Again I ask, where is the evidence that pitching to contact enables longer outings? Looks to me like the league leaders in IP every year tend to be high strikeout, low walk guys.
The point is, you can't say "our guys can't get strikeouts" when you are encouraging them to get outs in 2 pitches. Its impossible to know what a pitcher is capable of unless you give them a longer leash.
Pitchers have a fear of batters making contact (a legitimate fear obviously) but when you let that drive your approach to the point that you don't trust your ability to throw strikes without getting pounded - you won't be effective. Read what Chris Carpenter said. All the Twins are doing is trying to take the mystique away from contact happening so they don't have pitchers so debilitated with fear about it that they are constantly walking guys.
This is, and was, Liriano's problem. It isn't shocking that the next pitching coach said the same damn thing.
"Don't try to strike everybody out. Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic."
Liriano's struggle isn't a validation of PTC. Liriano struggles because his mechanics are unsound. Andy, and now evidently Cooper, have failed to correct his mechanics, for whatever reason they haven't gotten through to him or been creative enough in their methods.
The driving defense of pitching to contact is that it leads to more IP's. Where is the evidence? The leaders of IP every years are the ones who keep both walks and balls put in play to a minimum.
Sometimes coaching is telling someone something they already know but chose not to do for some stupid reason of their own. In Liriano's case - because he's a bit of a spaz.
At some point, you need to start blaming the guy who is throwing the baseball. A coaching staff can only do so much.
I do wonder how even our own Parker can consistently find specific weak points in a player's swing or delivery that the coaching staffs seem to miss. No, I wouldn't assume Andy/Vavra/Cooper had already spoken to a player about it. Certainly they do a good job hiding those points in their comments to the media, instead saying things like
Boy, I bet that was really helpful.Quote:
"We say, 'Blackie, attack the strike zone in the lower half. And we tell our guys to get outs on two or three pitches, instead of trying to throw five, six, seven pitches. We've always been good at throwing the ball over the plate.''
Good lord, there isn't a profession in the world in which this doesn't happen. People know that documentation can be important in their job if they work in health services, government, or education - that doesn't stop them from not doing it and needing a reminder to get back on track. Yes, Liriano is failing to do something fundamental that he should know from the time he was twelve. That doesn't mean he doesn't need to be told it again. Hell, there are people all over taht parade around as motivational speakers telling us the key to happiness is to "smile" or "think positively" or any other obnoxious token phrase. Sometimes - you need to hear what you already know and sometimes you're too much of a spaz to process it and execute it.
If you're going to label someone as mentally spazoid, you should have something to back it up with besides just, he struggles to throw strikes. That sounds like a non sequitor to me.
Certainly its not that he may be opening his front side to early. His body definitely isn't outpacing his arm. He's not finishing too high or losing his balance somewhere along the way. Surely there's no exercises or practices that might improve his delivery, or mental tricks that might help.
Nope, he's just not throwing strikes and he should know better by now. That's on him, I agree 100%.