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Beating Tanaka: Another Perspective

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Posted: 7/9/2014 8:14 AM

Beating Tanaka: Another Perspective 


By now most of you know from watching, listening or other media  the Tribe conceived and successfully executed a very good game plan against Tanaka,  Opposing team medias often see games differently.

Here is how some of the New York media saw last night's game"

Tanaka, in a way, is a victim of expectations: When he does muddle through a game, as he did Tuesday, it is so startling that the impulsive reaction might be to dismiss it as a brief intrusion in what could end up as a Cy Young Award season.

But what the Yankees must determine is whether Tanaka’s dip in performance his last two outings — nine runs allowed, or as many as in his previous five starts — indicates something else. Manager Joe Girardi said he was not troubled because he has not noticed much of a difference in Tanaka’s repertory.

“If it goes for a long period of time, I think you become concerned,” Girardi said. “But every pitcher goes through it.”


New York Times

CLEVELAND — Self-loathing Yankees fans can now include Masahiro Tanaka in their endless rants about what is wrong with the club.

While Tanaka and a sensational bullpen have kept the Yankees afloat in the AL East across three-plus months, he has lost three of his last four outings and panic is smothering the Yankees’ universe.

Tuesday night at Progressive Field the Indians hung a 5-3 defeat on the Yankees’ ace in front of 23,384 and started an avalanche of questions and thoughts after he gave up five runs and 10 hits in 6²/₃ innings and dropped to 12-4. The 10 hits and five earned runs were season highs for the rookie right-hander, who now has given up 15 homers.

“Is he hurt?” “How could they spend that kind of money on him?” “He is spent!” “He threw too many pitches!” “I told you this guy wasn’t that good!” “Trade him for David Price!” “Send him to Triple-A!”

So it goes from Yankee fans who invented the “What Have You Done For Me Lately?’’ mentality long before social media.

New York Post

CLEVELAND — Has the league figured out Masahiro Tanaka, or has the All-Star rookie hit his first major-league wall?

Either way, the Yankees have to be a little worried about their $155 million man.

Tanaka lost on Tuesday night for the third time in four starts, enduring the worst outing of his brief career as the Indians slugged their way to a 5-3 win over the Yankees.

Tanaka (12-4) was knocked around for five runs (all earned) on 10 hits — both season-highs — and one walk in 6.2 innings. He hadn’t allowed more than eight hits or three earned runs in any start before last Thursday, when he gave up four runs on nine hits in a win over the Twins.

“I think it had a lot to do with my command,” Tanaka said through his interpreter. “I feel that a lot of my pitches were going right down the middle where it’s actually pretty easy for the batters to hit.”

New York Daily News

 

Last edited 7/9/2014 9:31 AM by JenniferMarie

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Posted: 7/9/2014 8:43 AM

Re: Beating Tanka: Another Perspective 


girardi has a reasonable response.
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Posted: 7/9/2014 9:08 AM

Re: Beating Tanka: Another Perspective 


Interesting stat from before last night's game:

When Tanaka faces a team for the first time: 10-0, 1.85 ERA

When Tanaka faces a team again: 2-3, 3.34 ERA

A very small sample size, but the Baseball Tonight analysts seem to think the book is out on the $155 million dollar man.  Here's an interesting breakdown from an ESPN New York blog:

http://espn.go.com/blog/new-yo...human-after-all  

The thing for me is that the Japanese League is great and there is a lot of talent there, but mostly, it's full of fringe Major Leaguers.  I stress "mostly" because, of course, there are future MLB stars in the Pacific League, but it's only a handful in my opinion.  Tanaka can strike those guys out all day.  I have no doubt that Matt Murton and Wily Mo Pena have trouble with Tanaka's repertoire.  The AL East on the other hand?  It could get ugly in the second half.  As in the NFL, huge contracts for players that haven't played a snap at the highest level shouldn't get the biggest contracts.  You're setting yourself up for disaster.  IMHO.

I don't know.  Maybe I'm piling on and Tanaka will be fine and win the Cy Young and ROY, but the panic of Yankee fans is truly delicious and hard to walk by with out acknowledging.  

On a side note, there was a report that Michael Brantley felt awful after the game and drove Tanaka to the Cleveland Clinic to have his neck checked out.  Having it whip around so much can't be good for him.  That's just how we do things in Cuyahoga County.  Sources could not be confirmed.  

devil
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Posted: 7/9/2014 11:16 AM

Re: Beating Tanaka: Another Perspective 


My concern is with the Tribe's offense. We get shut down by Greene then smack around "Tough Actin" Tanaka. McCarthy tonight....nothing would surprise me but I'm still betting on at least a repeat performance from last night. 45-45

Bread
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Posted: 7/9/2014 12:22 PM

Re: Beating Tanaka: Another Perspective 


Until the indians come up with a real Masher for the middle of this line-up there will always be huge offensive problems here we are loaded with several average to below average hitter there is no other way to look at it.

The same goes for the Starters after Kluber / Bauer & Salazar the rest of the starters are filler to below average filler pieces the things that losing teams are made up of it is time to clean the closet sign or trade for a real starter like Cole Hamels or Cliff Lee to go with out big 3 then who cares who the #5 guy is they are meaningless parts at playoff time anyways.

The same goes with this offense Murphy / Dickerson / Raburn are not taking you anywhere I would pick up a Marlon Byrd if possible to play right full time cut lose Raburn for sure keep Murphy as the # 4 outfielder.

If the Indians could take on about 20 mil this year while removing the trash clogging up the roster they would have a huge shot at a run at the playoffs.

The Phillies may go for Carlos Santana ( Catching a big black hole for them  ) Lindor  / Frazier / Aguilar Player to be named later Naquin after off the DL while throwing in Masterson , Asdruabl ( + the rest of his contract cash ) and Hagadone

For

Hamels or Lee + 7-8 mil per over the remainder of the contract.
Marlon Byrd hits 4th
Ryan Howard  = shares DH 1st with Swisher and hits 5th
Jimmy Rollins Defensive and Offensive upgrade and our new SS for the next couple of years


New Line-up when healthy Bourn

Bourne - L 
Rollins - S
Kipnis - L
Byrd - R
Howard - L
Brantley - L
Gomes -R
Chisenhall -L
Swisher - S

I bat Gomes at 7 to break up the Lefties a little and lets face it he should be hitting higher hitting the switch hitting Swisher 9th lets him take the pressure off and relax a  little.

We would be giving up a lot but they are prospects for a reason they may or may not be the real deal this would be like a Boston / Dodger deal and the Phillies same 20 - 25 mil per over the next 2-3 seasons.

This solves issues for both team and IMO the indians could make the playoffs this season if they could get Salazar straightened out The deal for me would be a no go if Bauer or Salazar would have to be included. 

The Phillies would also have to pay at least 7 to 8 mil per on the Starter contract and the Howard contract Santana & Byrd cancel each other out the cash saved next season on Masterson & Asdrubal next season means the indians payroll increases by about 15 mil. 

Win Win for both teams over the next 2 - 3 years


breadman20 wrote: My concern is with the Tribe's offense. We get shut down by Greene then smack around "Tough Actin" Tanaka. McCarthy tonight....nothing would surprise me but I'm still betting on at least a repeat performance from last night. 45-45

Bread
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Posted: 7/9/2014 2:03 PM

Re: Beating Tanaka: Another Perspective 



kcatthebat wrote: 

The Phillies may go for Carlos Santana ( Catching a big black hole for them  ) Lindor  / Frazier / Aguilar Player to be named later Naquin after off the DL while throwing in Masterson , Asdruabl ( + the rest of his contract cash ) and Hagadone

For

Hamels or Lee + 7-8 mil per over the remainder of the contract.
Marlon Byrd hits 4th
Ryan Howard  = shares DH 1st with Swisher and hits 5th
Jimmy Rollins Defensive and Offensive upgrade and our new SS for the next couple of years


This HAS to be joke right?  OK, ha-ha, yep, you got me with that one...wow, that's a really hysterical satirical look at a typical starstruck Cleveland fan's perspective.  Good one, KC!  {guffaw}  What a knee-slapper!
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Posted: 7/9/2014 2:29 PM

Re: Beating Tanaka: Another Perspective 



WhoAzcue wrote:
kcatthebat wrote: 

The Phillies may go for Carlos Santana ( Catching a big black hole for them  ) Lindor  / Frazier / Aguilar Player to be named later Naquin after off the DL while throwing in Masterson , Asdruabl ( + the rest of his contract cash ) and Hagadone

For

Hamels or Lee + 7-8 mil per over the remainder of the contract.
Marlon Byrd hits 4th
Ryan Howard  = shares DH 1st with Swisher and hits 5th
Jimmy Rollins Defensive and Offensive upgrade and our new SS for the next couple of years


This HAS to be joke right?  OK, ha-ha, yep, you got me with that one...wow, that's a really hysterical satirical look at a typical starstruck Cleveland fan's perspective.  Good one, KC!  {guffaw}  What a knee-slapper!
I would barf if we made that trade.
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Posted: 7/9/2014 3:45 PM

Re: Beating Tanaka: Another Perspective 


Tanaka on his way to New York for MRI.  Yikes.  

http://nypost.com/2014/07/09/m...i-on-right-arm/

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Posted: 7/9/2014 4:30 PM

Re: Beating Tanaka: Another Perspective 


That is the worst trade proposal I think I have ever read.
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Posted: 7/9/2014 9:13 PM

Re: Beating Tanaka: Another Perspective 


Tanaka is going to have off nights...  he's not superman...

but I liked the signing as a yankee hater... so...
I expect he'll be okay but nothing close to what they are paying him after all is said and done and everyone gets a good book on him...
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Posted: 7/10/2014 8:56 AM

Re: Beating Tanaka: Another Perspective 


Tanaka is an amazing pitcher. I'm not sure that the league "getting a book on him" is going to be any more effective than it was for Yu. This guy isn't getting by on smoke and mirrors, he is getting by on being fantastic. His slider and splitter are both well above average. I'm not sure how you combat a guy with that combination.
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Posted: 7/10/2014 9:48 PM

Re: Beating Tanaka: Another Perspective 



IdahoTribesman wrote: Tanaka on his way to New York for MRI.  Yikes.  

http://nypost.com/2014/07/09/m...i-on-right-arm/

Partial tear of his UCL.  They're gonna try 6 weeks of rehab.  If that doesn't work, it's TJ surgery.
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Posted: 7/10/2014 11:41 PM

Re: Beating Tanaka: Another Perspective 


The science of pitching and the preparation of achieving proper mechanics are very interesting to me. There is a site that I frequent that talks at length about arm injuries and how avoidable they are.

Here is a piece that they wrote about Tanaka back in February....

Link

It is also worth noting that these guys in particular had a very lengthy and heated back and forth with the Diamonbacks Daniel Hudson. You'll have to dig through the site a little bit to find it but there are a lot of great reads on this site.

Here is the link to that because it is just too good imo

Last edited 7/11/2014 4:23 AM by skydancing

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Posted: 7/11/2014 9:19 AM

Re: Beating Tanaka: Another Perspective 



WahooinAtlanta wrote:
IdahoTribesman wrote: Tanaka on his way to New York for MRI.  Yikes.  

http://nypost.com/2014/07/09/m...i-on-right-arm/

Partial tear of his UCL.  They're gonna try 6 weeks of rehab.  If that doesn't work, it's TJ surgery.
Did half of major league pitchers in 1935 have torn ACLs and no technology to discover that?  Otherwise, either evolution hates pitchers or the way pitchers are training and being used has caused a significant change in the ability of the body to handle it.
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Posted: 7/11/2014 10:03 AM

Re: Beating Tanaka: Another Perspective 


What was so different about the way Tanaka was being used?  Probably a situation where the years of fatigue from Japanese ball caught up with him.  Pretty much the biggest issue that some have with throwing longterm deals at Japanese pitchers.  Tanaka is probably the last person one should use to argue modern pitcher training methods since he doesn't use them, he came from a system in fact that says the best solution is to throw, throw, throw and then if you arm hurts, throw until it doesn't hurt anymore.

Also note that one of the 'old school' teams are the Rangers, basing their training of starters on Nolan Ryan's advice.  Well, where are their starters now?  Must not have done much good if he leaves and a year later those supposedly old-school strengthened arms are now snapping.

Pitchers today are throwing harder than ever, so yeah, I think there could be a corrollary between guys maybe getting too strong for the ligament to handle.  But there needs to be an honest evaluation of the arm injuries, who is suffering them and what the potential causes are.  Simply thinking they should play more long toss in the old cornfield isn't going to solve it.  And do remember, too, that with less teams in the bigleagues and a much larger talent pool in the minors, when a guy's arm would get smoked a team would simply send them down, never to be heard from again.  Guys didn't get TJ, they just got replaced.  And the history of baseball is riddled with former hard throwers who suddenly 'lost' their A game and had to reinvent.  Most sound like popped ligament people.  Oh, and Koufax. 
CalBuckeyeRob wrote:
WahooinAtlanta wrote:
IdahoTribesman wrote: Tanaka on his way to New York for MRI.  Yikes.  

http://nypost.com/2014/07/09/m...i-on-right-arm/

Partial tear of his UCL.  They're gonna try 6 weeks of rehab.  If that doesn't work, it's TJ surgery.
Did half of major league pitchers in 1935 have torn ACLs and no technology to discover that?  Otherwise, either evolution hates pitchers or the way pitchers are training and being used has caused a significant change in the ability of the body to handle it.
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Posted: 7/11/2014 6:16 PM

Re: Beating Tanaka: Another Perspective 



CalBuckeyeRob wrote:
WahooinAtlanta wrote:
IdahoTribesman wrote: Tanaka on his way to New York for MRI.  Yikes.  

http://nypost.com/2014/07/09/m...i-on-right-arm/

Partial tear of his UCL.  They're gonna try 6 weeks of rehab.  If that doesn't work, it's TJ surgery.
Did half of major league pitchers in 1935 have torn ACLs and no technology to discover that?  Otherwise, either evolution hates pitchers or the way pitchers are training and being used has caused a significant change in the ability of the body to handle it.
I've said before and I'll say it until the day I die that there are three major reasons the pitchers today get hurt so fast:

1) The kids pitch a whole lot of high impact, high stress innings at a very young age...  kids go into travel ball so early rather than just playing the kids from their neighborhood in a local league...
they then throw 100 innings with their HS Team in the spring... 100 in the summer with a travel team... 50+ in a fall league and the do camps in the winter...  then they get drafted and drop to like 70-80 innings for a couple years...  then suddenly ramp back up to 200 and we are shocked they get hurt?

2) kids throw THOUSANDS UPON THOUSANDS of pitches over years with a motion they learn at 7 or 8 years old...  their body literally grows over a decade + around the muscles and muscle memory...  the some "expert" changes their motion and are SHOCKED the muscles have issues with it and tendons can't deal?   please...  it's surprising any arms survive!

3) Nobody pitches to the game...  in the stat obsessed era... where a major league pitcher is taxing his arm with a 7-1 lead to throw 98 and snap of wicked sliders going deep into counts and try for Ks?  So are kids...  the HS kids... or the travel league kid... the little league kid tries to strike everybody off no matter the score or situation.... 

put those three things together and the fact it's simply an unnatural motion for the body...
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Posted: 7/11/2014 8:19 PM

Re: Beating Tanaka: Another Perspective 


I have always misunderstood your position, dan. I completely agree with what you posted.
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Posted: 7/11/2014 11:27 PM

Re: Beating Tanaka: Another Perspective 


I am not so sure about the innings pitched, kids pitched hundreds of innings back in the day as well, it was just not as organized. I doubt there is a pitcher alive who has pitched half the innings Satchel Paige pitched.

To me the big difference is how hard they have to pitch rather than how much, the mound is lower, the strike zone is smaller, the fences are closer, the foul zones are smaller, and the hitters are bigger and stronger. A pitch that isn't perfect has a good likelihood of being parked in the bleachers. Where pitchers years back would get away with pitching to complete a game, putting the ball in play getting outs on foul pops that are now three seats back or having the center fielder run one down that would be 50 feet past the fence (remember that Willie Mays catch in 54)  pitchers today don't have that luxury.
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Posted: 7/11/2014 11:27 PM

Re: Beating Tanaka: Another Perspective 


There are probably not enough of them, but it would be interesting to study pitchers that took up fulltime pitching in the minors or at least late in high school to see if they had significantly fewer arm issues.
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Posted: 7/12/2014 8:34 AM

Re: Beating Tanaka: Another Perspective 



jameseboy wrote: I am not so sure about the innings pitched, kids pitched hundreds of innings back in the day as well, it was just not as organized. I doubt there is a pitcher alive who has pitched half the innings Satchel Paige pitched.

To me the big difference is how hard they have to pitch rather than how much, the mound is lower, the strike zone is smaller, the fences are closer, the foul zones are smaller, and the hitters are bigger and stronger. A pitch that isn't perfect has a good likelihood of being parked in the bleachers. Where pitchers years back would get away with pitching to complete a game, putting the ball in play getting outs on foul pops that are now three seats back or having the center fielder run one down that would be 50 feet past the fence (remember that Willie Mays catch in 54)  pitchers today don't have that luxury.


right but you can expand the zone all you want but if kids don't learn the value of pitching to contact... at least in certain situations... it won't change...

and the mythology of the "old days" plays a part... like Satchel Paige...  you realize he never played baseball until he was 13 (or older depending on his real age)...  he was arrested for truancy and went to a reform school and was taught there...  he bounced around for a few semi-pro teams until he was 20...  the nego leagues seasons were much shorter and he averaged around 100 innings a year... (less than 1300 innings in 18 seasons)...  he's also throw in winter leagues... sometimes 100+ innings but sometimes just a few...
he also understood pitching to the game... with a supposed 100+ fastball and great off speed stuff he struck out less than 1 an inning a good bit less most years...  so either folks overstate his ability or he was throwing to contact a lot

and of course he blew out his arm in his 30s... and became a finesse pitcher

anyway...  what has been lost in the stat obsessed era is the art of pitching to contact and understanding the game and what it takes to win today... and tomorrow... and next month... and next year...

we do that all the time in elite softball... the #1 pitcher might throw 10+ games in 3 days...  it's 4-0 in pool play and she's going to be throwing sinkers on the outside corner and allowing kids to put the ball in play...  the ideal inning isn't 3Ks..  it's 3 pitches....

Last edited 7/12/2014 8:42 AM by buckeyedanpt2

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