Science behind pitching to contact

  • Article by: DENNIS BRACKIN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 4, 2012 - 10:17 AM

Batters connect with pitches about 80 percent of the time, so make sure those occasions end in outs.

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hauts81May. 3, 1210:58 PM

I'm fine with the pitch to contact philosophy but when you can't get anybody out you've got a problem. The Twins need some guys who can get a strikeout when they need one.

minnesotachaMay. 3, 1211:11 PM

Agreed. The philosophy isn't the problem. It's the talent, or lack thereof. For years we have drafted guys who pitch with razor-thin margins of error, and now we're paying the price (and the two best K artists weren't drafted -- Santana and Liriano). While of course no pitcher is going to strike out a majority of batters, having the ability to pitch for a K when you need one is invaluable. It isn't just coincidence that the Twins starters are dead last in ERA and Ks/9. The drafting philosophy has to change.

malachyMay. 3, 1211:15 PM

yes, everyone knows that most outs happen on balls hit in play. but you GET a poorly hit ball by trying to miss bats, not by trying to hit bats. saying "pitch to contact" (or "move the runner over" on the offensive side of things) is setting a non-aggressive tone for the whole pitching staff and the whole team.

favrefanMay. 3, 1211:17 PM

The Rangers pitch to contact? Really? I highly doubt it. I'd like to see or hear proof of that from Nolan Ryan. I watch the Rangers' pitchers and while maybe one or two of them do that, the best on their staff most certainly do not. PTC is a copout and in theory is only supposed to be used by the 4th and 5th starter not the entire staff. Face it, the Twins have nothing but noodle arms being thrown to the wolves day in and out.

ollie3May. 3, 1211:23 PM

Notice Carpenter doesn't say pitch to contact, he says pitch to swing. Even if that's only a difference in semantics, the other half of pitching to contact means you need players who can field the ball after contact. It also helps when the ball actually stays in the playable part of the field.

ollie3May. 3, 1211:49 PM

Another thing to keep in mind..while the batter does want to make contact, it's not always for the purposes of getting a hit, some do try to foul off several pitches to get the pitch count while Perkins is worried about approaching his 15 pitch goal, he may get impatient and throw a more aggressive pitch than is necessary, which is what the batter was looking for all along.

weinshilboumMay. 4, 1212:13 AM

OMG, it's official. The STRIB is the propoganda rag of the Twins management. Pitch to CONTACT? NO. ONE. CARES. Here's an idea STRIB: write about what readers WANT. How about the history of management incompetence in the draft. (HINT, a BIG draft pick is coming up for the Twins.) How about worst starts in SP HISTORY given stats. How about SPs who LEAVE the twins and, with other coaches, learn how to PITCH?

meemaaMay. 4, 1212:32 AM

What ever it is that Anderson and Gardenhire THINK they are doing 'ain't workin'!!!!!

flogicMay. 4, 1212:56 AM

LOL, I found this article so amusing. The concept was not an issue for average pitchers, because it's not counter intuitive as the article suggests. Since little league, we were all told to pitch it in there, same concept. However, it's the way the Twins approached it with pitchers that WERE effectively wild. The way it seems their cookie cutter approach has failed so many pitchers here who had that zing. This is a philosphy gone mad, and that Rick and Gardy or even the Trib are trying to explain to us "idiots" who have watched a lifetime of baseball, played plenty too at competitive levels, that we just don't get it is offensive to me. No, I am not Sparky Anderson, but I know a pattern of failure when I see it. Show me one pitcher this system has made "better" then when they got here. Whether from another team, college, or even a draftee from high school? Even R.A. Dickey improved when he left here. ROFL R.A. Dickey!!!! And throw to contact can't even apply to him. I don't want anyone to lose a job, but maybe a reassigment for managers to the minors can be as helpful as it is for a player. Ever consider that one Trib?

myblunderMay. 4, 12 1:28 AM

A journalist needs to directly ask the Front Office why they let this happen. The integrity and motives of the Pohlad's need to be called into question. The cut in payroll is not an excuse when the overall net profit of the Twins has simultaneously been at record highs. Fans should be demanding an explanation for this approach that the Twins are using.


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