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:
- Pederson LF
- Turner 3B
- Muncy 2B
- Bellinger 1B
- Pollock CF
- Verdugo RF
- Taylor SS
- Martin C
- 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.
- 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.