Results tagged ‘ Rick Peterson ’
When asked a simple question about the changes Randy Wolf has made since the beginning of the season, Brewers pitching coach Rick Peterson had plenty to say.
MILWAUKEE — A year ago, Randy Wolf put together a career-best season with the Dodgers.
From start to finish, Wolf was one of the league’s most consistent pitchers as he posted a handful of career-best numbers, including 214 1/3 innings pitched and a 1.101 WHIP.
Opening the 2010 season with the Milwaukee Brewers, that consistency seemed to escape Wolf. He looked nothing like the pitcher he was for Los Angeles, stumbling out to a 4-6 record with a 5.31 ERA through 13 starts in the first two months of the season.
“I just knew something wasn’t right,” Wolf said of his struggles.
Over that stretch, Wolf mixed in impressive outings, as he tossed six scoreless innings at Pittsburgh on April 20 and seven scoreless against the Astros on May 25. More frequently, however, Wolf struggled, as he did in allowing eight runs over 4 2/3 on June 9 to the Cubs.
As he watched his club’s newly acquired veteran left-hander struggle, Brewers pitching coach Rick Peterson struggled himself as he searched for an answer.
“You’re trying to pinpoint what exactly it is. Why exactly is he struggling? What’s different from the year before and this year?” Peterson said.
“So I went and I looked at all the pitch f/x information going back three years, taking a look at his vertical and horizontal movement on all his pitches, and the velocities on all his pitches. They were all the same. It was actually identical.”
If his stuff was the same early in 2010 as it was throughout the last three seasons, why were Wolf’s numbers so much more inconsistent?
Following his rough outing on June 9, Wolf bounced back, going 3-2 with a 3.25 ERA over his next seven starts. Wolf’s next start after that stretch, July 21 at Pittsburgh, was his worst yet. Entering with a 4.56 ERA, Wolf surrendered a career-high 12 runs on 13 hits over 5 2/3 innings pitched, causing his ERA to jump to 5.20.
While that Pittsburgh outing certainly was forgettable, the silver lining was that it marked the date Peterson and Wolf finally figured out what change was necessary.
“The difference, from this year to past, was that he just wasn’t making pitches,” Peterson said. “For whatever reason, he was missing location consistently. Everything else was the same, but that makes a huge difference.
“What I think had happened was that his slow tempo had worked for a long period of time, but now it was almost so slow that it was affecting his release point and his ability to execute pitches.”
For more on Wolf’s adjustments since that rough outing Pittsburgh on July 26, watch for the full story on Brewers.com later today.
– Jordan Schelling, Associate Reporter
Brewers manager Ken Macha wants to get the most out of his best pitcher, right-hander Yovani Gallardo. Pitching coach Rick Peterson wants to be sure Gallardo is as strong in September as he was in April.
Veteran right-hander Jeff Suppan on Tuesday became the latest Brewers pitcher to say that Peterson had made a welcome suggestion about his hand positioning and movement. Peterson has suggested to many pitchers in camp that they lower their hands and move them along with their legs during their delivery.
The goal is creating rhythm, and a more natural arm slot. Yovani Gallardo, Dave Bush, Manny Parra and Chris Capuano have all said previously that they made a similar tweak at Peterson’s urging. Suppan said Tuesday that he has been thrilled with the results.
“I think I had gotten to being stagnant with them and he added some movement,” Suppan said. “It is really helping. I have seen better movement on my pitches than I’ve seen in a long time. It’s still an adjustment throwing out of the stretch because my timing is off with my hands going up in my leg lift, but I’m working on that every day.”
That was evident on Tuesday, when Suppan surrendered three Cubs runs on five hits in three innings. Much of that damage came in the second inning, when Suppan worked from the stretch after Marlon Byrd led off with a double.
Parra was talking about the same topic after his outing against the Mariners on Monday. Parra, too, has been working with Peterson to find a rhythm by moving his hands a bit more during his delivery.
“I know there were times last year that I was a little stiff,” Parra said. “[On Monday], my rhythm was still a little off. I think I attribute that to adrenaline.”
Suppan said he was thinking of a tweak along these lines over the winter but that Peterson “hit the nail on the head” on the first day of Spring Training.
“I just knew my pitches weren’t having action, and the hitters were letting me know that as well,” Suppan said. “With that little adjustment, getting my hands moving with my leg, it got my arm in a better position and my fingers on top of the ball. I was very excited about that.
“I think I was doing that in the past. I just wasn’t aware that I was doing it of late.”
Follow Brew Beat on Twitter.
Maryvale Baseball Park is in wait and see mode this morning while rain falls in Phoenix. What is it about rainy weekends this spring?
Alcides Escobar SS
Brewers pitchers got their first taste of biomechanics at Maryvale Baseball Park today, where the team’s traveling lab was set up in the batting cages and a series of hurlers were strapped with sensors for a throwing session. The equipment took a series of precise measurements aimed to identify injury risks.
Thousands of Brewers fans lined up early this morning at Milwaukee’s downtown Midwest Airlines Center for “Brewers On Deck,” a day-long fanfest that features autographs, photo sessions, memorabilia booths and a big corner stage for question and answer sessions and other events.
to their first postseason appearance in a generation in 2008, then set club marks for RBIs and walks in 2009.
The Brewers told John Halama’s agent that they will have a scout in the stands for the former big league left-hander’s start in the Dominican Republic on Friday night, and Halama hopes to strike a Minor League deal with Milwaukee by early next week. <p/>
The Brewers are seeking starting pitching depth this winter and Halama, 37, wants to reunite with pitching coach Rick Peterson and manager Ken Macha. The trio was together in Oakland in 2003, Macha’s first year as A’s manager and Peterson’s final year as that team’s pitching coach.
Halama would also be rejoining Brewers advance scout Chris Bosio, who was a special assignment coach for Seattle during part of Halama’s four-year run with the Mariners.
“He really wants to pitch for the Brewers,” agent Joe Rosario said. “He would love to reunite with both Macha and Peterson.”
Brewers Latin American scouting coordinator Fernando Arango is to attend Halama’s start for Aguilas against Licey on Friday night. It’s a rematch of Nov. 15, when Halama pitched seven innings and allowed two Licey runs on six hits with five strikeouts and no walks.
In his first six winter league starts, he was 3-2 with a 1.66 ERA and 21 strikeouts versus two walks. Both of Halama’s losses came in 1-0 games.
Halama pitched for seven Major League teams in parts of nine seasons from 1998-2006. He’s 56-48 with a 4.65 ERA in the Majors, but his career was derailed after a stint with the Orioles in 2006, in part by a contentious divorce.
He began the 2009 season with the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs of the independent Atlantic League and was 8-1 with a 1.96 ERA in 69 innings, drawing the interest of the Braves. At Triple-A Gwinnett, Halama was 4-7 with a 4.48 ERA in 13 starts and three relief appearances, but much of the damage was done in a pair of relief outings July 7 and 12, when Halama relieved rehabbing Braves JoJo Reyes.
As a starter, Halama had a 3.69 ERA last season at Triple-A. He turns 38 on Feb. 22.
“He spent the last two years pitching his butt off to get to where he is now,” Rosario said. “He’s big league-ready. He just wants an invite to [Spring Training] camp to show that he belongs and he feels like Milwaukee is the way to go.”
Follow Brew Beat on Twitter.