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 Post subject: Matt Capps
PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2009 1:00 pm 
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I know we have some guys here who have some first-hand experience in coaching pitchers and analyzing mechanics, and this question is directed at them (AZ, No. 9, etc.). Is it just me, or is Capps delivery very different than it was a year ago or so? I have not been able to find video of him from a year or two ago to compare, but just watching with the naked eye and trying to break down his delivery, it seems to me that he is not nearly as much on top of the ball as he used to be, that he is "pushing" the ball more and that he is not as closed. Has anyone else noticed? Is this a result of relying on the slider more or an adjustment from the injury he suffered last year? His fasball has always been flat, but it was effective because he could spot it so well without giving up velocity. Thoughts?


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 Post subject: Re: Matt Capps
PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2009 1:02 pm 
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bradf wrote:
I know we have some guys here who have some first-hand experience in coaching pitchers and analyzing mechanics, and this question is directed at them (AZ, No. 9, etc.). Is it just me, or is Capps delivery very different than it was a year ago or so? I have not been able to find video of him from a year or two ago to compare, but just watching with the naked eye and trying to break down his delivery, it seems to me that he is not nearly as much on top of the ball as he used to be, that he is "pushing" the ball more and that he is not as closed. Has anyone else noticed? Is this a result of relying on the slider more or an adjustment from the injury he suffered last year? His fasball has always been flat, but it was effective because he could spot it so well without giving up velocity. Thoughts?


I'm of the thought, he spent more time at the dinner table in the offseason...He's looked heavier the past two seasons than before...And its not muscle he put on

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 Post subject: Re: Matt Capps
PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2009 1:07 pm 
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When I saw him in Atlanta in June, I was sitting next to the bullpen. He looked chubbier to me.


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 Post subject: Re: Matt Capps
PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2009 1:08 pm 
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The only thing I have noticed is that his location has not been as good. For example, yesterday he threw some nice sliders and then the one he threw to Winn was right over the middle. He has had many more walks also.


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 Post subject: Re: Matt Capps
PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2009 5:45 pm 
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Gotta be Dave Kerwin's fault. :D


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 Post subject: Re: Matt Capps
PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2009 8:05 pm 
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bradf wrote:
I know we have some guys here who have some first-hand experience in coaching pitchers and analyzing mechanics, and this question is directed at them (AZ, No. 9, etc.). Is it just me, or is Capps delivery very different than it was a year ago or so? I have not been able to find video of him from a year or two ago to compare, but just watching with the naked eye and trying to break down his delivery, it seems to me that he is not nearly as much on top of the ball as he used to be, that he is "pushing" the ball more and that he is not as closed. Has anyone else noticed? Is this a result of relying on the slider more or an adjustment from the injury he suffered last year? His fasball has always been flat, but it was effective because he could spot it so well without giving up velocity. Thoughts?


Brad -
I simply don't have any insight here. Haven't seen enough to make the comparison. I agree with Az . . . his location is definitely off. Previously, I have not liked the pitch selection. I have seen him "lock" into an area and continue to pound that area without mixing it up very well. I thought his pitch selection on the batter he walked yesterday in the 10th was awful. A 3-1 slider to that hitter? Screw that! That screams "no confidence" in his hard stuff.

I've always maintained that his fastball is too flat. It works OK if he can hit his spots and move it around and work in the change and slider. It does not work if he leaves it over the plate. MLB hitters feast on that stuff. Also, if he can't throw the slider for strikes, hitters are going to sit and wait for the flat fastball over the plate.

That being written, he has had a couple of stretches where he's had decent movement on the ball. But it has been spotty this year and far from consistent.

As for mechanics . . . can't offer an opinion on that.

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Obsessive proponent of situational bunting and 2 strike hitting approaches, reflexively pro-catchers calling good games and tasteless proponent of the value of a RBI.


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 Post subject: Re: Matt Capps
PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2009 8:08 pm 
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No. 9 wrote:
bradf wrote:
I know we have some guys here who have some first-hand experience in coaching pitchers and analyzing mechanics, and this question is directed at them (AZ, No. 9, etc.). Is it just me, or is Capps delivery very different than it was a year ago or so? I have not been able to find video of him from a year or two ago to compare, but just watching with the naked eye and trying to break down his delivery, it seems to me that he is not nearly as much on top of the ball as he used to be, that he is "pushing" the ball more and that he is not as closed. Has anyone else noticed? Is this a result of relying on the slider more or an adjustment from the injury he suffered last year? His fasball has always been flat, but it was effective because he could spot it so well without giving up velocity. Thoughts?


Brad -
I simply don't have any insight here. Haven't seen enough to make the comparison. I agree with Az . . . his location is definitely off. Previously, I have not liked the pitch selection. I have seen him "lock" into an area and continue to pound that area without mixing it up very well. I thought his pitch selection on the batter he walked yesterday in the 10th was awful. A 3-1 slider to that hitter? Screw that! That screams "no confidence" in his hard stuff.

I've always maintained that his fastball is too flat. It works OK if he can hit his spots and move it around and work in the change and slider. It does not work if he leaves it over the plate. MLB hitters feast on that stuff. Also, if he can't throw the slider for strikes, hitters are going to sit and wait for the flat fastball over the plate.

That being written, he has had a couple of stretches where he's had decent movement on the ball. But it has been spotty this year and far from consistent.

As for mechanics . . . can't offer an opinion on that.

I expect to see him visiting Dr. Andrews at some point in the next two years. I think that his loss of command and control are harbingers, and that he'll start losing velocity next. Tracy just plain abused him at too young an age.

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 Post subject: Re: Matt Capps
PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2009 9:40 pm 
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I have not really noticed a change in his delivery, but of course have not been looking for one. The obvious difference this year has been the large number of walks and 20+ pitch innings.

Capps used to retire the side on 10 pitches, 8 of which were strikes. Now, he struggles to throw 8 strikes in 15 pitches, and seems to need 25 pitches to get 3 outs.

Maybe he has a few extra pounds, but I am not certain how that would effect his delivery. He was never "slim" to begin with. Additionally, to the extent that he is delivering the ball from a lower arm slot - i.e., he is not "on top of the ball as much" - that could account for his inaccuracy, but he does not throw 2-seam very much. Therefore, his "dropping" of his arm slot should not have as much consequence as it would for a 2-seam guy.


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 Post subject: Re: Matt Capps
PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2009 10:08 pm 
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Watch him throw the fastball the next time you get a chance....pay attention to where and how the ball comes out of his hand (not so much the arm slot), especially on the balls that tail way in off the plate. He just doesn't seem to me to be driving down through the pitch.


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 Post subject: Re: Matt Capps
PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2009 10:17 pm 
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bradf wrote:
Watch him throw the fastball the next time you get a chance....pay attention to where and how the ball comes out of his hand (not so much the arm slot) ...

The location of the fingers on the pitching hand is directly related to and controlled by arm slot. Arm slot is controlled, in large measure, by elbow position. For example, it is impossible to get "on top" of the ball with the fingers if you deliver at 3/4. As the elbow drops, the fingers get more on the side of the ball and import sideways spin.

Some pitching coaches refer to this as a "fake" 2-seam, since the pitch runs laterally as a 2-seam would, in part. The problem is that the ball runs laterally but does not have much downward movement, since it has no top-spin. It is easier to hit with the good part of the bat and get in the air.


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 Post subject: Re: Matt Capps
PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2009 10:24 pm 
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Well, that would explain why the ball is running in so far, but do you notice if that is significantly different than previous years? Has he possibly changed that angle some to compensate for injury or to accomodate the slider?


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 Post subject: Re: Matt Capps
PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2009 10:43 pm 
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bradf wrote:
Well, that would explain why the ball is running in so far, but do you notice if that is significantly different than previous years? Has he possibly changed that angle some to compensate for injury or to accomodate the slider?

As I noted earlier, I have not really noticed him changing his arm slot/elbow position, but I am not watching for it. I mainly have watched his pitches crash off the fence or sail over. He has allowed a stunning number of HR's in his few innings this year.


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 Post subject: Re: Matt Capps
PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2009 11:10 pm 
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I am probably beating a dead horse here, but we are used to that on this board. I am just convinced that his delivery is different than before.



I don't know if I'm doing this right, but here's his current delivery.


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 Post subject: Re: Matt Capps
PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2009 1:24 am 
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Could be release point. His 4 seamer is straight as an arrow. Always has been. His location has been horrible.


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 Post subject: Re: Matt Capps
PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2009 1:41 am 
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I just watched about 20 different videos from 3 different years and i can't find anything different besides his weight. He is pitching exactly the same.


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 Post subject: Re: Matt Capps
PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2009 2:06 am 
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I personally believe Capps doesn't back hitters off the plate enough, and doesn't have much movement on his fastball. Taking that into account, he throws a lot of strikes, so hitters can just gear up, knowing they will get good strikes to hit, w/o being afraid of being backed off the plate.


I might be wrong, but that is what I have been seeing since he has been in this league.


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 Post subject: Re: Matt Capps
PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2009 1:13 pm 
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I think that was why he was a catcher in high school, he has a straight fastball...easy to nail kids going for 2nd base...

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