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  1. #1
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    Wheeler tipping breaking pitches

    Mets RHP Zack Wheeler Is Tipping His Pitches

    CHICAGO — New York Mets manager Terry Collins said top prospect Zack Wheeler is tipping his breaking pitches.

    Collins said in his pregame media session Wednesday the Mets noticed the flaw in Wheeler's motion during his second big league start a night earlier. Wheeler allowed four runs in 5 1-3 innings against the Chicago White Sox.

    "We saw it. We tried to address it during the game a little bit," Collins said.

    The 23-year-old right-hander is scheduled to start again Sunday, and Collins says pitching coach Dan Warthen will work with Wheeler during a bullpen session Thursday.

    "Guys look for it all the time. It starts with the glove," said Collins. "Moving the glove there's different things to look for and then all of sudden you start to look when he speeds up, when he slows down, what the pitches are. You start to get a read on it."

    Collins said he's talking publicly about it because the problem was so obvious he received about 10 text messages and emails alerting him to the issue.

    "This is going to get out as a scouting report, but he's been tipping his off-speed stuff more than his fastball," Collins said. "We've got to fix it. We'll fix it tomorrow."

    Collins said Wheeler was also tipping is pitches in his debut, when he tossed six shutout innings.

    "It shows you what kind of stuff he's got," said Collins.

    A 23-year-old right-hander, Wheeler was selected by San Francisco with the sixth overall pick of the 2009 amateur draft and was obtained by the Mets two years ago in the trade that sent All-Star outfielder Carlos Beltran to the Giants.
    Next start vs. Nationals Sunday

  2. #2
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    • Zack Wheeler and Dan Warthen will work during a bullpen session today at Coors Field on eliminating pitch-tipping by the rookie. “I was totally unaware of it,” Wheeler told reporters Wednesday afternoon. “Never done it before. I haven’t seen video or anything of last night, so I really don’t know what I was doing.”


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  3. #3
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    “That tells you the kind of stuff he’s got,” Collins said. “It really does. When you start getting deep in counts and they have a hint of what’s coming, they’re going to lay off some close stuff, some close pitches if they have an idea of what the pitch is going to be.”

    Both Collins and Wheeler, however, highlighted that the right-hander’s faulty fastball command made it substantially easier for White Sox hitters to sit on his slider and curveball.

    “The ball wasn’t coming out smoothly,” said Wheeler, whose fastball peaked at 99.35 MPH last night, according to Brooks Baseball. “I felt like I was muscling my pitches. It’s kind of hard to have your confidence when you feel like you’re up there muscling, trying to muscle passed guys instead of it just coming out of your hands nice and easy. I was overthrowing it because of that, probably.


    ďNinety percent Iíll spend on good times, women, and Irish whiskey. The other ten percent Iíll probably waste.Ē
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  4. #4
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    YOU COULD SEE HE WAS DOING IT THE FIRST INNING HE PITCHED. I said, the kid should be throwing a circle change b/c the only the grip would change and he can throw it like the fastball. Pelfrey did the same thing.

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    Well, Warthen. Fix him.
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  6. #6
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    It's actually really easy to fix the issue of tipping pitches. You just need to play around with the grip and depending on if you want a hard or soft breaking pitch, the grip is dependent on that. This is no big deal, it's really just psychological little league ball tactics.

  7. #7
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    Happens to most major league pitchers at some point. There are subtle changes in the delivery the pitcher isn't even aware of and neither are most hitters in the minors. But they catch that stuff pretty quickly in the majors.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by NYSPORTS98 View Post
    YOU COULD SEE HE WAS DOING IT THE FIRST INNING HE PITCHED. I said, the kid should be throwing a circle change b/c the only the grip would change and he can throw it like the fastball. Pelfrey did the same thing.
    I believe he does (or did) throw a circle change. This is the only evidence I could find to back that up:

    June 18, 2013: Like the changeup grip he used in Augusta, Wheeler’s career reached full circle with an official announcement from the Mets on Friday that he would make his first major league start in Georgia.
    http://chronicle.augusta.com/sports/...r-league-debut

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dugmet View Post
    I believe he does (or did) throw a circle change. This is the only evidence I could find to back that up:



    http://chronicle.augusta.com/sports/...r-league-debut

    Change up and full circle isn't a "circle change". Doesn't appear the writer knows what Wheeler was throwing

  10. #10
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    Pretty sure he was joking lol.

  11. #11
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    So the batters went from thinking "Ahh I shouldn't swing here" to "Ahh I really shouldn't swing here" by looking at his glove.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by NYSPORTS98 View Post
    Change up and full circle isn't a "circle change". Doesn't appear the writer knows what Wheeler was throwing
    What? It's a literary device but Im not going to give writing lessons here.

    Anyway a little more research online indicates he's been working on various grips over the past cpl of seasons.
    Last edited by Dugmet; 06-27-2013 at 03:46 PM.

  13. #13
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    BTW, here is an article of Fangraphs on the issue: http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/zack-...g-his-pitches/

    Great piece. It gives a side-by-side gif of it.

  14. #14
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    Yeah Fangraphs is probably the top baseball site. Excellent recent addition of that dude who does all those .gifs.
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  15. #15
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    Yeah and it's pretty obvious how he is tipping his pitches.

    He slows down his delivery a tad on his curve. On both breaking pitches, he keeps the glove close to his body underneath the letters, but on his slider his delivery is normal speed.

    On his fastball, his glove was placed further away from the body, which probably explains why batters were able to foul off his fastball so many times since they knew it was coming.

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