Peterson: 'Our philosophies are aligned'
The Brewers did not just hire a pitching coach on Tuesday. They hired a pitching philosophy.
The team announced its deal with former A’s and Mets pitching guru Rick Peterson, who has a degree in psychology and a track record of success employing biomechanics, a system of analyzing pitchers’ deliveries to look for ways to limit injuries and improve performance. Brewers medical staffers and coaches have been working in that area for several years, but now they are willing to embrace it in earnest.
“I asked right up front: Are you looking just for a big league pitching coach, or are you looking for an organizational philosophy?” Peterson said. “I’m more interested in integrating a philosophy, and that’s what they were looking for.
“How much more exciting can it be? This is the work I’ve done my entire career, and it’s the path the organization wants to go down.”
Peterson got a two-year contract. The Brewers also announced that bullpen coach Stan Kyles would be back for a second season, and that Chris Bosio, who finished the 2009 season as Milwaukee’s interim pitching coach, will return to the organization in a role yet to be determined.
Peterson has yet to look at video of Milwaukee’s pitchers, most of whom are under team control for next season. Peterson was more interested in getting a feel for the organizational pitching philosophy, and whether key decision-makers were willing to embrace his program.
He was left with little doubt.
“It’s very important that our philosophies are aligned,” Peterson said. “Until the interview, I didn’t realize how much we were aligned. I didn’t know that the Brewers’ orthopedic doctor [longtime head team physician William Raasch] was implementing biomechanical analysis throughout the organization.
“I was on the ground floor of this in 1989 with Dr. [James] Andrews at ASMI Lab. When you look at my career path, my life’s path, I tried to design the best pitching system that could be designed, and now I’m coming to an organization that embraces that philosophy.
“Some of the other places I’ve been, it was a battle to a degree. They either didn’t have anything in place or felt like it was too scientific, too data-driven. Whatever it was, there was opposition and a desire to be more old-school. With Milwaukee, all the way up to the ownership, it seems they are a very forward-looking team. It’s traditional baseball intertwined with new-age thinking.”
Peterson will now begin looking at video of the pitchers Milwaukee has in place and will also do “inside the numbers” analysis of their statistics to look for ways to improve. At some point during or just before Spring Training, Peterson would like to have those pitchers undergo a biomechanical analysis to look for ways to improve.