6% since 2019. That's not a terrible number One of the team's doing the most heavy lifting is the Los Angeles Dodgers. They are up almost 50% since 2019. The biggest factor is that they had what amounted to a multi-year blackout of broadcasts end in 2020, giving more residents of the market access to watch their games locally. I suppose if you are looking for a case study of whether Bally's limiting the access will effect a team's viewership, the answer is it doesn't have to. It only takes building a competitive team that wins a World Series and the eyeballs come flooding back. Not hard at all.
  18. @Brock Beauchamp I like that take. I do think that baseball's leadership has recognized things have unraveled on them. While I wouldn't say they are necessarily afraid to change their rules, I think they have done some haphazardly while being very deliberate about other changes. They've thrown some into action right away (the 3 batters, runner on 2nd in extras, no sticky stuff). But the bigger picture rule changes they are trying out at the lower levels to see what happens. I think by trying some variations at the minor league levels (i.e., robo zone, big bases, pushing the mound back), it gives them an opportunity to see how that might influence the game play, which is probably a good thing. I've seen the robo zone in action at the AFL level and hitters are not ready to handle that particular strike zone (some adjustments need to be made yet). MLB's game would be drastically different if that were in effect. They probably are reacting 5 years too late for some of this but I think it's good that they are trying.
  19. @LA VIkes Fan Interesting comments. I'm intrigued by the notion that you dislike some of the "newer" elements of the game -- like the increase in shifts -- but also say the game is afraid to make changes. I think the game has changed a lot over the last 5-10 years and still evolving. Would you say those "newer" changes are not good for the game? Outside of keeping the shift from happening, are there other changes you would make to make the game more exciting?
  20. If the Twins were competitive this year, would you watch more games -- even if you feel the baseball is bad? Or has the on-field product across the board reduced your interest in watching the game?
  21. According to a recent Forbes article, viewership in baseball has declined significantly in most markets. Here in the Twin Cities, there has been a 55% decrease in viewers compared to the 2019 season. There are the obvious reasons why: First, Bally Sports North has been a clusterbleep. They have no presence on platforms like YouTubeTV and Hulu, giving the cord-cutters little option to even watch the game. Second, the team has been abysmal and most, if not all, of the bottom-dwelling teams across the league have seen their numbers crater. But there's also the notion that the pandemic has influenced people's viewing habits -- that perhaps bigger issues have arisen making sitting down nightly for a game a little less palpable. Furthermore, there is the idea that the game has changed enough on the field that it is offering a less entertaining brand of baseball. Fewer balls in play has diluted the quality and has turned away a segment of the population. We're looking for some anecdotal feedback. This community is obviously of the die-hard variety but habits do change. Are you consuming about the same amount of games? Fewer? If so, why?
  22. That's the hip hinge. Getting pitchers to hinge (bend) at the hip is very vogue right now. One way to get that feel is if you are doing squats in the proper form (with the knees behind the toes). As pitchers gather, they bend a bit at the waist/hip and corkscrew into the back hip/upper leg. Their upper half will be able to stack behind their leg. With a proper hinge pattern, they can maintain that ground force through the entire foot as they drive home, utilizing all the leg muscles rather than becoming quad dominate (and more rotational in the back leg). Some pitchers/athletes are much better at this movement pattern than others. Some are naturally able to move that way while others will need a lot of training/side work in order to be able execute it. Does that give you a better idea of how that works?
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