Knapp ges the WSJ treatment

by billfer on August 7, 2009 · 20 comments

in 2009 Season,Pitching

Rick Knapp has made the big time now. No, not just his job as pitching coach for one of the AL’s best staffs, but he was the subject of a feature in the Wall Street Journal. He was mostly anonymous until the Tigers hired him to replace Chuck Hernandez and now he’s been dubbed a miracle worker. Nice career arc for Mr. Knapp.

Lot’s of good stuff in the article, but one thing in particular caught my eye:

Roger Clemens, Curt Schilling and John Smoltz crafted Hall of
Fame-caliber careers with the assistance of split-fingered fastballs.
Mr. Knapp frowned on it, viewing the splitter as a “trick pitch” that
harmed young arms more than it helped them.

“If you spread your first two fingers out and extend your arm as you
throw the ball as hard as you can, that doesn’t feel real good,” he
says.

Interesting in the sense that Bonderman is trying to develop the pitch as we speak. But Bonderman also is far removed from being a rookie.

The Detroit Tigers’ Miracle Worker – WSJ.com

 
 

{ 20 comments }

KW August 7, 2009 at 9:55 am

I’m glad Knapp is getting profiled in the WSJ, but I wouldn’t exactly call Porcello a “flamethrower” or say he has a “blazing fastball.” And what’s with calling everyone “Mr.”? Methinks the author is kind of a dumdum.

Ron August 7, 2009 at 1:46 pm

What, you can’t see Knapp going out to the mound and saying, “Mr. Verlander, you just need to make good pitches”…?

Joel in Seattle August 7, 2009 at 3:16 pm

Methinks you’re just unaccustomed to the style of writing in the WSJ. Their style is to use Mr/Ms to refer to people following the first full-name reference in the article.

And he’s a national writer – the misconception that Porcello is a hard thrower is a widely held one, not unreasonable for a guy in NY to have.

Coleman August 7, 2009 at 3:29 pm

I wonder what they do with guys like Bono and Sting. I think the NYT has just gone with Bono, although in the old days I’ve seen him get the Mr Hewson treatment (Mr. Bono, or course, would by Sonny).

(The “methinks” threw me at first but I’m just unaccustomed to Shakespearean-blogger style conventions).

Mark in Chicago August 7, 2009 at 3:34 pm

I am surprised that being from NY the writer didn’t discuss some rumor about how the Tigers want to trade Porcello to the Yankees.

Coleman August 7, 2009 at 4:04 pm

They’re still a bit confused because Halladay is still on Toronto and he was supposed to be starting for NY this weekend.

Ron August 7, 2009 at 4:35 pm

I mean, he can touch 94-95 with the 4-seamer. Maybe not a flamethrower, but he could be close if he wanted to.

Fritz August 7, 2009 at 10:32 am

@KW: “Mr.” is just the style the paper uses; NYT does the same thing.

Kyle J August 7, 2009 at 11:40 am

To me, the big takeaway from the article is that Knapp isn’t a system guy. He seems to be able to work with different pitchers’ strengths in the different ways.

charlie August 7, 2009 at 11:44 am

twinkies just traded for pavano…any bets we see him this w/e?

Jerry the Tiger Fan August 7, 2009 at 2:58 pm

Seriously??? Damn. Pavano has our number, so that is not good. You know Gardenhire knows this and he won’t miss a chance to stick him in there this weekend, especially because Perkins has been awful this year. This series just got a lot harder. C’mon CLE, you couldn’t have waited until Monday to make this deal?

Coleman August 7, 2009 at 3:04 pm

At least they didn’t work a 3-way deal where they got Pavano AND Luke Scott (although Ed-Jack finally ended his run against us).

Mark August 7, 2009 at 11:55 am

He was scheduled to go Saturday for Cleveland. Perkins is carrying a 6 ERA and was scheduled that day to go vs Verlander.

I put it at 95%

Walter55 August 7, 2009 at 11:59 am

Pavano was supposed to start against the WS tomorrow and his last game was against us so he is ready to go. I am willing to bet he either pitches tonight or tomorrow against us. We all know he has owned the Tigers this year hopefully we are just due to light him up.

Coleman August 7, 2009 at 3:13 pm

I think we might, especially after watching yesterday’s game. I think Inge has his number–last time out against Pavano he had a single, worked an 8-pitch walk, and flied out to the CF warning track (and this is when he hadn’t been hitting anything). Granderson may be heating up and we have an extra lefty to throw in now with Avila also. It will be interesting to see if Ordonez is platooned out of the lineup again; he’s had the hot bat and is 2 – 5 with a 2B and 2 RBI vs Pavano.

Mark in Chicago August 7, 2009 at 12:43 pm

I totally hope that deal blows up in the Twins face.

Keith (Mr. X) August 7, 2009 at 2:22 pm

I think it was another half and half move by the Twins. Some people think Pavano is a joke, but he can be good when he’s got command, which is only about 50% of the time. He’s not good enough to make the Tigers rotation, but he’s probably on par with how Galarraga has thrown this year. Only difference is that Pavano (5.7) has gotten much better run support than Galarraga (3.8).

Orlando Cabrera was a desperate move. Orlando has a .715 OPS and has one the worst UZR/150 ratings among shortstops at -11 runs. Only Ramon Santiago(-13.2) and Yuniesky Betancourt (15.9) are worse.

Coleman August 7, 2009 at 3:04 pm

Rick Knapp is only 47?

scotsw August 11, 2009 at 4:59 pm

So, Pavano cleared waivers. Pardon my ignorance, but my question is, why didn’t anyone else out there put in a waiver claim on him? Wouldn’t it behoove the Tigers to make the claim if for no other reason than to deny him to Minnesota? Would Cleveland revoke those waivers, or would Detroit have to find a spot for Pavano on their major-league roster? How does that work?

Mark in Chicago August 11, 2009 at 5:05 pm

Nobody claimed him because if Pavano isn’t pitching against the Tigers or the White Sox, he sucks.

Also, he’d have to go on the 40-man roster, which usually means someone else has to be put on waivers and taken off (assuming the 40-man is full).

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