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Owl Is In Chains Offline
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Post: #1
2019 Baseball Coaching Review
I do not recall seeing a lot of discussion in game threads this year (as opposed to other years) regarding in game strategy. This may be to less activity in game threads.

Now that the season is over, what are thoughts about the coaching? My perception is that there has been much more discussion about coaching in the other sports. For those who wanted Bragga, are you happy with the year and where we are? What about Riser fans (SELU not in regionals for second year in a row)? What about Saarloos (most thought TCU did not deserve a spot in the tournament which would have been 2 years in a row)? Others? After one season, would you change your mind on who your favorite was?

Some of the things you look for in a coach are:
  1. Player development
  2. Decide who plays how much and when
  3. In game strategy
  4. Recruiting
What did Bragga do well and what needs improvement?

To me, one of the reasons that baseball is a great game is all of the strategic decisions. Some people like to go by the book. Some like to be aggressive. Some decisions work and some don't. Sometimes they don't work because of a great play by the opposition. One thing is sure. Everyone will not agree on what to do and that makes it more fun. Second guessing always has a place in baseball.

One of the strategy discussions in the past has been bunting. While I think there are times to bunt, my preference is to not give away outs and I think Boyd Nation's research shows that. We obviously bunted less this year, but I was surprised sometimes when when did bunt. For example, the game we were up by 4 and I think in the bottom of the 7th with guys on 1st and 3rd with Collins up and one out. After failed bunt attempts, Collins ripped a double down the 3rd base line, scoring a run and leaving guys on 2nd and 3rd. The next hitter bunted with the infield in and the 1B charging since he had no one to hold on 1st. The result is the second out at home. Then the runner on first gets thrown out at 2nd trying to steal. This was one game situation. As noted above, nothing works every time. What about decisions late in games when tied or up or down a run?

Another strategy question would be the use of the pitching staff, including the choices of who to use when in relief and when to make changes, as well as calling pitches. If you did not go to games, you could not see the following. I observed that after replacing a pitcher, especially late in a game, frequently no one else would start warming up. If a reliever did not have it that night, a replacement might be needed soon. Hence, I questioned whether some pitchers were adequately warmed up when brought into the game.

Of course there were injuries that affect things. However, that is almost every year. I would note that in 2003, Steven Herce was expected to be the #1 starter, but injuries prevented that.

I would also be interested in what people think about recruiting and player development. Are good times coming?
05-31-2019 08:28 PM
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Old Sammy Offline
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Post: #2
RE: 2019 Baseball Coaching Review
(05-31-2019 08:28 PM)Owl Is In Chains Wrote:  Another strategy question would be the use of the pitching staff, including the choices of who to use when in relief and when to make changes, as well as calling pitches. If you did not go to games, you could not see the following. I observed that after replacing a pitcher, especially late in a game, frequently no one else would start warming up. If a reliever did not have it that night, a replacement might be needed soon. Hence, I questioned whether some pitchers were adequately warmed up when brought into the game.

This drove me crazy during the season. Warmups started much later than I expected, and frequently Barton would send one guy down when the guy on the mound looked shaky. Given the uncertainty about our bullpen performance, I would send two. Maybe more. If you know Canterino or Kravetz is going to tire at 6 or 7, have someone throwing at least soft toss in the b5.

I did notice the bullpen staff was in the dugout until needed, instead of in the bullpen as in the WG era.

On player development I don't see a trend either way. Too early to tell. Obviously Cox and Kravetz made huge strides. How much of that is the player's personal development and talent and how much is coaching is hard to tell. Despite what some here say, I thought Gayle made good progress.
At the start of the season Bragga said he had six players vying for three outfield spots. I think he handled that properly - gave A Cruz and Duluc ample chances to prove themselves.

There was an obvious defensive improvement from the first three weeks of the season.
06-01-2019 01:26 PM
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waltgreenberg Offline
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Post: #3
RE: 2019 Baseball Coaching Review
(06-01-2019 01:26 PM)Old Sammy Wrote:  
(05-31-2019 08:28 PM)Owl Is In Chains Wrote:  Another strategy question would be the use of the pitching staff, including the choices of who to use when in relief and when to make changes, as well as calling pitches. If you did not go to games, you could not see the following. I observed that after replacing a pitcher, especially late in a game, frequently no one else would start warming up. If a reliever did not have it that night, a replacement might be needed soon. Hence, I questioned whether some pitchers were adequately warmed up when brought into the game.

This drove me crazy during the season. Warmups started much later than I expected, and frequently Barton would send one guy down when the guy on the mound looked shaky. Given the uncertainty about our bullpen performance, I would send two. Maybe more. If you know Canterino or Kravetz is going to tire at 6 or 7, have someone throwing at least soft toss in the b5.

I did notice the bullpen staff was in the dugout until needed, instead of in the bullpen as in the WG era.

On player development I don't see a trend either way. Too early to tell. Obviously Cox and Kravetz made huge strides. How much of that is the player's personal development and talent and how much is coaching is hard to tell. Despite what some here say, I thought Gayle made good progress.
At the start of the season Bragga said he had six players vying for three outfield spots. I think he handled that properly - gave A Cruz and Duluc ample chances to prove themselves.

There was an obvious defensive improvement from the first three weeks of the season.

I know i'm beating a dead horse here, but how did Gayle make "good progress"? Based on what metric exactly? Actually, his best stint at Rice was the first month of the 2018 season. However, he was equally inconsistent, hittable and wild both seasons....unless, of course, stats lie as does the eye test.
06-01-2019 03:37 PM
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Musicowl1965 Offline
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Post: #4
RE: 2019 Baseball Coaching Review
(06-01-2019 03:37 PM)waltgreenberg Wrote:  
(06-01-2019 01:26 PM)Old Sammy Wrote:  
(05-31-2019 08:28 PM)Owl Is In Chains Wrote:  Another strategy question would be the use of the pitching staff, including the choices of who to use when in relief and when to make changes, as well as calling pitches. If you did not go to games, you could not see the following. I observed that after replacing a pitcher, especially late in a game, frequently no one else would start warming up. If a reliever did not have it that night, a replacement might be needed soon. Hence, I questioned whether some pitchers were adequately warmed up when brought into the game.

This drove me crazy during the season. Warmups started much later than I expected, and frequently Barton would send one guy down when the guy on the mound looked shaky. Given the uncertainty about our bullpen performance, I would send two. Maybe more. If you know Canterino or Kravetz is going to tire at 6 or 7, have someone throwing at least soft toss in the b5.

I did notice the bullpen staff was in the dugout until needed, instead of in the bullpen as in the WG era.

On player development I don't see a trend either way. Too early to tell. Obviously Cox and Kravetz made huge strides. How much of that is the player's personal development and talent and how much is coaching is hard to tell. Despite what some here say, I thought Gayle made good progress.
At the start of the season Bragga said he had six players vying for three outfield spots. I think he handled that properly - gave A Cruz and Duluc ample chances to prove themselves.

There was an obvious defensive improvement from the first three weeks of the season.

I know i'm beating a dead horse here, but how did Gayle make "good progress"? Based on what metric exactly? Actually, his best stint at Rice was the first month of the 2018 season. However, he was equally inconsistent, hittable and wild both seasons....unless, of course, stats lie as does the eye test.

Anytime Gayle’s name is mentioned you get your standard criticisms in. I believe I posted his and Kendall’s improvement numbers a while back and will not bore others with a repost (FYI I suspect Kendall will get a shot at pro ball). I’ve said this before and hopefully for the last time that you are at best inconsistent as you seem to get on a few of the players for poor play but rarely give kudos for good play (Texas A&M, Sam Houston, UT etc). Some do get your kudos but when they are sub par it likely they are “tired” or not used “correctly” according to your analysis. . Seems to me you have (and have had) a bone to pick with a few of them for some reason. Why is the question. I’m not here to stand up for Gayle in particular but he does appear to get most of your ire

I’ve said it before and will state it again. Your passion is unbelievable and unmatched IMO and you at times have great insight and thoughts on the program. I just would like to see a more level opinion when justified. Looking forward to next year and the improvement I know is coming for the team.
06-01-2019 05:08 PM
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waltgreenberg Offline
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RE: 2019 Baseball Coaching Review
(06-01-2019 05:08 PM)Musicowl1965 Wrote:  
(06-01-2019 03:37 PM)waltgreenberg Wrote:  
(06-01-2019 01:26 PM)Old Sammy Wrote:  
(05-31-2019 08:28 PM)Owl Is In Chains Wrote:  Another strategy question would be the use of the pitching staff, including the choices of who to use when in relief and when to make changes, as well as calling pitches. If you did not go to games, you could not see the following. I observed that after replacing a pitcher, especially late in a game, frequently no one else would start warming up. If a reliever did not have it that night, a replacement might be needed soon. Hence, I questioned whether some pitchers were adequately warmed up when brought into the game.

This drove me crazy during the season. Warmups started much later than I expected, and frequently Barton would send one guy down when the guy on the mound looked shaky. Given the uncertainty about our bullpen performance, I would send two. Maybe more. If you know Canterino or Kravetz is going to tire at 6 or 7, have someone throwing at least soft toss in the b5.

I did notice the bullpen staff was in the dugout until needed, instead of in the bullpen as in the WG era.

On player development I don't see a trend either way. Too early to tell. Obviously Cox and Kravetz made huge strides. How much of that is the player's personal development and talent and how much is coaching is hard to tell. Despite what some here say, I thought Gayle made good progress.
At the start of the season Bragga said he had six players vying for three outfield spots. I think he handled that properly - gave A Cruz and Duluc ample chances to prove themselves.

There was an obvious defensive improvement from the first three weeks of the season.

I know i'm beating a dead horse here, but how did Gayle make "good progress"? Based on what metric exactly? Actually, his best stint at Rice was the first month of the 2018 season. However, he was equally inconsistent, hittable and wild both seasons....unless, of course, stats lie as does the eye test.

Anytime Gayle’s name is mentioned you get your standard criticisms in. I believe I posted his and Kendall’s improvement numbers a while back and will not bore others with a repost (FYI I suspect Kendall will get a shot at pro ball). I’ve said this before and hopefully for the last time that you are at best inconsistent as you seem to get on a few of the players for poor play but rarely give kudos for good play (Texas A&M, Sam Houston, UT etc). Some do get your kudos but when they are sub par it likely they are “tired” or not used “correctly” according to your analysis. . Seems to me you have (and have had) a bone to pick with a few of them for some reason. Why is the question. I’m not here to stand up for Gayle in particular but he does appear to get most of your ire

I’ve said it before and will state it again. Your passion is unbelievable and unmatched IMO and you at times have great insight and thoughts on the program. I just would like to see a more level opinion when justified. Looking forward to next year and the improvement I know is coming for the team.

??? First off, Kendall did not improve over last year, when he was easily our best reliever and spot starter. He was again solid during the first month this year, but his final 4 weeks of this season (save for a strong outing in Biloxi) were the worst stretch of his Rice career. I usually don't look at ERA so much for relief pitchers as they don't factor in the inherited runners allowed to score. In 43.1 IP, he gave up 48 hits (.294 BAA), with 13 extra base hits. He was significantly better in 2018. Gayle ended the year with a 5.51 ERA, .286 BAA, 1.80 WHIP, with 13 wild pitches in 40.2 IP (giving up 46 hits). How is that an improvement? He also struck out more batters per IP in 2018. Again, I fully suspect Gayle will get drafted in the Top 8 - 9 rounds simply because of the velocity on his fastball and his "plus" curveball, but he was the exact same pitcher this year as last year. Woefully inconsistent-- even within the same outing.
(This post was last modified: 06-01-2019 06:21 PM by waltgreenberg.)
06-01-2019 06:14 PM
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Owl Is In Chains Offline
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RE: 2019 Baseball Coaching Review
Musicowl,

Can you elaborate on why you see improvement coming next year? I am not trolling. I want to feel that way. I have no idea of recruits expected to contribute. Hopefully our injured pitchers can return. With so many rounds, I have no idea if our juniors get drafted (other than Canterino). My feeling is that most kids want to play pro ball and that most drafted juniors will leave unless they think they can dramatically improve their draft position and bonus money. I know of someone (his brother had a good mlb career as a pitcher) some years back who said he would sign for a hamburger. Thanks.
06-01-2019 06:28 PM
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Post: #7
RE: 2019 Baseball Coaching Review
I have to wait two more years to see how we are doing.
06-01-2019 09:33 PM
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RE: 2019 Baseball Coaching Review
I can't speak for musicowl, but I see improvement coming because I don't know anything about how to coach a baseball team and I want to believe that the team will be better next year.
06-02-2019 08:48 PM
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Musicowl1965 Offline
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RE: 2019 Baseball Coaching Review
(06-01-2019 06:28 PM)Owl Is In Chains Wrote:  Musicowl,

Can you elaborate on why you see improvement coming next year? I am not trolling. I want to feel that way. I have no idea of recruits expected to contribute. Hopefully our injured pitchers can return. With so many rounds, I have no idea if our juniors get drafted (other than Canterino). My feeling is that most kids want to play pro ball and that most drafted juniors will leave unless they think they can dramatically improve their draft position and bonus money. I know of someone (his brother had a good mlb career as a pitcher) some years back who said he would sign for a hamburger. Thanks.

My main reason for saying this is I believe that another year for the team to get used to Coach Bragga's style and how he manages games etc. will lead to improvement. I also think the following pitchers will improve with a good summer/fall offseason. Dalton Wood, Kel Bordwine, A.C. Plum, Drake Greenwood. I fully expect Addison Moss to get drafted but whether he goes or not will likely depend on the $'s. If he comes back healthy then our starting rotation starts to line up. If Roel can come back healthy I believe he can be a quality closer/backend of the the bull pen. I also like Deskins, as a lefty in that role, as well if he can improve to the level of command he had in the fall. I'm not sold on Conlon from San Jac yet as he has had injury issues in the past but hopefully will be 100% once he arrives.

On the hitting side my hope is that some of the Juco commits will be better hitters on average than what we had this year in the 7,8 & 9 holes. I also love Aaron Beularier (sp?) in CF and believe he will be working hard on his hitting this summer to improve. With more catchers on the roster I believe Collins will be much better at the plate as well as he obviously wore down through the season and had to deal with the fractured wrist that he played through. I really like Antonio Cruz as well and believe that given steady playing time will improve into a really quality OFer.

I'm cautiously optimistic going in to next season but also curious as to how the holes will be filled. As you can see from my comments I use "hopefully" quite a bit but I do see better days ahead from my perspective.
06-03-2019 09:35 AM
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Musicowl1965 Offline
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Post: #10
RE: 2019 Baseball Coaching Review
(06-01-2019 06:14 PM)waltgreenberg Wrote:  
(06-01-2019 05:08 PM)Musicowl1965 Wrote:  
(06-01-2019 03:37 PM)waltgreenberg Wrote:  
(06-01-2019 01:26 PM)Old Sammy Wrote:  
(05-31-2019 08:28 PM)Owl Is In Chains Wrote:  Another strategy question would be the use of the pitching staff, including the choices of who to use when in relief and when to make changes, as well as calling pitches. If you did not go to games, you could not see the following. I observed that after replacing a pitcher, especially late in a game, frequently no one else would start warming up. If a reliever did not have it that night, a replacement might be needed soon. Hence, I questioned whether some pitchers were adequately warmed up when brought into the game.


This drove me crazy during the season. Warmups started much later than I expected, and frequently Barton would send one guy down when the guy on the mound looked shaky. Given the uncertainty about our bullpen performance, I would send two. Maybe more. If you know Canterino or Kravetz is going to tire at 6 or 7, have someone throwing at least soft toss in the b5.

I did notice the bullpen staff was in the dugout until needed, instead of in the bullpen as in the WG era.

On player development I don't see a trend either way. Too early to tell. Obviously Cox and Kravetz made huge strides. How much of that is the player's personal development and talent and how much is coaching is hard to tell. Despite what some here say, I thought Gayle made good progress.
At the start of the season Bragga said he had six players vying for three outfield spots. I think he handled that properly - gave A Cruz and Duluc ample chances to prove themselves.

There was an obvious defensive improvement from the first three weeks of the season.

I know i'm beating a dead horse here, but how did Gayle make "good progress"? Based on what metric exactly? Actually, his best stint at Rice was the first month of the 2018 season. However, he was equally inconsistent, hittable and wild both seasons....unless, of course, stats lie as does the eye test.

Anytime Gayle’s name is mentioned you get your standard criticisms in. I believe I posted his and Kendall’s improvement numbers a while back and will not bore others with a repost (FYI I suspect Kendall will get a shot at pro ball). I’ve said this before and hopefully for the last time that you are at best inconsistent as you seem to get on a few of the players for poor play but rarely give kudos for good play (Texas A&M, Sam Houston, UT etc). Some do get your kudos but when they are sub par it likely they are “tired” or not used “correctly” according to your analysis. . Seems to me you have (and have had) a bone to pick with a few of them for some reason. Why is the question. I’m not here to stand up for Gayle in particular but he does appear to get most of your ire

I’ve said it before and will state it again. Your passion is unbelievable and unmatched IMO and you at times have great insight and thoughts on the program. I just would like to see a more level opinion when justified. Looking forward to next year and the improvement I know is coming for the team.

??? First off, Kendall did not improve over last year, when he was easily our best reliever and spot starter. He was again solid during the first month this year, but his final 4 weeks of this season (save for a strong outing in Biloxi) were the worst stretch of his Rice career. I usually don't look at ERA so much for relief pitchers as they don't factor in the inherited runners allowed to score. In 43.1 IP, he gave up 48 hits (.294 BAA), with 13 extra base hits. He was significantly better in 2018. Gayle ended the year with a 5.51 ERA, .286 BAA, 1.80 WHIP, with 13 wild pitches in 40.2 IP (giving up 46 hits). How is that an improvement? He also struck out more batters per IP in 2018. Again, I fully suspect Gayle will get drafted in the Top 8 - 9 rounds simply because of the velocity on his fastball and his "plus" curveball, but he was the exact same pitcher this year as last year. Woefully inconsistent-- even within the same outing.

How were Kendall and Gayle used last year compared to this year? Due to the lack of depth on the staff both were required to go multiple innings per outing which will ultimately inflate some of the numbers you referenced. In general, back end of the rotation guys (closers etc.) are built during the fall and spring with their innings or pitch counts limited (+/-20-25 pitches per outing). When you, due to need, stretch them to 40-60 pitches this can, sometimes, adversely affect their effectiveness. This is not an excuse just a possible explanation. WG would only use Gayle for 1 inning outings (in general) due to him wanting him to leave it all on the field and go full effort. In longer outings you have to pace yourself to last longer and you really should train your body to do so in the offseason. This is a mental exercise as much as a physical one and needs to be trained as well. Inconsistency is usually the result of training or, I believe in this one, the lack thereof.

I also agree with previous post regarding the bullpen. Most of the pen in the WG era were in the pen by the 5th inning and preparing for whoever coach would call. Pitcher like to get mentally prepared and this allowed that. Whether they went in or not they started getting their heads around the situation. While I believe WG at times warmed up too many pitchers throwing too many BP pitches I think the plan from this last year of sending down one at a time may have been going to far the other way. However, Bragga likes his pitchers in the dugout supporting the team which I think is fine also. Maybe just let them head down in the 5th or earlier next season and see if it works better.

Another question is how do you believe pitchers should be evaluated? Most metrics for this are changing. Pitchers now are more and more evaluated via video (rapsosod, edgertronic etc. which I have mentioned before) and the execution of the pitch called. Not whether or not it was hit, or a ball etc. (pitch sequencing).If coach calls for a pitch out of the zone and they throw one in the zone that gets hit...it was not an "executed" pitch. If coach calls one down and in and the pitch goes, down and in, for 3 run HR it is still an "executed" pitch. Yet, those that do not adhere to this evaluation will say the pitcher sucked and need to sit for a few weeks, or get therapy (obvious exaggeration here). So, unless you know what pitch was called in any given situation and whether or not the pitch was executed then using stats as the only metric is a fallacy. Now, I know we do not have access to this information so stats are all we have so I do understand your basis. However, do know, that when a pitcher is evaluated by his coach, scouts etc. the metrics you utilize are rarely what is now the main evaluation tool. Tim Corbin is a master evaluator of talent. If you listen to his interviews (which I have) after a pitcher has a bad outing the first thing he mentions is looking at video to see if the pitches were "executed". If they are he has often come back and said that the coaches calls were not the right calls in that particular situation as his pitcher executed the called pitch. I believe many coaches (Barton and Bragga included) have these conversations with their pitchers. We just are not privy to them. Sometimes answers why coaches go with high "ERA" guys in critical situations. They trust them to execute.

If any on this board want to fully understand how, I believe, pitchers are evaluated in HS, College and Pros I recommend you get up to speed with what the Astros & Dodgers feel are important metrics (spin rate, efficiency, lateral and vert movement etc.). Hint...its not ERA, BAA, HBP, WP, even WHIP. Pro's also know that the college strike zone is highly suspect as college umpires are, at best, average compared to the pro level (where they are better evaluated). Just look at some of the regional games this past weekend and you will know this is the case. K zone is all over the place!!!

If any would like to have an intelligent conversation on this then do your research and respond with an educated comment not the the standard B.S. comment I see from some.

Way to long winded and I apologize to those that had to muck through this to the end.
06-03-2019 10:25 AM
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Post: #11
RE: 2019 Baseball Coaching Review
(06-03-2019 10:25 AM)Musicowl1965 Wrote:  
(06-01-2019 06:14 PM)waltgreenberg Wrote:  
(06-01-2019 05:08 PM)Musicowl1965 Wrote:  
(06-01-2019 03:37 PM)waltgreenberg Wrote:  
(06-01-2019 01:26 PM)Old Sammy Wrote:  This drove me crazy during the season. Warmups started much later than I expected, and frequently Barton would send one guy down when the guy on the mound looked shaky. Given the uncertainty about our bullpen performance, I would send two. Maybe more. If you know Canterino or Kravetz is going to tire at 6 or 7, have someone throwing at least soft toss in the b5.

I did notice the bullpen staff was in the dugout until needed, instead of in the bullpen as in the WG era.

On player development I don't see a trend either way. Too early to tell. Obviously Cox and Kravetz made huge strides. How much of that is the player's personal development and talent and how much is coaching is hard to tell. Despite what some here say, I thought Gayle made good progress.
At the start of the season Bragga said he had six players vying for three outfield spots. I think he handled that properly - gave A Cruz and Duluc ample chances to prove themselves.

There was an obvious defensive improvement from the first three weeks of the season.

I know i'm beating a dead horse here, but how did Gayle make "good progress"? Based on what metric exactly? Actually, his best stint at Rice was the first month of the 2018 season. However, he was equally inconsistent, hittable and wild both seasons....unless, of course, stats lie as does the eye test.

Anytime Gayle’s name is mentioned you get your standard criticisms in. I believe I posted his and Kendall’s improvement numbers a while back and will not bore others with a repost (FYI I suspect Kendall will get a shot at pro ball). I’ve said this before and hopefully for the last time that you are at best inconsistent as you seem to get on a few of the players for poor play but rarely give kudos for good play (Texas A&M, Sam Houston, UT etc). Some do get your kudos but when they are sub par it likely they are “tired” or not used “correctly” according to your analysis. . Seems to me you have (and have had) a bone to pick with a few of them for some reason. Why is the question. I’m not here to stand up for Gayle in particular but he does appear to get most of your ire

I’ve said it before and will state it again. Your passion is unbelievable and unmatched IMO and you at times have great insight and thoughts on the program. I just would like to see a more level opinion when justified. Looking forward to next year and the improvement I know is coming for the team.

??? First off, Kendall did not improve over last year, when he was easily our best reliever and spot starter. He was again solid during the first month this year, but his final 4 weeks of this season (save for a strong outing in Biloxi) were the worst stretch of his Rice career. I usually don't look at ERA so much for relief pitchers as they don't factor in the inherited runners allowed to score. In 43.1 IP, he gave up 48 hits (.294 BAA), with 13 extra base hits. He was significantly better in 2018. Gayle ended the year with a 5.51 ERA, .286 BAA, 1.80 WHIP, with 13 wild pitches in 40.2 IP (giving up 46 hits). How is that an improvement? He also struck out more batters per IP in 2018. Again, I fully suspect Gayle will get drafted in the Top 8 - 9 rounds simply because of the velocity on his fastball and his "plus" curveball, but he was the exact same pitcher this year as last year. Woefully inconsistent-- even within the same outing.

How were Kendall and Gayle used last year compared to this year? Due to the lack of depth on the staff both were required to go multiple innings per outing which will ultimately inflate some of the numbers you referenced. In general, back end of the rotation guys (closers etc.) are built during the fall and spring with their innings or pitch counts limited (+/-20-25 pitches per outing). When you, due to need, stretch them to 40-60 pitches this can, sometimes, adversely affect their effectiveness. This is not an excuse just a possible explanation. WG would only use Gayle for 1 inning outings (in general) due to him wanting him to leave it all on the field and go full effort. In longer outings you have to pace yourself to last longer and you really should train your body to do so in the offseason. This is a mental exercise as much as a physical one and needs to be trained as well. Inconsistency is usually the result of training or, I believe in this one, the lack thereof.

I also agree with previous post regarding the bullpen. Most of the pen in the WG era were in the pen by the 5th inning and preparing for whoever coach would call. Pitcher like to get mentally prepared and this allowed that. Whether they went in or not they started getting their heads around the situation. While I believe WG at times warmed up too many pitchers throwing too many BP pitches I think the plan from this last year of sending down one at a time may have been going to far the other way. However, Bragga likes his pitchers in the dugout supporting the team which I think is fine also. Maybe just let them head down in the 5th or earlier next season and see if it works better.

Another question is how do you believe pitchers should be evaluated? Most metrics for this are changing. Pitchers now are more and more evaluated via video (rapsosod, edgertronic etc. which I have mentioned before) and the execution of the pitch called. Not whether or not it was hit, or a ball etc. (pitch sequencing).If coach calls for a pitch out of the zone and they throw one in the zone that gets hit...it was not an "executed" pitch. If coach calls one down and in and the pitch goes, down and in, for 3 run HR it is still an "executed" pitch. Yet, those that do not adhere to this evaluation will say the pitcher sucked and need to sit for a few weeks, or get therapy (obvious exaggeration here). So, unless you know what pitch was called in any given situation and whether or not the pitch was executed then using stats as the only metric is a fallacy. Now, I know we do not have access to this information so stats are all we have so I do understand your basis. However, do know, that when a pitcher is evaluated by his coach, scouts etc. the metrics you utilize are rarely what is now the main evaluation tool. Tim Corbin is a master evaluator of talent. If you listen to his interviews (which I have) after a pitcher has a bad outing the first thing he mentions is looking at video to see if the pitches were "executed". If they are he has often come back and said that the coaches calls were not the right calls in that particular situation as his pitcher executed the called pitch. I believe many coaches (Barton and Bragga included) have these conversations with their pitchers. We just are not privy to them. Sometimes answers why coaches go with high "ERA" guys in critical situations. They trust them to execute.

If any on this board want to fully understand how, I believe, pitchers are evaluated in HS, College and Pros I recommend you get up to speed with what the Astros & Dodgers feel are important metrics (spin rate, efficiency, lateral and vert movement etc.). Hint...its not ERA, BAA, HBP, WP, even WHIP. Pro's also know that the college strike zone is highly suspect as college umpires are, at best, average compared to the pro level (where they are better evaluated). Just look at some of the regional games this past weekend and you will know this is the case. K zone is all over the place!!!

If any would like to have an intelligent conversation on this then do your research and respond with an educated comment not the the standard B.S. comment I see from some.

Way to long winded and I apologize to those that had to muck through this to the end.

Hey, I respect you knowledge and your perspective, but you could stop with the condescending B.S. I gave you an intelligent and researched response above. You disagree, and that's fine, but to call out any response as "uneducated" that doesn't agree with you is pretty pathetic. BTW, Kendall was used exactly the same this year as last year. He was a jack of all trades out of the bullpen, and even started several games. Outside of Aardsma, Wayne has never used his closer as a one-inning guy. Instead, they were "firemen", who came in as early as the 7th inning, if necessary to get out of jam, and then finish the game. CSC, Bramhall, Simms, Duffy, Cingrani, Lemond, Orewiiler, Ditman and Otto were all used this way. I can recall a number of games last year when Gayle was called in to get out of a jam in the 7th or 8th inning, and then tried to close it out. Unfortunately, as was the case this year, Gayle could be lights out one inning and then blow the game the next.
(This post was last modified: 06-03-2019 03:50 PM by waltgreenberg.)
06-03-2019 03:48 PM
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owlsfan Offline
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Post: #12
RE: 2019 Baseball Coaching Review
I did notice we had about 1/2 the sacrifices and tried to steal about 2/3rds as much, so we disengaged a bit from small-ball under Bragga. The less steals could have been personnel driven, but when coupled with the smaller number of sacrifices, I suspect there is something there.

That should not be a surprise, as wasn't Wayne G. one of the last of the small-ball guys in baseball?

I feel like we ran into way too many outs on the bases, but that may be coaches learning the personnel and the ways of the other teams and the stadium dimensions. We could certainly do better in that regard.

I think we will be better by record next year, because it feels like if something could go wrong in baseball the last 2 years, then it has. I sure would find a good enough arm that can stop the depressing late game losses (those have to suck the spirit out of a team), although watching the top 64 teams in the country this past week-end, I can honestly say we are not alone in lacking in that category.
(This post was last modified: 06-03-2019 04:34 PM by owlsfan.)
06-03-2019 04:33 PM
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Musicowl1965 Offline
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Post: #13
RE: 2019 Baseball Coaching Review
(06-03-2019 03:48 PM)waltgreenberg Wrote:  
(06-03-2019 10:25 AM)Musicowl1965 Wrote:  
(06-01-2019 06:14 PM)waltgreenberg Wrote:  
(06-01-2019 05:08 PM)Musicowl1965 Wrote:  
(06-01-2019 03:37 PM)waltgreenberg Wrote:  I know i'm beating a dead horse here, but how did Gayle make "good progress"? Based on what metric exactly? Actually, his best stint at Rice was the first month of the 2018 season. However, he was equally inconsistent, hittable and wild both seasons....unless, of course, stats lie as does the eye test.

Anytime Gayle’s name is mentioned you get your standard criticisms in. I believe I posted his and Kendall’s improvement numbers a while back and will not bore others with a repost (FYI I suspect Kendall will get a shot at pro ball). I’ve said this before and hopefully for the last time that you are at best inconsistent as you seem to get on a few of the players for poor play but rarely give kudos for good play (Texas A&M, Sam Houston, UT etc). Some do get your kudos but when they are sub par it likely they are “tired” or not used “correctly” according to your analysis. . Seems to me you have (and have had) a bone to pick with a few of them for some reason. Why is the question. I’m not here to stand up for Gayle in particular but he does appear to get most of your ire

I’ve said it before and will state it again. Your passion is unbelievable and unmatched IMO and you at times have great insight and thoughts on the program. I just would like to see a more level opinion when justified. Looking forward to next year and the improvement I know is coming for the team.

??? First off, Kendall did not improve over last year, when he was easily our best reliever and spot starter. He was again solid during the first month this year, but his final 4 weeks of this season (save for a strong outing in Biloxi) were the worst stretch of his Rice career. I usually don't look at ERA so much for relief pitchers as they don't factor in the inherited runners allowed to score. In 43.1 IP, he gave up 48 hits (.294 BAA), with 13 extra base hits. He was significantly better in 2018. Gayle ended the year with a 5.51 ERA, .286 BAA, 1.80 WHIP, with 13 wild pitches in 40.2 IP (giving up 46 hits). How is that an improvement? He also struck out more batters per IP in 2018. Again, I fully suspect Gayle will get drafted in the Top 8 - 9 rounds simply because of the velocity on his fastball and his "plus" curveball, but he was the exact same pitcher this year as last year. Woefully inconsistent-- even within the same outing.

How were Kendall and Gayle used last year compared to this year? Due to the lack of depth on the staff both were required to go multiple innings per outing which will ultimately inflate some of the numbers you referenced. In general, back end of the rotation guys (closers etc.) are built during the fall and spring with their innings or pitch counts limited (+/-20-25 pitches per outing). When you, due to need, stretch them to 40-60 pitches this can, sometimes, adversely affect their effectiveness. This is not an excuse just a possible explanation. WG would only use Gayle for 1 inning outings (in general) due to him wanting him to leave it all on the field and go full effort. In longer outings you have to pace yourself to last longer and you really should train your body to do so in the offseason. This is a mental exercise as much as a physical one and needs to be trained as well. Inconsistency is usually the result of training or, I believe in this one, the lack thereof.

I also agree with previous post regarding the bullpen. Most of the pen in the WG era were in the pen by the 5th inning and preparing for whoever coach would call. Pitcher like to get mentally prepared and this allowed that. Whether they went in or not they started getting their heads around the situation. While I believe WG at times warmed up too many pitchers throwing too many BP pitches I think the plan from this last year of sending down one at a time may have been going to far the other way. However, Bragga likes his pitchers in the dugout supporting the team which I think is fine also. Maybe just let them head down in the 5th or earlier next season and see if it works better.

Another question is how do you believe pitchers should be evaluated? Most metrics for this are changing. Pitchers now are more and more evaluated via video (rapsosod, edgertronic etc. which I have mentioned before) and the execution of the pitch called. Not whether or not it was hit, or a ball etc. (pitch sequencing).If coach calls for a pitch out of the zone and they throw one in the zone that gets hit...it was not an "executed" pitch. If coach calls one down and in and the pitch goes, down and in, for 3 run HR it is still an "executed" pitch. Yet, those that do not adhere to this evaluation will say the pitcher sucked and need to sit for a few weeks, or get therapy (obvious exaggeration here). So, unless you know what pitch was called in any given situation and whether or not the pitch was executed then using stats as the only metric is a fallacy. Now, I know we do not have access to this information so stats are all we have so I do understand your basis. However, do know, that when a pitcher is evaluated by his coach, scouts etc. the metrics you utilize are rarely what is now the main evaluation tool. Tim Corbin is a master evaluator of talent. If you listen to his interviews (which I have) after a pitcher has a bad outing the first thing he mentions is looking at video to see if the pitches were "executed". If they are he has often come back and said that the coaches calls were not the right calls in that particular situation as his pitcher executed the called pitch. I believe many coaches (Barton and Bragga included) have these conversations with their pitchers. We just are not privy to them. Sometimes answers why coaches go with high "ERA" guys in critical situations. They trust them to execute.

If any on this board want to fully understand how, I believe, pitchers are evaluated in HS, College and Pros I recommend you get up to speed with what the Astros & Dodgers feel are important metrics (spin rate, efficiency, lateral and vert movement etc.). Hint...its not ERA, BAA, HBP, WP, even WHIP. Pro's also know that the college strike zone is highly suspect as college umpires are, at best, average compared to the pro level (where they are better evaluated). Just look at some of the regional games this past weekend and you will know this is the case. K zone is all over the place!!!

If any would like to have an intelligent conversation on this then do your research and respond with an educated comment not the the standard B.S. comment I see from some.

Way to long winded and I apologize to those that had to muck through this to the end.

Hey, I respect you knowledge and your perspective, but you could stop with the condescending B.S. I gave you an intelligent and researched response above. You disagree, and that's fine, but to call out any response as "uneducated" that doesn't agree with you is pretty pathetic. BTW, Kendall was used exactly the same this year as last year. He was a jack of all trades out of the bullpen, and even started several games. Outside of Aardsma, Wayne has never used his closer as a one-inning guy. Instead, they were "firemen", who came in as early as the 7th inning, if necessary to get out of jam, and then finish the game. CSC, Bramhall, Simms, Duffy, Cingrani, Lemond, Orewiiler, Ditman and Otto were all used this way. I can recall a number of games last year when Gayle was called in to get out of a jam in the 7th or 8th inning, and then tried to close it out. Unfortunately, as was the case this year, Gayle could be lights out one inning and then blow the game the next.

Walt, the "B.S" comment I noted in my post was how you, at times, start your response on issues you disagree with. I was not saying an "uneducated or uninformed" response to my post would be "B.S." as I do not believe that or chose to use that as a response. I do have a slight insight into how the BP was used (planned and what was ultimately done, including the WG era) and thoughts on how that could be improved upon in the future but I trust Bragga and Barton to get that worked out going forward. Likely no more insight that you Walt maybe just a different source. Arguing what was done in the past (how players WERE used) to predict the future (how current players ARE used) assumes that all current/future players are the same (which they are obviously not) and that coaches will not adjust to the different strengths of the players. For example, if you feel that Gayle is effective in 1 inning stints then that is how he should've been used. That is up to the coaches. Most college closers, if you look it up, are just that...1 inning guys. 20 appearances, 20 IP etc..There are outliers which we could both find but this is just a general statement. Due to the lack of depth that Bragga had this year he was not really able to use Kendall or Gayle as a true closer. He tried to stretch them both. I do not fault Coach it is just something he had to work with.

Brighter days are coming and look forward to the fall and spring when baseball rolls around again.
06-04-2019 08:06 AM
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waltgreenberg Offline
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Post: #14
RE: 2019 Baseball Coaching Review
I don't fault Bragga for this season either...and I really like Barton as pitching coach and head recruiter. BTW, in retrospect, JT Chargois was the one other Rice reliever (since Aardsma and Bryce Cox) who The OG used as a traditional one-inning closer. All the numerous others named in my previous post were multi-inning "firemen".
(This post was last modified: 06-04-2019 08:16 AM by waltgreenberg.)
06-04-2019 08:12 AM
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Musicowl1965 Offline
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Post: #15
RE: 2019 Baseball Coaching Review
(06-04-2019 08:12 AM)waltgreenberg Wrote:  I don't fault Bragga for this season either...and I really like Barton as pitching coach and head recruiter.

Hey, something we absolutely agree on. Have a good day Walt.
06-04-2019 08:13 AM
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Post: #16
RE: 2019 Baseball Coaching Review
Well Graham only won 29 games the first year and it took him four years to consistently win over 40 games. Thus, I think three or four years is a good measuring stick if Bragga will be a successful coach at Rice. However, I would expect 30 wins next year.
(06-04-2019 08:13 AM)Musicowl1965 Wrote:  
(06-04-2019 08:12 AM)waltgreenberg Wrote:  I don't fault Bragga for this season either...and I really like Barton as pitching coach and head recruiter.

Hey, something we absolutely agree on. Have a good day Walt.
(This post was last modified: 06-04-2019 10:14 AM by OldOwl.)
06-04-2019 10:11 AM
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Post: #17
RE: 2019 Baseball Coaching Review
(06-03-2019 04:33 PM)owlsfan Wrote:  I did notice we had about 1/2 the sacrifices and tried to steal about 2/3rds as much, so we disengaged a bit from small-ball under Bragga. The less steals could have been personnel driven, but when coupled with the smaller number of sacrifices, I suspect there is something there.

Coach Graham was never really a small ball guy until the most recent changes to the bats after the 2010 season. Even then, I think it was a few years before he really gave into the small ball trend. My perception was that his efforts at small ball were a bit half-hearted because that wasn't really where his heart and soul were.
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Post: #18
RE: 2019 Baseball Coaching Review
(06-02-2019 08:48 PM)jellowl Wrote:  I can't speak for musicowl, but I see improvement coming because I don't know anything about how to coach a baseball team and I want to believe that the team will be better next year.

You have crystallized my thoughts exactly, jellowl.
06-04-2019 10:58 AM
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RE: 2019 Baseball Coaching Review
(06-01-2019 05:08 PM)Musicowl1965 Wrote:  Looking forward to next year and the improvement I know is coming for the team.

So far, that hasn't aged well.

When Bragga was hired, I posted that he should get my standard three years for evaluation. I still hold to that. Although I'd have to say that the returns so far do not look good, the incoming freshman class next year is supposed to be super, and I would wait at least that long before making a move. By the way, quick question, who is handling the bulk of recruiting duties on this staff?
03-10-2020 08:49 AM
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RE: 2019 Baseball Coaching Review
(03-10-2020 08:49 AM)Owl 69/70/75 Wrote:  
(06-01-2019 05:08 PM)Musicowl1965 Wrote:  Looking forward to next year and the improvement I know is coming for the team.

So far, that hasn't aged well.

When Bragga was hired, I posted that he should get my standard three years for evaluation. I still hold to that. Although I'd have to say that the returns so far do not look good, the incoming freshman class next year is supposed to be super, and I would wait at least that long before making a move. By the way, quick question, who is handling the bulk of recruiting duties on this staff?

Corey Barton (pitching coach) is the primary recruiter, but Paul Janish is also involved.

We all knew the pitching staff would be a giant question mark this year with the departures of Canterino, Kravitz, Parthasarathy, Gayle, Jeffries and Moss, the latter of which was unexpected. However, the injuries to Conlon and Woods, and the prolonged rehab of Garcia, has certainly made a bad situation even worse. What is hard to explain is the lack of offense and the absolutely horrible and passive approach at the plate, especially since this is supposedly Bragga's calling card.
03-10-2020 09:13 AM
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