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 Post subject: TSN Baseball Insider Steve Phillips answers three questions
PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2019 9:00 pm 
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TSN Baseball Insider Steve Phillips answers three questions each week. This week, topics cover if and when the Blue Jays should start rebuilding, how good catchers handle a pitching staff and how best to develop young pitchers to best avoid arm problems. 1. Jim Bowden wrote on ESPN.com this week that the Jays should already be thinking of blowing the team up, deeming last years deals a failure and suggesting that waiting to tear it down would compound the problem. Agree or disagree with Bowdens assessment? Let me first say that I respect Jim Bowden for his knowledge and his experience. He has been around the game for quite a while and knows what he is talking about. That being said, I do not think it is time for the Jays to blow this team up. We are only in the first week of the season. It is far too early to consider demolition plans. The Jays have a ton of offensive talent. I agree with Bowden that on paper they are under-manned in the pitching department. But the game is not played on paper. It is played by people. RA Dickey could return to his Cy Young form of a couple of years ago. Mark Buerhle looked amazing in his first start and Brandon Morrow at one time, when healthy, was dominant. Drew Hutchison and Dustin McGowan have some upside. Of course, there is plenty that needs to go right but funnier things have happened. I didnt think the Pirates had enough pitching last season nor did I think the Orioles had enough pitching in 2012 to be a playoff team. But they both were. Fans need hope. The season begins with hope for all 30 major league teams. Why rob them of that feeling unnecessarily? I agree with Jim Bowden that it is unlikely that the Jays will make the playoffs. I picked them to finish fourth. So I get it. But I have been wrong before and so has Jim. The season is a marathon. There is plenty of time to disassemble if it is appropriate. Quite honestly, if they should do it now, they should have done it in the offseason when more teams could vie for the Jays talent and had money to spend. This may be the worst time to create a market for players as most teams are tapped out financially at the start of the season. They spent their money in the winter. Just ask Kendrys Morales, Stephen Drew and Scott Boras how difficult it is to find GMs with money to spend. The trades of 2013 were a bust for the Jays but it doesnt necessarily mean that things cant work out this year. If and when it becomes clear that hope is lost for 2014, there will be time to tear things apart. But that wont mean that everything has to be done during the season. Take a deep breath and at least enjoy some hope. 2. The Jays players are already expressing admiration for new catcher Dioner Navarro and the way he handles the staff, in some ways taking not so veiled shots at former catcher JP Arencibias struggles behind the plate. What is your assessment of Navarro and can you explain the intimacies of "handling a staff" and what that really means? Many fans know and use the term, but few really understand the minute details or why it is so important. I am not surprised that Dionner Navarro is getting rave reviews for his ability to handle the pitching staff. Some part of that is about him and some part of that is about the deficiencies of JP Arencibia in the past. We often talk about a catcher "handling a pitching staff" and just assume that everyone knows what we mean. Let me see if I can explain it. It is imperative for a catcher to know his pitchers. He doesnt just have to know what pitches they throw but he has to know when they should be thrown, to whom they should be thrown, how hard to throw them and where to throw them. He has to understand how each individual pitchers arsenal of pitches can attack each hitter on the opposition. The catcher has to know how each pitcher handles pressure. He has to understand when they arent quite right on a given day and what to do to get them right. He has to know the keys for each pitchers delivery and when they are out of sync how to get them back on track. The catcher has to read body language. He has to communicate confidence and support with his own body language. Some players are smart. They can rationally think through situations and know what to do. Some players have instincts, which is defined as a "feel" for the game; an idea about what needs to be done in this time and space. Their natural reactions can lead them down the right path without tremendous thought. The best players have a combination of intelligence and instincts. Navarro has both and it can be seen in his work behind the plate. He has the feel and intelligence to evaluate the situation and what is needed to be successful. This will lead to improved preparation and execution over the course of the season. The Jays need to maximize the talents of their pitching staff as they are not as deep as other teams. Navarro is just the guy for the job. 3. Another season, another rash of pitching injuries, with the Mets Bobby Parnell the latest to possibly face Tommy John surgery. He would be the third Met to have TJS in under a year. GM Sandy Alderson told the NY Times its an "industry-wide problem." Pitch counts and innings limits for young pitchers dont appear to have made much of an impact. Do you acknowledge this as an industrywide problem - or is it more of a team/system problem as it does seem to hit some teams (including the Jays) more than others. What do you think is the best way to bring a pitcher along after draft day? And has your mind changed on that over time? Injuries for pitchers is a GMs worst nightmare. Just when you think you have enough pitching, injuries happen and you can find yourself shorthanded. The arm is not built to throw a baseball. Every time a pitcher throws the ball, there are fibers that tear in the shoulder, bicep, tricep and forearm. I have seen thermodynamic pictures of a pitchers arm before and after pitching. The amount of heat given off from the bleeding in the arm after pitching is profound. You can only imagine the toll that throwing a couple of hundred innings can take on a pitchers arm. In 2013, Justin Verlander threw 218 innings and 3692 pitches (most in majors). That doesnt include the 23 innings he tossed in the playoffs, nor does it count spring training innings and pitches. In addition to all of this game activity, Verlander had pitching practice between starts. The bottom line is that his arm took a ton of abuse. When I became general manager of the Mets in July of 1997, one of the first things I did was call a meeting with our top pitching coaches and team doctors. We were having a significant number of arm injuries and it was severely impacting the pitching depth in our organization. The outcome of that meeting was clear; pitchers can injure their arms in two ways: fatigue and poor mechanics. Too much throwing for any pitcher can lead to injury. It doesnt matter if he has perfect mechanics or the worst mechanics; too much throwing can break down any arm. There was an old school belief that the more pitchers throw the stronger they get. The science doesnt support that. Fatigue breaks down the arm. Mechanics for a pitcher is critical. He has to be able to repeat his delivery in order to throw consistent strikes. If a pitcher has poor mechanics in his delivery, he can put more pressure on his elbow or shoulder, making it more prone to injury. Pitchers can pitch with poor mechanics but they are much more prone to injury, especially if they are fatigued. Poor mechanics lead pitchers to tire more quickly and when tired, the poor mechanics make the pitcher more vulnerable. It is really that simple. After this meeting, we implemented very stringent pitch count limits in our minor league system and dramatically reduced the number of arm injuries. The arm only has so many bullets in it. They cant all be wasted in the minor leagues. We had to learn to be more efficient in our player development. I predicted Stephen Strasburgs arm problems a couple of years ago. He has poor mechanics, which put a significant amount of stress on his elbow and shoulder. You might wonder why they just dont try and correct his mechanics. Often times, cleaning up a pitchers poor mechanics can rob him of what makes him special: velocity, movement or deception. In Strasburgs case, his mechanics are his mechanics. It is how he is wired to throw a ball. I completely supported the Nats when they made the unpopular decision to shut Strasburg down even when they were going to the playoffs in 2012. If the Nats dont take dramatic steps to protect their big right-hander moving forward, he will break down again. He is so valuable to their franchise they are crazy if they dont. Arm injuries will always be part of the game. But I truly believe that individual organizations can make significant strides in reducing arm injuries. Throwing less to pitch more is the answer. Arian Foster Jersey . Brooks replaces right-hander Yordano Ventura, who left his last outing with a sore elbow. Ventura is expected to miss one start. Brooks has made one relief appearance for the Royals this season, allowing six runs in two innings in a May 3 loss to Detroit. Cheap Texans Jerseys Authentic . Solomon Elimimian did not make the trip with the team after suffering what appeared to be a right leg injury in the teams regular season finale against the Calgary Stampeders. http://www.cheaptexansjerseysauthentic. ... rsey.Heres Ralph the Dog with the crew here at TSN jumping into the James Duthie TradeCentre selfie: Happy to drop by! RT @TSN_Sports: @tsnjamesduthie: Take this Ellen. Tytus Howard Jersey . -- The Chiefs have signed seven players to reserve/future contracts, including running back Joe McKnight, a former fourth-round pick of the New York Jets. Max Scharping Jersey . Ive said it before, Ive worked with top pros and I could have made my own program.It was 1pm in Sunderland and 8am in Toronto on Friday when the two clubs came together to finally announce the deal that was broken earlier this week. At that stage, we knew that one signing depended on another yet still question marks remained about the details. Now we have our answer. On a day that Toronto FC became even more American, they were involved in a good old-fashioned North American-style trade. It wasnt quite All for One. This time it was One for One. That was the answer I looked for during the press conference at the Air Canada Centre on Friday to announce the signing of Jozy Altidore. Reports early this week suggested the club received a league record fee for Defoe, in the region of $11 million. On Friday, I asked Tim Bezbatchenko if that was true. We are not permitted to disclose the terms of the transfer. What I can say is this did involve an exchange of players and a valuation that was reciprocal, confirmed the general manager. In the end, things became much clearer in Sunderland. It was all about a swap and dependent on him going in the opposite direction, confirmed the clubs Sporting Director Lee Congerton. That allowed us to bring Jermain to Sunderland. In reality, it has been a complete swap deal, no money involved, which we are delighted with. So not quite $11 million then. No wonder he was delighted. He wasnt alone. A complete Twitter search for Lee Congerton shows just how happy Sunderland fans are with the move. Lee Congerton should become a hostage negotiator with talents like that wrote one. Others included The Merlin Award for magic this year goes to Lee Congerton, Jesus turned water into wine and Congerton turned Altidore into Defoe and I wonder if Congerton can swap Danny Graham for Alexis Sanchez. It is clear Sunderland fans are delighted with the move. Toronto FC were also all smiles Friday. Head Coach Greg Vanney went out of his way to speak about how important it is that the three DPs on the club can combine, work together and, above all else, be the three best players on the club. All excellent points. Vanney should be pleased. After all, he now has a fully committed player from day one who can make his team better. That was how low the bar was set last season with Defoe. And yet on the day he moves away from the club for good, his shadow still looms large. Social media reaction to the news the deal was a swap was mixed, with some believing it doesnt matter at all whether the club/league got money in return. No major organization or sports league will have people lining up to feel sorry for them if they lose money so they arent wrong in that area but there is a significant reason why no fee is a bigger story than people are making out. Jozy Altidores worth. And Jermain Defoes worth. And in Math terms – Jozy – Jermain = 0. The fact that no money was exchanged leaves people to only speculate what the two clubs believe the players are worth. We must remember that both players were sold to their previous clubs for around six million pounds (just over $9m US). Altidore in July 2013, Defoe in January 2014. For different reasons, both have seen their values drop since. Yet, as early as August, it was reported across the United Kingdom that QPR offered Toronto FC a similar amount in terms of a transfer fee than the one they paid Tottenham. Since then, the player and the club publicly aand privately struggled to be on the same page and it was clear the world knew that Toronto FC wanted rid of Defoe.dddddddddddd Despite holding onto a depreciating asset, they found many clubs in line who were interested. Leicester looked, QPR said he was too expensive and Hull City admitted they were interested. Alan Pardew, new manager of Crystal Palace, said he threw their hat in the ring to get Defoe this month but found out they were too late. Congerton confirmed negotiations between the two clubs were happening in December. Toronto FC opted against selling Defoe for a fee to a Premier League club and instead chose to just take Altidore in return. Why? The hope is they believe he can more than deliver on what he will be paid. However, no one can think that the two players are worth the same at this stage in their careers. Defoe, now 32, is coming off multiple injuries, but is a proven goalscorer in the richest league in the game, where teams like Sunderland are finding it very difficult to get goalscorers. Thats why they gave him three-and-a-half year contract. Altidore scored one goal in over 40 appearances at the same level. So, why does all this matter? Firstly, now that we know Defoe has been exchanged for Altidore, it puts a tremendous amount of pressure on the American international. The club has not only decided to pay wages to the player that are above market value but also given up an asset that the footballing world would all agree was worth much more. Those who believe an Americans premium talents should return to MLS can make a legitimate case for why they should be paid more than anywhere else in the world to play here but they cannot make a case as to why clubs should pay more money in a transfer fee than they are worth. Not only is it bad business practice but it also places a player into a financial threshold that isnt matched by their play on the pitch. It is also shows European leagues that Major League Soccer, a league that is telling its players in negotiations that it is losing money, is willing to pay above market value for American players. Perhaps that was the reason Bezbatchenko chose not to fully answer the question on whether he got a fee for Defoe but if he had said it was a straight swap we believe Jozy will be worth much more to us than Jermain in this league at least we would have an answer to his reasons. He will have made people spit out their drinks (again) on the streets of England but at least he will have been able to tell people that they got an excellent return on Defoe; something he may have said privately to MLSE board members. Thats what he is hopeful of now. By swapping the players, instead of selling Defoe to another Premier League club and then buying Altidore for less from Sunderland, he has been able to hide the large transfer fee lost on Defoe to Spurs. And that is why the Defoe sale still lingers. It could have been understandable for the club to wash their hands with the disgruntled Englishman and move him on for less and learn their lesson but by choosing this option, the comparisons will continue. For Toronto FC, that may turn out to be fine if Altidore delivers and scores goals for a playoff-bound team but from a large pool of players that are available across the world, it is interesting they chose one who just so happens to play for a team where they could stash Defoe away for good. 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