12 Seconds

I was listening to MLB.RADIO yesterday morning and one of the commentators was talking about when he worked as an intern for the Pirates under Syd Thrift. Allegedly, Thrift commissioned a study to determine how long the human brain took to “re-set” or adjust after seeing a 97 MPH fastball followed by a 89 MPH slider. Well, not actually that exact pitch sequence, but he wanted to determine how long it took a batter to adjust from the last pitch to the next pitch.

I have no clue how long this study lasted or how scientific it might have been, but the result of the study was “12 Seconds.” They said that it takes the human brain 12 seconds to “reboot” after seeing a pitch. Whether it really is 12 seconds or shorter, I think there is some validity to the idea. I think that the sooner a pitcher gets the ball back and throws it, the better the chance that the hitter doesn’t “barrell up” the bat on the ball.

Max Scherzer throws the ball quickly, so did Greg Maddux. Maybe part of the reason they were or are go good is that they did not let the hitters’ brain re-adjust after each pitch. Maybe it’s just harder to focus again so quick. At any rate, this raises the question “why are some guys so slow in light of this information”? Pedro Baez used to be the “Human Rain Delay”and as he picked up his pace between pitches last season, he became much harder to hit.

Get the ball, throw the ball. It seems pretty obvious to me that the quicker a pitcher throws a batter a pitch, the more liklihood the batter will not recognize that pitch simply because he has not had enough time to think. if Dennis Eckersley had pitched to Kirk Gibson quicker, maybe Gibby would not have had time to remember Mel Didier’s shouting report about the backdoor slider and the Dodgers would not have won that World Series?

Pedro Baez quit being el Gasolino when he started getting the ball and throwing the ball… with a quickness! It seems so simple.

Pitchers & Catchers Report Next Week

It’s about time, but there are still about 100 unsigned free agents, most of whom will not get the kind of contract they were seeking. This is the second year in a row in which this has happened. The unrest and discord among players in the MLBPA is growing by leaps and bounds and ultimately led to Manfred pulling his offer of the DH in the NL off the table.

General Managers have started to realize that these long-term mega deals are the antithisis of winning baseball. Several years ago, Arte Moreno was envied by many Dodger fans. How do you like him now? He made dope-fiend moves and while the average fan loves it, it is the Highway to Hell.

A lot has to go right to get to the World Series and I believe the Dodgers have the team to do it, but there’s a lot of ground to cover before then. Who gets hurt this year? It seems like it is someone or two or ten every year. Injuries play a part. How the new hitting approach progresses is another issue to be determined. I am confident of two things: (1) It should be fun; and (2) I expect them to come out of the gate smoking hot. They have been to the mountain twice and were denied. I believe they are more determined than last year.

I have always hoped that THIS was the year for the past 31 years, but it’s only been the last two years and THIS year that I have had the confidence that THIS YEAR could be it! This team has the horses and pieces to trade for another horse or two… if that is needed. Plus, we still don’t know where Machado or Harper will land.

Opening Day Lineup

Here’s my prediction:

  1. Pederson LF
  2. Turner 3B
  3. Muncy 2B
  4. Bellinger 1B
  5. Pollock CF
  6. Verdugo RF
  7. Taylor SS
  8. Martin C
  9. Kershaw P

It would be nice to see Corey Seager there at SS, but I think they will take it slow and start him in extended Spring Training. Of course, his recovery could be miraculous. One never knows.

Other Predictions:

  • Keibert Ruiz will make his debut in LA by July 15th. No one believes me here.
  • Alex Verdugo will hit near .300 with at least 18 HR. No one believes that either.
  • Jesen Therrien or Tony Gosolin could make the team by July. AC believes half of this.
  • The Dodgers will have 5 All-Stars and 3 Players finish in the TOP 10 for MVP. That’s bold… or insane.
  • The Dodgers will win 94-98 Games. Write it down.

This article has 59 Comments

  1. 5 All-Stars and 3 Players finish in the TOP 10 for MVP should get the Dodgers to 100 wins.

    Greinke should be the opening day starter against the Dodgers so your lineup looks right.

    Seager could be in the opening day lineup and not play back-to-back games through April instead of starting in extended spring training. But, yes, the Dodgers will find a way to go slow with him.

    If Barnes has a good spring he will get to start the season as the primary catcher.

    I think and hope Muncy is the primary second baseman.

    1. I’m thinking there’s going to be some weirdness with Lefty and Rightly lineups again this year.

      Pederson can’t hit lefties, but it seems to be he’s going to play LF a lot against righties.

      Freese kills lefties, but so does Turner.

      Is Freese going to get a lot of playing time against lefties at 1B and also play some against righties when Turner needs a day?

      Roberts said that Belli is going to play full time. So, does he always play 1B, or does he play LF against lefties?

      Roberts said Pollock is also a full time player. So, pencil him in CF when he’s not broken?

      Verdugo has the arm for RF, is he gonna hit lefties and righties enough to stay on the field?

      Is Muncy gonna play 2B, against righties, lefties, both? Or is Taylor and Kike gonna play there? Roberts hinted that 2B would be Taylor, Kike and Muncy would see time there as well. That doesn’t sound like he’ll play there full time.

      It sure looks like there’s still a lot of positions up for grab during Spring Training. Ultimately leading to a lot of roster shuffling yet again. But, a very stacked lineup nonetheless.

      I don’t know why, but I don’t feel in by gut or in my bones that Verdugo is gonna keep that RF job nailed down. I sure hope I’m wrong and he hits 300 with 18 HRs like MT predicts, and that he can keep his head right and attention focused in the field.

    2. It would be a nice morale booster for both the team and fans to see Seager start on opening day. If he looks well and able during ST, he should be slotted in. But, I agree with Bumsrap that he should not be playing back to back continuously in April.

      I agree with Mark in general about the lineup, but I would pencil in Kike in LF for the following reasons. His speed over Joc. His ability to hit both R&LHP equally, and a much better choice for leadoff hitter than Joc. Joc and Taylor both show a proclivity for solo HR’s when leading off, but Taylor loses out due to SO’s, Joc loses to speed and poor hittng against LHP. Plus, Kike has won a place in Doc’s mind & heart and he talked him up big time in the 2nd half of the season referring to him an MVP player. I feel the Dodgers are committed to Kike and we really need a leadoff hitter. I hope we don’t see a repeat of Joc in LF taking more time away from Kike. Kike needs to play and show the result of all the time he’s put in the last few years. We don’t need an all or nothing leadoff hitter.

          1. Kudos to Syd Thryft for the insight. Kudos to you for an excellent re-telling:-).

            And the second lede? There you go, again……:-).

  2. Wow Mark, you had to bring up the DH again? I think you have your wires crossed. Reading the AP article, it states that the players proposed the universal DH, so it wasn’t Manfred pulling his offer off the table to keep the players happy.

    As far as 12 seconds to reset. If it takes 12 seconds to reset, that means you have a better chance of adjusting to another different pitch if you wait at least 12 seconds. For a guy like Maddux where he seldom threw the same pitch in a row, an expert of mixing his pitches, this would be very beneficial to not allow the batter reset. So, it stands to reason that the opposite would be beneficial for a guy who throws mostly fastballs. So, maybe El Gasolino is a genius since he throws mainly fastballs and wants the batter to reset and forget the previous fastball?

    The lineup looks good to me, you and probably most, but Roberts will figure a way to mix it up, so there’s no chance you’re right on that one.

    I’ll take the over on K-Bear
    Under on Alex’s average and HR total
    I’ll take the under on Therrien, over on Gonsolin
    I’ll take the under on All-Stars and MVP voting
    I’ll take the over on 98 games!

    Dude, you look great, especially for 70 (regarding your pictures from yesterday). I’m with you about hair dying, but you got to go to Macy’s and get a better tie. Better to lose the tie, than to wear that one! 😉

    1. On the DH:

      I had heard back in the summer that Manfred was interested in implementing some changes in pace of play, etc. and to facilitate that he was willing to give the MLBPA the DH. Yes, the MLBPA introduced it but when Manfred found out they were not going to agree to any of his proposed changes he slammed the door, so while MLB nixed it, it was because of the acrimony from the MLBPA.

  3. For the life of me, I cant believe Joc P. is still around… No Trade value???
    I guess I’m just stuck on Toles… Speed at the top of the order and #2,3 and 4 waiting to drive him in after distracting the hell out of the P…
    I’m starting Barnes at C..
    I’ll buy your games won prediction…
    We WILL be playing good ball by TD… Does anybody really think the GM will not make something happen..
    P.S. I still would like to pay 3 good players before I’d sign these insane contracts…

    1. There were rumors that several teams checked in on Pederson. So, I’m not sure he has no trade value. It seems to me that the Dodgers value the damage he does against right handed pitchers. I’m with you about Toles. But, I think he’s insurance in case Verdugo doesn’t work out. I agree that Barnes should be the starting catcher. I don’t think it makes a whole lot of sense starting Martin on opening day when Barnes needs a confidence boost. I think that sends the wrong message to start Martin.

    2. 😉 “For the life of me”—I’m 71 and consider myself too young to use that phrase. Maybe my dad would have used it. I await your comeback peterj.

  4. I know that this has nothing to do with the subject, but …
    The Twitter page of Dodgers Nation has this trivia or poll:

    Who is the greatest Dodgers minor league player you’ve seen that never made the big leagues?
    Some think it was Greg Miller

          1. There’s no incentive or need for the Royals to pay more than the minimum because the Dodgers are on the hook for the remainder.

          2. It would be, but 59inarow is correct. The Royals are not going to pay anything more than the ML minimum IF (BigIF) he makes the ML roster.

    1. To answer your question from yesterday: Avennia, out of Washington, is making some great Syrahs, as well as Bordeaux and Rhone blends. Also, Carlisle and Bedrock in Sonoma are doing great things with old vines.

      1. I like trying new stuff. I will add that to my list. Since my wife is from SF, we visit Sonoma one year and Napa the next. We have a winery we have loved for over 15 years:http://www.peju.com/

        I prefer Cabs and Merlots with an occasional Syrah. We ship a few cases a year back to Indy from Napa or Sonoma.

        … and of course, when I go to Peju, Rutherford Grill is right around the corner.

        1. My wife and I will be in Napa and Sonoma in early May. Rutherford Grill is always one of our lunch stops (along with Mustards Grill and a Western Bacon Blue Ring burger from Gott’s Roadside in St. Helena).

  5. I predict more of the same mixing and matching. Freese plays against all LHPs for example. But come playoff time we might trade for a core piece and solidify the lineup.

  6. I can’t tell you how reliable it is but I heard this morning that last year, the Arizona Hittng Coaches were not enamoured with RVS and and resisted his input. Magadan was fired and RVS left. The Reds offered Turner Ward more money and the Dodgers would not match it so that they could hire RVS… et al.

    For what it’s worth.

    1. It is going to be hard for a team to take someone like RVS seriously. Individuals will accept him, but not many without continual success. ML players have personal hitting coaches, and they may not like what RVS is saying, especially if it is contradictory. I do not think it is anymore of an issue with most ML hitting coaches except RVS has a mountain to climb because “he has never done it”. I am certain that Dave Magadan had that belief. Hitting coaches get too much credit for when the team hits and too much blame when they do not. That is why they are moved around more than any other coach type. “I am a former ML hitter. How can someone who has never done it any level know more about hitting ML pitching than me.” Like it or not, that is what ML and MiLB hitters say. RVS cannot come in and shove a philosophy down anyone’s throat. He is going to have to earn their trust. At least he does not have a ML hitting crew to try and convince. Just the players.
      .
      As I said, I have my doubts, but I am also hopeful that he can convince the right players that he can help. He is certainly a wait and see, but seeing how poor their approach was last year, I remain hopeful.

  7. Per Jon Heyman, most others in on Realmuto were willing to surrender 1 big piece but not a 2nd big piece. Marlins sought 2 of May, Lux, Ruiz and Smith from LA (after it was clear Bellinger was going nowhere) and 2 of Riley, Pache and a big pitching prospect (ie Wright, Wilson, Anderson) from ATL.
    .
    So for the established players over prospect group, which 2 of the 4 Dodger prospects would you have given up for 2 years of JT Realmuto? I am defense first behind the plate so I am fine with AB and hope that he can hit as he did in 2017 and every other of his stops. The Dodgers should have enough offense to make up for AB. I am not nearly as sold on Martin as MT is. All four of the prospects could be frontline players for LAD, and all four could be busts. I think the former is more likely, but it will probably be somewhere in the middle bordering more on the former.

    1. It seems that Realmuto offered the same righty bat as did puig. The Dodgers need a righty bat and not so much a catcher. That is why I keep indulging myself with dreams of Haniger. That ship has passed quickly into the night with nary a sighting.

    2. I think Friedman has a pretty good record for having the prospects he simply won’t trade turn out to be good to excellent major leaguers (Seager, Bellinger, Buehler to name 3). I would have given up Smith but none of the other 3 and I’m thinking AF may have felt the same.

    3. Before hearing BA’s podcast, I would have done May and Smith. After hearing that May is touching 98 with a two-seamer, I believe the Dodgers made the right decision. They were also really high on K-Bear’s bat and Lux’s complete toolset. So both of them are pretty untouchable to me. Now, we can pray that Barnes is close to his 2017 and Martin will be comeback player of the year.

  8. Bum, I’m 72 and got you there…I will refrain from using that phrase…
    Has anybody been to Kauai, HI. lately??? I want to take the little woman there again and wonder how it has fared since the floods a couple years back…
    Jorge, that was a great question. I have tried and tried, but all I come up with is Johnnie Werhas… A bonafide AAAA star who could rake with the best… But alas I see he had a couple cups of coffee with the Blue..

    1. I would have said O’Koyea Dickson except for the 9 PAs he got at the end of the 2017 season. I think that was a thank you for your service promotion, and he deserved it. But he did make. I know he doesn’t count, but I just wanted to mention O’Koyea another time.

  9. Still some positions to see how they play out in ST before I even think about the opening day lineup.
    On your Predictions:
    1-For that to happen a lot of bad things will have to happen to some Dodger players.
    2- I will be happy if Verdugo plays a good RF and hits around 300, and hits both lefties and righties.
    3-Maybe.
    4-Maybe 2 and 1
    5-Have no idea at this time, maybe closer to opening day.

  10. If Joc is leading off next year, that will be a bad sign for our offense.

    Because that would mean our new hitting instructor was not able to turn Taylor around.

    Even with the regression Taylor had last year, he still had a higher OBP then Joc.

    And if you have that much confidence in our new hitting instructor, you have to believe he will make Taylor right.

    Because this is the same hitting instructor, that helped Taylor have that break out year, in 2017.

    Taylor is much more of a distraction once he is on base for pitchers, then stationary Joc.

    And because of that, that distraction will get Corey more fastballs to hit.

    And if you have that much confidence in Verdugo, he is more astute at getting on base, then anything, so he might be a good lead off hitter too.

    Verdugo hit lefties better then anyone on this team last year, so he could lead off against both lefties and righties.

    They never batted Corey at the back of the line up when he first came up, and he was no older then Verdugo, so why would you do that with Verdugo?

    Joc is in this line up because of his power, and that same power will provide much more protection for Pollack, then Verdugo.

    And if you want power in a lead off hitter, Muncy would be a better candidate.

    Because Muncy has a very good eye, his OBP was just under 400, and he is another hitter that hits both lefties, and righties.

    And when Muncy was 25 pounds heavier last year, he still had more speed then Joc, and to Muncy’s credit, he is coming to spring training in even better shape this year.

    1. As is often the case, MJ, well done!:-)

      One caveat: guys losing weight is often a good sign for their
      overall good health and longevity.
      As for their on-field work, not nearly so predictable.
      Muncy and Jansen MAY do well in their new uniforms. MAY.

  11. ……”If Joc is leading off next year, that will be a bad sign for our offense. Because that would mean our new hitting instructor was not able to turn Taylor around.”

    Or it could mean our new hitting instructor was able to turn Joc around.

    1. Joc had a good year for him last year, but he has never had close to the year that Taylor had, in 2017.

      Taylor not only hit well against both lefties and righties, he hit well when runners were in scoring position, and he hit 20 HRs.

      And if Mark believes in this hitting instructor that much, Taylor is going to have to be that prime example, because he is the coach that made Taylor the hitter he was, in 2017.

      Joc is not a fast runner as it is, and he doesn’t help himself not showing up to spring training, in shape.

      I don’t get turning Joc around, this will be his 5th year.

      1. I am a big CT3 Fan. I have never been a Joc Pederson fan, BUT…

        Joc had an .843 OPS to go with 25 HR. What’s there to turn around? I’ll take that.

        That was accomplished in less than 400 AB’s. That’s pretty dang good.

        1. Mark

          I don’t get that either.

          Because I think we already know who Joc is, because he has been given plenty of chances.

          That is good numbers for that many at bats, but what would Joc’s numbers look like, if he had to face more lefties?

          Taylor’s OPS was right there, against both lefties and righties, in 500 plus at bats,
          in 2017.

          But I don’t necessarily think an OPS is the only number I would look at in a lead off hitter, anyways.

          I was actually surprised that Taylor had a better OBP last year, then Joc.

          But if Taylor is close to the numbers he had in 2017, I think he would be our best lead off hitter, because of his speed, and his overall athleticism.

          I just think those later qualities along with getting on base at a high quip, is more important for a lead off hitter.

          I do have my doubts about Taylor, because of his many strike outs last year.

          And that is why I thought Verdugo might be another good candidate to lead off.

          Corey was actually 2 years younger then Verdugo will be this year, when he first came up.

          And Verdugo is not fast, but he is a lot faster then Joc.

          I just don’t think we know what we have in Taylor yet.

          But I think Taylor has to come out here this year, and really prove himself.

          Because he will have the one guy that helped him have that good year in 2017.

          And I am sure Taylor has been working with him, during the off season too.

          1. I am using your words MJ so whatever you meant about Turning Taylor around is what I meant. What did you mean about turning Taylor around?

            MJ, Joc is not slow. He is major league average. Grandal, Gonzales, Pujols, are slow. If his routes are one step shorter than the fastest player in baseball their time to get to a ball is equal. Same goes for him getting a quicker jump on a ball.

        2. Agree with this, Mark. I have a tendency to be rigid about Joc,
          Never been a fan.
          But I have to confess those #’s prove I’m too stubborn about him.
          They are very, very good, given the context in which he earned them.

  12. Looks like there is some real mutual interest between Harper and the Giants. I could see him wanting to be the next coming of Bonds. And from the Giants viewpoint, they’re desperate for decent outfielders and Posey and Madbum are not what they once were so Harper would be a huge drawing card for them.
    That said, Harper couldn’t win anything with a Nationals team that was far better than the current Giants roster and he never struck me as being an overly patient guy so I’m not sure he wants to wait 3-5 years to be on a competitive team. Of course the Giants have never been afraid to spend money so they might just throw so much at him he couldn’t refuse it.
    Will AF rise to the bait and try to convince Harper that it’s easier to hit homers in Dodger Stadium and he’d be a bigger star in Hollywood? Maybe Farhan is just trying to get Andrew to spend a lot of money. Or maybe Harper is a Giant next week. Or none of the above. Sign a contract already Bryce!!!

    1. Bum

      I don’t know why you are upset because I don’t think Joc is the best player on this team, to bat in the lead off position.

      You said Joc was going to be an Allstar this year, and come in the top ten for MVP voting

      The only players on the team that were slower then Joc last year, was an injured Corey Seager, Grandal and Kemp.

      Even a thirty plus Turner with bad knees, was faster then Joc last year.

      And Kemp’s and Joc’s numbers are really close.

      Joc’s was 26.3 Kemp’s was 26.2.

      I just think getting on base, and having the speed to be able to take a base, is much more important in the lead off position, then anything else.

      Did you know that Joc and Taylor are the exact same height?

      Hopefully these commments from a few people about Joc are wrong.

      It is hard to tell in pictures.

      1. MJ,

        If Joc leads off, you can bet the hitting strategy of all or nothing will still be in place. There is no logic to leading off Joc. His only positive stat leading off is the amount of HR’s he’s had. These are all solo HR’s, btw. A leadoff hitter’s job is to get on base. Once on base, the option for steals and beating out DP’s is primary. Joc has none of these leadoff tools. As a PH or replacement for a tired starter, I have no problem with Joc. Getting on base is not his forte.

        Taylor, otoh, does have the tools for leadoff except his SO’s are daunting! This is why I think Kike should get the leadoff job and it should be his job to lose. He was awesome the latter part of the season, much better than Joc and Taylor. Plus, Kike and Taylor can hit from both RHP/LHP.

    1. ZERO??????? How can you be so certain.? If he has no real west coast suitors other than the Giants and he wants the west coast, I think it might happen.

    2. I’ll take the over on zero. 🙂
      The Giants have no outfielders worth anything and Farhan needs to do something or the Giants fans will run him out of town in his first year. They also have deep pockets. Not saying he’s signing there but the odds are definitely higher than zero and I would say higher than here.

  13. Anyone see Verdugo’s recent Intsgram Post? He’s looking really good and really strong, I have a feeling Mark is on to something about Verdugo and his production this year, but I’ll take the over on his HR total, I’ll predict 20-25

      1. Hopefully the former I know his older brother has been helping him with his nutrion and maturity all off season so I believe a combination of Reyes and his Brother will be able to bring the best out of him

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