1:48 pm May 11, 2009, by David O'Brien
May 12th, 20092:08 pm
-Gotta love Bobby Cox and the way he manages. He took the Mets to school last night.
-Derek Lowe is a leader. McCann was screwing with his rhythm last night during one of Beltran’s at-bats and you could SEE Lowe dropping f-bombs to himself about whatever McCann was doing to screw up the signs he was giving Lowe. This really reminded me of Maddux/Smoltz in the 90s because I can’t remember the last time a Braves pitcher knew he was in control and his plan was all that mattered when he was out there on the bump.
-Kotchman sure can pick it, and I love how you can count on the guy to put the bat on the ball. He seems to stay inside the ball longer vs. lefties than righties b/c he always hooks inside pitches from righties into the stands. I love Kotchman’s humility, and he is a blue-collar Atlanta Brave I’m happy to watch.
-Jordan Schafer can hit a fastball. You don’t become an elite prospect unless you’ve hit high velo throughout your amateur career, but I’m not sure he’s ever seen Velo with this type of movement.
Jordan’s bat is WAY too big, and hopefully someone will tell him to swing a smaller bat sooner than later. That thing is a tree trunk, so no wonder he’s trying to muscle the ball with his shoulders (which in turn slow down his hands)
That always happened to me early in my college career when I was in a 3-1, 2-0 or 1-0 count. It wasn’t until I went up to Mankato, MN that I realized I couldn’t or didn’t have to swing out of my shoes in those counts (because the wood didn’t allow optimal batspeed with that swing). Optimal batspeed came from absolutely simplifying the swing down to the basics and fogetting all mechanics except for my hands.
Well, when I hit my first homerun that summer with my hands, I had a moment of ‘realization.’ All my life I thought you had to swing the **** out of the bat to hit it far. I never had been a home run guy, but feeling how easy it was and how seemingly short my swing was (with the ball going out around 385 way over dead left), I never forgot that feeling.
To mimic that feeling, I went to Elon that fall (my Jr. year, 1st year at Elon) and turned the pitching machine up to about 90 MPH. THEN, I moved up in the box about 10 feet closer towards the machine. When I would try to CRUSH the ball, my muscles contracted (slowing down my hands), my hands gripped the bat too tight (slowing down my wrists) and the barrel of my bat dropped below my hands.
When I tried to feel almost zero muscle flex in my body on swings (until after contact) and held the bat about as lightly as possible, the results were amazing. With a very calm, light grip on the bat and only trying to be as quick (but smooth) as possible, the ball JUMPED off the bat.
Evan Longoria focuses on his hands and being quick (instead of swinging hard) until right after the point of contact. His whole swing is to be as relaxed as possible.
Derek Lowe had a great hit last night with a smooth, relaxed swing where he let the pitch speed and the bat weight determine how hard the ball was hit.
I really wish someone would help Jordan understand (by standing 7 feet in front of him in the cage and throwing the ball as hard as they can) that right now he’s completely eliminating one of the best assets he has (quickness and hands) by swining all shoulders and trying to Matt Stairs the ball out of the ballpark (btw, Matt Stairs is known as having one of the longest swings in the game).
So, I do not think MLB fastballs are too overpowering for Jordan Schafer. Well let me rephrase that: Jordan Schafer’s batspeed is NOT the factor contributing to all the whiffs. His hands are completely limited until about he’s almost done with his follow-through!
If you asked Jordan to stand at home plate at Turner Field and take a full game-speed wing but asked him to release the bat and throw it to centerfield at the point of contact, the bat would wind up somewhere near Bobby in the dugout instead of flying over 2B into CF.
I really think it’s a small adjustment, and once he feels it he will be fine. He’s going to be very good.
one more thing:
My alma mater Elon Phoenix crack the Baseball America top-25 after winning the SoCon regular season title for the 3rd time in the last four years this weekend… they’ve hit 116 homeruns in 50 games!
May 12th, 20092:09 pm
Not too sure about the Muts pen either – particularly their 8th inning guy. Every time I’ve seen him this year he’s been shaky.
Speaking of shaky, Don and his partner ran chills up my spine last night when they mentioned that both Soriano and Gonzalez are FA’s after the season. We need to lock one of them up before season’s end. Both would probably more of a luxury than we can afford.
MFin04 (The Hopeless Romantic)
May 12th, 20092:21 pm
Don’t think the Braves are going to spend a ton of money on Soriano and Gonzo, not sure its the Braves philosophy to put a lot of money into relief pitching (look at the Ohman situation). That being said, Gonzo is at 3.5mil and Rafy at 6.5mil, that seems like a lot for the Braves to be paying but in comparison to the Mets who are paying 15mil for KRod (9) and Putz (6) and apparently 10mil for Billy Wagner doesnt seem like a lot.
May 12th, 20092:27 pm
Funny, but when I read the Philly Newspaper Sports blogs, they all they can do is talk about the Mets. They are obsessed with what the Mets do, and their players, EVERY BIT AS MUCH AS YOU ATLANTA FANS ARE!
And we all know why. Because you all are second fiddle to NYC…The BIG Apple… and their Basesball teams. The Filly fans even bash the Yankees all the time..and they are in a different league! (I’m sure you guys hate the Yanks too since they kicked your asses good twice in the ‘96 and ‘99 WS).
So keep it up you envious clowns. You keep me entertained. What a hoot.
Good afternoon, girls.
May 12th, 20092:31 pm
RHR– Don’t worry about not doing the summary. I got ambitious and read my posts. Besides, you might have put a comical spin on them, and I was trying, as always, to be serious. BTW, thanks for the links.
DOB– Great comeback-post vs the Wiz @ 10:56. There may be others, but I’m still in catch up mode.
scoots–OK, you don’t want to answer my questions. I get it. I won’t bother you with them anymore.
May 12th, 20093:00 pm
Crab Fries…i think DOB have some last friday….but really is not Crab, is Flounder Fish fries
Oh, we call those fish sticks down here.
May 12th, 20093:14 pm
Slugger, thanks for the insightful comments on Jordan’s struggles from a hitter’s perspective. I’ve been wondering for a while if a lighter bat would help shorten / quicken his swing. I always wonder why that issue isn’t brought up at the major league level. It’s like the subject is taboo or something.
At this point, what’s the harm in trying a lighter bat for a couple games?
THE BEAR Illegitimi non carborundum
May 12th, 20093:20 pm
Just wondering if the Braves have considered trying WD40 on McCann’s glasses. It sure keeps moisture from collecting on other surfaces…why not eyeglasses?
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