Thursday, March 20, 2014

Prospectations - The Other Story From Yesterday

My gosh Wednesday was a wonderful day on the field (I am ignoring the Correa HBP since we have since learned there is no fracture). Our young pitchers Cosart, Foltynewicz, and Zeid came together as a team and absolutely dominated the Washington Nationals. These guys did everything right and gave us a glimpse of what they are and can become. What should we expect for the future? First, we should not expect this to happen every time they go out on the mound. There will be ups and downs as they adjust to the major leagues. That is the nature of the beast for even the best of players, particularly in their first year or two. Inconsistency for pitchers is normal for the first couple of years in the majors. Hitters will adjust to them and they will have to make adjustments of their own. Their longevity in the upper echelon of performance will depend on their ability to recognize and implement adjustments. There will be games with good innings and bad innings. As time progresses, the number of good innings will increase and the number of games without bad innings will grow. These three guys gave us a real glimpse of what our future can hold.

But these young men have a tough row to hoe this year. Ground ball pitchers without the best defense behind them (Matty D, I’m not talking about you here) can spell trouble. Too many errors and too many plays that while not scored as errors should be made by major league players. But our defense is young too and subject to the same inconsistencies as the young pitchers. The key for the pitcher is not to let plays not made behind him shake his confidence or change his approach.

I am also concerned by the impact it has on the pitcher when a team doesn't score a lot of runs. Thinking you have to be “perfect” to win a ball game places unnecessary stress on the pitcher. It is harder for youngsters than it is for a grizzly veteran to discard this mentality and not let it affect them. This creates inconsistency as pitchers will have a tendency to nibble instead of trusting their stuff and just pitching their game. Our boys on the mound yesterday were brilliant and should have another dose of confidence to add to their arsenal which will breed further success.

The only thing that saddens me is the fact that “Springergate” broke on the same day and overshadowed what should have been the biggest and best news of the spring. The Astros had every right to make him the offer that they did and he had every right to turn them down. That is how baseball currently works and neither side should be punished by the fans.

Nance @bbfanlady

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