On the front of the Sports section, there's a picture of a group of japanese ballplayers bowing to a coach- Seiichiro Ogura (the Japanese Don Zimmer it says). Apparently Ogura used to hit balls to Dice-K at close range with a fungo bat for hours at a time to hone his quickness and agility.
I like how the Japanese players bow to their coach. That's classy.
Schilling, who does not like to face AL East opponents during spring training due to the possibility of overexposing his pitches to teams that each play the Sox 18 or 19 times during the regular season, said he suspected that wouldn’t be a concern for Matsuzaka. “With the stuff I see him throwing and the games I’ve watched him pitch, it’s going to take a whole lot more than two or three times to get used to him,” Schilling said. “He’s got such an incredible mix of pitches and he has such good command. “That’s why he’s an ace-in-the-making, because he’s going to be able to win some games when he’s not locating his fastball or doesn’t have his curveball,” he continued. “He’s like Pedro (Martinez) that he has multiple strikeout pitches. Those are the type of guys who can go out and not feel good and still dominate a game.”
Schilling is a no BS, straight up guy. Those words carry a little weight with me.
Schilling loves to run his mouth about every matter in the world, I wouldnt take this into affect too much.
Let's try to answer the questions that I posted above?
1) How efficient is he with his mechanics?
VERY efficient and aggressive, especially with his lower body. Yes, the lead arm issue bothers me.
2) Will he keep his velocity/stuff throughout his career?
I can't only look at his mechanics to answer this one. We know how many innings he has logged in his professional career. However, if he keeps his aggressiveness and tempo, there is a good chance that he'll keep his stuff well into his career. Yes, the lead arm issue bothers me—I'll get back to this one.
3) What about potential injury risks?
All I see is potential shoulder issues. Yeah, I know, MOST (if not all) pitchers have shoulder issues at some point. I'm talking about shoulder issues that greatly contribute to decline (think Pedro Martinez).
My guess: Matsuzaka remains durable and at his A+ stuff over the next three years or so. Sometime after year three, after adding a few pounds and after the natural effects of aging, he starts slowing his body down just a tad and his velocity starts dipping. Fast forward a year or two: he has an average year while adjusting to not being able to hit 95+ mph as consistently as he used to. He starts seeing some DL time, but pitches enough innings to justify his contract. However, at the end of his contract, we will probably wonder if he will end up having the same recurring issues as Pedro. Will someone give him another four- or five-year contract after that? Probably. Will that be too many? Yup, just like Pedro.
He looked good, very nice control on his curve aqnd a fastball up and out at 92 or so that had batters frozen.
Of course , it's against a college team but it was apparent DiceK has some serious stuff.
I hope not to rehash a bunch of stuff that's already been posted in the previous 90 something pages, but I heard a couple things on NESN I hadn't heard before.
His history is of a workhorse , he once threw 350 pitches in a bullpen session. He believes that more work builds strength and fierceness.
Also, his last 28 wins in Japan were complete games, albeit on an every 6 day pitching schedule.
I'm hoping he's the real deal, I saw nothing in his two innings today to indicate that he's not.
I wanted to see the Dice-K mania tonight, so I fired up the MLB.tv of the game...only got to see the 2nd inning though.
Dang good curve ball...the ump gave him high (and outside) strike 3 calls twice. I don't think he'll get those in a regular season game. Didn't get to see the split or slider, but oh well. Obviously he's pretty good.
Only thing I noticed - and it seems to be the case with every pitcher from Japan - is that he's got some weird hitch in his delivery. First off, he tends to bob a little bit with his legs in the set position...if the umps wanted to, they could call a balk on that because he's not perfectly still. Secondly, when he goes into the full wind he snaps his leg in a sort of funny way...someone I work with said he almost acts like he's doing a pickoff throw to home but somehow makes it into a full wind. I basically said the same thing...almost like a stretch look at the very first moment and then slows it down for a normal motion. I think this could make the batter believe he's going to fire the ball out faster but then slows down, relaxes the batter, and then brings the heat.
I liked the interview they did after he was done too...seems like a cool guy!
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