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May 01, 2007

THT Carlos Gomez On Phil Hughes

This feature is a must-read for Yankees fans today. Gomez thinks that "it looks like he [Hughes] opens up too soon, and costs him velocity." That would explain what I saw the other day - a guy living in the low 90's as opposed to the mid-90's. It will be interesting to see if this report brings cause for any changes in Hughes' delivery - or, at the least, some consideration towards making a change.

Posted by Steve Lombardi at May 1, 2007 10:37 AM

Comments

It will be interesting to see if this report brings cause for any changes in Hughes' delivery - or, at the least, some consideration towards making a change.
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Given what we know about pitching coaches, I'd have to say "no"

Posted by: Raf [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 1, 2007 11:17 AM

Here's my reaction to this:

Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

Who the hell is Carlos Gomez?

There's also some rather large flaws: The first video he shows as an example of Hughes with better mechanics is from the Futures Game, where Hughes elevated a fastball and gave up a home run. He also claims that the first video was a pitch at 95 and the second at 91. The Futures game was on ESPN, with its classically jacked-up radar gun. So that pitch could just as easily been 93. The Stadium had Hughes clocked at 93-95 the entire game. And YES had him 91-94 until that last inning, when suddenly he was down to 90. In other words -- radar guns are pretty much useless; you judge a fastball by the reaction of the hitters.

Hughes has very clean mechanics; he knows, and Dave Eiland (his AA and AAA pitching coach) knows, where his mechanics need to be (a lot more than Carlos Gomez, whoever he is). With these same mechanics, Hughes struck out 10 and walked no one in his last AAA start.

I'll take Hughes and Eiland over Mr. Gomez for now.

Posted by: baileywalk [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 1, 2007 12:26 PM

Steve,

This is Carlos Gomez, the writer of the article at THT.
You comments are spot on on what you watched in Hughes' first start. Yeah, he has good stuff, but certainly not "electric."

I REALLY want to buy into the Hughes hype, but his mechanics don't allow me to do so.

Posted by: ChadBradfordWannabe [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 1, 2007 12:28 PM

One more thing I'd like to point out. In terms of his mechanics, you know who he reminds me of? And I HATE to say this: Jaret Wright. I plan on doing a side-by-side of Hughes and Wright...

Posted by: ChadBradfordWannabe [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 1, 2007 12:32 PM

All this talk of mechanics just reminded me that I have to go get my car's muffler bearings checked.

Does anyone know if Carlos Gomez can fix that for me too?

Posted by: Garcia [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 1, 2007 12:49 PM

In considering Hughes's mechanics and his chance for injury or effectiveness, how many pitchers have perfect or close to perfect mechanics to the level of scrutiny being employed here? It seems like Hughes is being put under the microscope in a way that would cast a poor light on a huge number of successful pitchers.

But maybe that's just my impression. Maybe Steve or Mr. Gomez could comment on that?

Posted by: DFLNJ [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 1, 2007 12:59 PM

~~~The Stadium had Hughes clocked at 93-95 the entire game. And YES had him 91-94 until that last inning, when suddenly he was down to 90. In other words -- radar guns are pretty much useless; you judge a fastball by the reaction of the hitters.~~~

FWIW, I went back to the tape of that game, the other day. Hughes was at 90 in his last inning, around Pitch #89. But, he was also just barely touching 90, on the YES gun, around Pitch #77 too.

It's not like he dropped down to 90 all of a sudden at the end. He was around 90, most of the game.

Posted by: Steve Lombardi [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 1, 2007 01:09 PM

Who the hell is Carlos Gomez?
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According to THT, he's a retired professional baseball player...

Anyway it couldn't hurt to have another set of eyes looking at his mechanics.

Jaret Wright? Interesting comp, but I don't see it.

Posted by: Raf [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 1, 2007 01:10 PM

In considering Hughes's mechanics and his chance for injury or effectiveness, how many pitchers have perfect or close to perfect mechanics to the level of scrutiny being employed here? It seems like Hughes is being put under the microscope in a way that would cast a poor light on a huge number of successful pitchers.
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Not really. Mark Prior is another pitcher whose mechanics I've seen dissected over the net. I've seen Bartolo Colon, Randy Johnson, and quite a few other pitchers. If you'd like, I can provide forum links when I get home

Posted by: Raf [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 1, 2007 01:27 PM

It's not like he dropped down to 90 all of a sudden at the end. He was around 90, most of the game.
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Okay, you win, Hughes is a junkballer! As I just stated, radar guns are useless. You never know exactly how accurate they are. You seem very eager to believe every report of Alberto Gonzalez's fielding, but you don't believe the numerous scouts who has stated again and again, since last year when Hughes started in AA, that he throws his fastball 91-95. I've seen him do that with my own eyes. He's a big guy who's primarily a four-seam fastball pitcher -- whatever the YES gun might have said, he doesn't throw his fastball 89-90. And even if he did, he has such success with it that it doesn't matter. If hitters are swinging and missing and being set up by a 90 mph four-seamer, then so be it.

"I REALLY want to buy into the Hughes hype, but his mechanics don't allow me to do so."

Ha, ha, ha. Okayyyyyy. Scouts have consistently made mention about how clean Hughes' mechanics are. But brave iconoclast Mr. Gomez sees them as not fitting of a true prospect. Hmm. Sure. And then a comp to Jaret Wright? Jaret Wright, when health and young, was a flame-thrower with no control. The complete OPPOSITE of Hughes. Wright later in life, and less healthy, was a guy who couldn't get anything -- his fastball, change or curve -- over the plate. Again, the complete opposite of Hughes, who has excellent control.

Comparing someone like Hughes to Wright -- even from a mechanics standpoint, where Wright is a mess -- makes you assertions easily dismissible.

Posted by: baileywalk [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 1, 2007 01:45 PM

~~~Okay, you win, Hughes is a junkballer! ~~~

baileywalk, congrats. You are the king at putting words in my mouth that I never said. When did I ever say he was a junk-baller? Com'on now.

Posted by: Steve Lombardi [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 1, 2007 02:13 PM

FWIW, IIRC, someone (YES?) did make a case that Hughes, from the stretch, is a carbon copy of Roger Clemens' delivery. That can't be a bad thing, IMHO.

Posted by: Steve Lombardi [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 1, 2007 02:24 PM

Good grief! I really mean it, good grief!!

First start in MLB and complain, dissect, knock the guy. He needed to adjust to AA less than a year ago, think about it, less than a year ago from high A to AA. Might not pitching in the Big Show also take some getting used to. Ya think?

Posted by: Don [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 1, 2007 02:29 PM

"FWIW, IIRC, someone (YES?) did make a case that Hughes, from the stretch, is a carbon copy of Roger Clemens' delivery. That can't be a bad thing, IMHO."
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If Hughes continues with this mini-Clemens approach, and Clemens comes out of his semi-retirement to a team other than the Yankees, it would be interesting to see the two pitch against each other. Though to see that, he would likely have to go to the AL, i.e. the Red Sox, and no one wants that.

Posted by: snowball003 [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 1, 2007 02:33 PM

Comparing someone like Hughes to Wright -- even from a mechanics standpoint, where Wright is a mess --
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Wright's mechanics were pretty straightforward, from what I remember.

Posted by: Raf [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 1, 2007 03:02 PM

First start in MLB and complain, dissect, knock the guy. He needed to adjust to AA less than a year ago, think about it, less than a year ago from high A to AA. Might not pitching in the Big Show also take some getting used to. Ya think?
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Level of pitching has little to do with Hughes being mechanically sound or unsound, or changes he may or may not have made to his delivery.

Posted by: Raf [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 1, 2007 03:05 PM

Look fellas. I went into this TRYING to like Phil Hughes. I'm looking to get into scouting/player development, so the safe thing would be to say "I love Hughes mechanics."
EVERYONE likes his "clean" mechanics. I just don't see them. Here's what I came to realize. If someone would've shown me Hughes' video without telling me who he is, I wouldn't have though that they are befitting of the #1 pitching prospect in baseball...that's all.

RE: Jaret Wright

Christ almighty. I'm not saying he's Jaret Wright. I'm just saying that his delivery reminds me a bit of Jaret Wright, especially his arm action. Comparing his mechanics to Roger Clemens (like I've seen before) is absolutely ludicrous. Not the same ballpark, not the same league, not even the same bleeping sport. By tomorrow, I will hopefully post a side-by-side of Hughes vs. Wright. I could be wrong, but those were my thoughts.

Carlos

Posted by: ChadBradfordWannabe [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 1, 2007 03:16 PM

baileywalk, congrats. You are the king at putting words in my mouth that I never said. When did I ever say he was a junk-baller? Com'on now.
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You ever hear of sarcasm, Steve? I was joking. People make exaggerated statements that are deliberately false to prove a point. Now you have me defining sarcasm. Dear God.

Anyway, I've found that talking about pitching -- all aspects -- velocity, mechanics, potential of a pitcher, etc. -- is like talking politics: everyone has their own thought and belief on the subject and trying to convince someone else of your belief is near impossible and it just leads to a lot of back-and-forth anger.

I've read scout after scout who says Hughes' motion is an asset. I've read scout after scout who put his velocity in that 91-95 range (which means he sits around 92-93, reaches back for 95, and will throw 91 on occasion).

Since Roger Clemens, as Verducci recently and smartly pointed out, is THE model used for young pitchers -- he said basically that every high school coach uses Clemens' delivery to show kids how to pitch -- it's not surprising if most young pitchers today share a similarity to his motion. Hughes included.

No ill-will toward Mr. Gomez and I wish him luck with his future scouting career, but I couldn't disagree more about Hughes.

Posted by: baileywalk [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 1, 2007 04:02 PM

Oy vay, Hughes wasn't throwing 90 mph on his 89th pitch because of bad mechanics or anything like that. He was tired because they kept him on an 80 pitch limit for the second half of last year, and he hadn't pitched enough this year to build up his stamina.

Further evidence that pitch counts are utterly useless, unless you consider programing your prospects to be 5 inning pitchers a good thing.

Posted by: Mike A. [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 1, 2007 04:25 PM

I dipped into the archives to see what Steve said about Wang before he arrived. There wasn't much there -- he gets a mention as a possibility when Wright has a bad start, and then gets a last-line mention after his debut that says "this kid Wang looked good."

Anyway, what's funny is what I found from earlier in the month of April ('05). Check out these words about none other than Carl Pavano:

"I know many were down on the signing of Pavano based on the 'one-year wonder' theory. But, I think I'm going to like him - as I did Pettitte."

Wow, how times have changed! Pavano disappeared for a year and a half, and Pettitte is actually back with the team. If only Pavano had lived up to this statement.

As for tonight's game: Steve Goldman says Texas isn't hitting, and that the people who should be hitting right-handers aren't. Which probably means they're all going to break out of their funk tonight.

With Hughes now in the big leagues, we get some spectacular matchups to watch: Hughes vs. Frank Thomas, Hughes vs. Michael Young, Hughes (hopefully) vs. Ortiz and Manny.

I guess we have to hope Hughes has the positive influence Wang and Cano did in '05.

Posted by: baileywalk [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 1, 2007 04:42 PM

baileywalk - don't play the archive card. I could swear that you once said that TJ Beam was the future closer for the Yankees and that Steven White would be a major star for them too. [wink]

Posted by: Steve Lombardi [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 1, 2007 05:17 PM

Gomez makes some very solid points and the video definately backs up what he says. My biggest complaint is context. I know its hard to get good video of minor leaguers but to get it from the Futures game and his first major league start could be misleading.

In the Futures game he was coming in in relief knowing he was only going to throw one inning. He probably was throwing his hardest on every pitch.

Then you are looking at his first big league start, I bet nerves had something to do with it. Lots of pitchers have their shoulders fly open from time to time, its a result of trying to get more velocity instead of just pitching. So his shoulder flew open during a one inning relief appearance and his first ever start...I see a connection.

I am not going to pretend I know as much about pitching mechanics as Gomez I just think we should let the kid get settled before we look at his mechanics. I would be interested to see if you see the same mechanic issues tonight as you did last start.

Posted by: Kyle [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 1, 2007 06:05 PM

I came into the comments section of this thread to go on a couple paragraph analysis about the actual analysis.

Kyle, however, saved me the trouble from typing it out.

Basically, I question how "true" Hughes' mechanics were in the Future's Game and in his Major League debut, compared to what his mechanics would look like in a typical start.

A better exercise would have been comparing a AA start from 2006 and his most recent AAA start.

His mechanics certainly may have changed over the last 6 months or so, but the clips used to show that are suspect, in my opinion.

Posted by: Jeteupthemiddle [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 1, 2007 06:45 PM

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!

Posted by: B(rent) [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 1, 2007 10:18 PM

"NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!"
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Ditto.

Posted by: snowball003 [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 1, 2007 11:04 PM

God must hate the Yankees. Why!!!!!!?????? Anyone but Phil. And while he was throwing a no-hitter too. Cruel irony.

Posted by: Eric [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 1, 2007 11:30 PM

"Anyone but Phil."
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Well, God already got everyone but Phil...he/she wasn't left with any more options!

Posted by: snowball003 [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 1, 2007 11:59 PM

Must be his mechanics. Duh!

Naturally Raf missed my point. The game against the Blue Jays was Hughes major league debut. With nerves, adrenalin, whatever, his mechanics probably were slightly off.

The nonsense that Hughes doesn't throw that hard was shown for what it is before he hurt his hamstring last night. If it was all about radar gun readings then Farnsworth would be one of the greatest pitchers in the game today.

We saw a taste of what Hughes is about against the Texas Rangers.

Posted by: Don [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 2, 2007 02:51 AM

It appears you were the one to miss your own point. A key to a pitcher's consistency is the ability to repeat his mechanics. You were the one who commented about him adjusting to AA and AAA and MLB. I simply pointed out that level of pitching has little to do with a pitchers mechanics, unless you think they change whenever a pitcher reaches a new level.

No one here has said Hughes doesn't throw hard.

And I have been saying for the longest time that radar gun readings aren't the be-all, end-all of pitching.

Posted by: Raf [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 2, 2007 08:01 AM

A sneak peak into my follow-up article.....

http://swingtraining.net/Carlos/Hughes/Hughes-Clemens-Wright.gif

Posted by: ChadBradfordWannabe [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 3, 2007 10:52 AM

What's the difference between the three?

Posted by: Steve Lombardi [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 3, 2007 11:39 AM