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View Full Version : Interesting Observation on Kershaw's 'Stuff"



Fabian43
07-22-2008, 11:54 PM
Okay, I've watched enough of Kershaw's starts to see a cause of concern and maybe someone else has noticed this too. All I keep reading is how this guy is going to be the next Koufax. How he has a overpowering fastball and devastating curve ball and how he has incredible moxy for a 20 year old kid. But I've noticed that his 96mph fastball is very flat which means its very hittable. And his 12-6 curveball, while effective, doesn't seem to be as devastating as I first thought, sure he catches the occasional hitter off balance and makes them look foolish but his curve isn't quite what all the hype made it out to be. And where is his 3rd pitch? I heard he has been working on a change up but where is it? I just don't think you can be a Santana, Beckett, etc type of pitcher with just 2 plus pitches. Granted he's a lefty but major league hitters will catch up eventually. I know he's not hitting his spots but I'm not talking about location as much as I am his 'stuff'. Notice how he has difficulty putting away hitters with two strikes? Maybe he developed a legit changeup that didn't resemble a curve, it would help more easy outs. I'm just worried that our boy might not have the stuff to be the next 'Koufax'. We might have to settle for an All-Star but I was hoping for more than that. Then again he's just 20 years old and maybe next year he develops his change and starts throwing a cut fastball or something. He can improve...but for the moment, I'm still concerned.

Anyone feeling me on this? DodgerDave? Your pretty knowledgeable on stuff like this.

Krue
07-23-2008, 12:23 AM
He's 20 and shouldn't be in the majors.

TheBatchelor213
07-23-2008, 12:24 AM
Good observations, dont you think it might be a little early for concern at this point though? I think he will develop more and more with experience, plus hes so young. Iono about throwing him out there tonight Vs the Rockies at Colorado either.


myspace.com/thebatchelorspe

N.Z's #1 Dodger
07-23-2008, 12:29 AM
I've observed he's never pitched with a decent lead. I've observed Torre blowing his first win, then dropping him the very next day. I've observed a ******** ****ing umpire who forgot 75% of the strike-zone existed when he pitched today. I've observed him trying to carry this ****ty offense everytime he's pitched.

Give him a break. He could have pitched 7 innings and given up that first homer and we still would have lost miserably.

bestlakersfan
07-23-2008, 12:38 AM
^Haha, go easy NZ. Although many of your points are correct, he does need to develop a 3rd pitch. I am not concerned about it, though, because he is only 20 and will only get better.

N.Z's #1 Dodger
07-23-2008, 12:51 AM
^Haha, go easy NZ. Although many of your points are correct, he does need to develop a 3rd pitch. I am not concerned about it, though, because he is only 20 and will only get better.

LOL yeah sorry, I got roid rage without the roids after today. I just think it blows. I wont go into life story mode... But be warned I came close :D. You gotta put your body on the line and look after fresh kids like this, doesn't seem we've done **** for him.

c2thab
07-23-2008, 12:55 AM
I have noticed many of the same things. Granted there were a couple of pitches that I thought looked like strikes but overall his stuff at this point is very hittable. His fastball has no movement and I dont think he throws his curveball enough. The only change-up he threw ended up in the stands so I think his confidence in that pitch is non existent at the moment. He has A LOT of learning still to do but maybe these are growing pains, but I still think he was brought up way too early! He'll be ok though he just needs some more time.

Fabian43
07-23-2008, 12:57 AM
I've observed he's never pitched with a decent lead. I've observed Torre blowing his first win, then dropping him the very next day. I've observed a ******** ****ing umpire who forgot 75% of the strike-zone existed when he pitched today. I've observed him trying to carry this ****ty offense everytime he's pitched.

Give him a break. He could have pitched 7 innings and given up that first homer and we still would have lost miserably.

I agree with you, especially about the f#$%ing umpire today. His strike zone was completely laughable. I was surprised Torre didn't holler at him.

My point is based on his stuff, specifically a lack of a 3rd pitch and not so much other stuff. His fastball is so straight that its very hittable and that worries me, let's hope he improves his location.

N.Z's #1 Dodger
07-23-2008, 01:09 AM
I agree with you, especially about the f#$%ing umpire today. His strike zone was completely laughable. I was surprised Torre didn't holler at him.

My point is based on his stuff, specifically a lack of a 3rd pitch and not so much other stuff. His fastball is so straight that its very hittable and that worries me, let's hope he improves his location.

Hmm I guess. I'd like to see him away from Coors next time he pitches, see if that had anything to do with it. I'm not kidding myself, I know he was crap today and average throughout. Team needs to back him up a bit more though.

bluedawgalex
07-23-2008, 01:32 AM
im just hoping that he does what bills did after starting the season 0-4.. if evry1 remembers bills started o-4 and now hes 9-9 i hope kershaw starts doing better

ElSerenoBlu
07-23-2008, 01:38 AM
lets hope so, because for the #1 prospect in baseball, he sure looks like a bust right now...

Mydinsky
07-23-2008, 02:16 AM
lets hope so, because for the #1 prospect in baseball, he sure looks like a bust right now...

One game. 20 year old rookie. Let's not get ahead of ourselves.

spanky006
07-23-2008, 02:25 AM
Okay, I've watched enough of Kershaw's starts to see a cause of concern and maybe someone else has noticed this too. All I keep reading is how this guy is going to be the next Koufax. How he has a overpowering fastball and devastating curve ball and how he has incredible moxy for a 20 year old kid. But I've noticed that his 96mph fastball is very flat which means its very hittable. And his 12-6 curveball, while effective, doesn't seem to be as devastating as I first thought, sure he catches the occasional hitter off balance and makes them look foolish but his curve isn't quite what all the hype made it out to be. And where is his 3rd pitch? I heard he has been working on a change up but where is it? I just don't think you can be a Santana, Beckett, etc type of pitcher with just 2 plus pitches. Granted he's a lefty but major league hitters will catch up eventually. I know he's not hitting his spots but I'm not talking about location as much as I am his 'stuff'. Notice how he has difficulty putting away hitters with two strikes? Maybe he developed a legit changeup that didn't resemble a curve, it would help more easy outs. I'm just worried that our boy might not have the stuff to be the next 'Koufax'. We might have to settle for an All-Star but I was hoping for more than that. Then again he's just 20 years old and maybe next year he develops his change and starts throwing a cut fastball or something. He can improve...but for the moment, I'm still concerned.

Anyone feeling me on this? DodgerDave? Your pretty knowledgeable on stuff like this.

I have had that same concern since they started talking about bringing him up to the Majors. I really wish they would have left him in AAA to develop a 3rd pitch.

dodgerphreak
07-23-2008, 03:21 AM
I agree, he does need to find a third pitch, preferably a changeup. Also, his straight fastball is caused by the spin he puts on it, which at this point is pretty much straight backwards. Looks like we have two things he needs to work out this offseason:
1) Tweak the grip on his fastball, maybe even add a two-seamer to his arsenal
2) Develop his changeup to a major-league level pitch.

Dam, I should be the pitching coach. :D

bluedawgalex
07-23-2008, 03:28 AM
I agree, he does need to find a third pitch, preferably a changeup. Also, his straight fastball is caused by the spin he puts on it, which at this point is pretty much straight backwards. Looks like we have two things he needs to work out this offseason:
1) Tweak the grip on his fastball, maybe even add a two-seamer to his arsenal
2) Develop his changeup to a major-league level pitch.

Dam, I should be the pitching coach. :D

dodgerphreak for pitching coach :clap:

EKdodgr23
07-23-2008, 07:40 AM
He's 20 and shouldn't be in the majors.

this is the smartest thing Ive read on here probably EVER.

what in the hell is this kid doing in the bigs? he is nowhere, NOWHERE near ready. he sould be doing what all 20 year old phenoms do...learning his craft in the mid-high minors

BlueZoo
07-23-2008, 09:10 AM
I hope the Dodger brass or whichever idiot / idiots brought this kid up for that foregone conclusion last night are happy...are they satisfied now?

BlueZoo
07-23-2008, 09:35 AM
Of course, Kershaw should be in the minors learning what he needs to learn...there's no doubt at all about that. He's at least a year away from the Show, IMO.
But to be perfectly truthful, and it's not the kid's fault at all, I don't see the electric stuff I read about for all those months prior to him coming up.I just don't see a moving darting, fastball ; and his curve, although it does break a lot, is the type that can be caught up to by the second/third time around for the lineup...same speed all the time...I see other young pitchers with at least equal stuff, and some with better on other teams. I don't want that to be ...but it's what I see when he goes out there, unfortunately.
He does need a 3rd pitch to keep the hitters honest, or else he'll get popped more often than not.
Not to mention the banjo lineup behind him every time he pitches. It wouldn't change his stuff- but it would give him a chance to win a game maybe.
Just pathetic putting him out there against a blazing hot CO steamroller lineup in that pig stye stadium...tell us what the kid learned from that experience, Joe....how to be embarrassed?
Thoroughly disgusted with the "management"...tell us about letting Johnson swing away with Laroche on base...was the game a "throw away" then or what, Joe?

goDOYERS
07-23-2008, 11:08 AM
remember how billingsley was when he was first in the bigs....kershaw will be fine

dan1to
07-23-2008, 11:29 AM
Im not at all worried about Kershaw's stuff.

However, he should not be in the majors right now, he should be in AA learning to throw a better changeup and building confidence in it. As for other pitches, i still dont understand why they have not taught him a slider an 2 seamer. They are thrown very closely to pitches he already throws well! grip the ball with 2 fingers in a different spot and your fastball at 96 is a 2 seamer with movement at 92-93. Grip your curveball in a different fashion (closer to 2 seam fastball) and you have a slider that would eventually come in at 89-90. 2 slight grip changes and the rest of the season in AA and he will have 5 pitches (4 seam @96, 2 seam @92, curve @73, slider @90, and change @80) and will probably dominate the rest of his career.

I dont understand why he is in the bigs when he should be learning more. I love the kid and think he will end up ok, either way, but why have we not helped him out more? I just dont get it.

As for the curve not having bite... it wont bite as much in the thin, mile-high air in Denver. It still looked pretty good.

Tymathee
07-23-2008, 11:45 AM
He's 20 and only has a 95mph 4 seam fastball and a wicked 12-6 curve and that's it! He can't throw his curve all the time and he's having problems placing his fastball...and please don't try to say you can't throw your fastball mainly and get away with it cuz i've seen guys, it's all location and he has poor location.

He's developing a change up right now, and personally i don't understand what's so hard, learning a change up is easier than throwing a curveball, especially placing it. Just grip it off the seams onto the white part of the ball with two or three fingers put a little spin and throw it just like a fastball

BLUE4EVER
07-23-2008, 11:59 AM
wich moron thought of the idea to bring him back to pitch in the mile high launch pad?????stupid, stupid, stupid,
he is only 20....two years removed from high school way too much talent to give up on this guy,he has to figure it out....he will be fine,but come on if your trying to build his confidence you dont have him return to pitch in coors field what a joke.

In_Ned_I_Trust
07-23-2008, 12:06 PM
We need to send him over to Johan Santana's house to learn that change up. That think was freaking nasty last night.

Kershaw was rushed no doubt, and they should have waited until we got back home to pitch him. No pitcher has ever been good in Colorado.

darth550
07-23-2008, 12:10 PM
Im not at all worried about Kershaw's stuff.

However, he should not be in the majors right now, he should be in AA learning to throw a better changeup and building confidence in it. As for other pitches, i still dont understand why they have not taught him a slider an 2 seamer. They are thrown very closely to pitches he already throws well! grip the ball with 2 fingers in a different spot and your fastball at 96 is a 2 seamer with movement at 92-93. Grip your curveball in a different fashion (closer to 2 seam fastball) and you have a slider that would eventually come in at 89-90. 2 slight grip changes and the rest of the season in AA and he will have 5 pitches (4 seam @96, 2 seam @92, curve @73, slider @90, and change @80) and will probably dominate the rest of his career.


Proof positive that Rick Honeycutt is a completely inept doooooshbag of a pitching coach!

dave
07-23-2008, 12:57 PM
The batters choosing curve or fastball, sitting on the one and taking the other. You can not throw 4 curve balls to the same batter at the same at bat....no matter how good it is.

Two, he needs to relax and stop thinking he needs to be perfect on every pitch. A few runs will help that.

Three He needs to be as the used to say in the old days pleasently wild! You don't have to be a head hunter, You don't have to be drysdale or Gibson...bob fella will do. And hit a batter in the ribs with a fast ball once in a while..nothing serious, even say your sorry after you hit him.

Just relax and have some fun!

Fabian43
07-23-2008, 02:25 PM
I wish Kershaw would develop a slider like the one Randy Johnson uses. It's easier said than done, BUT, just imagine if Kershaw, who is eerily similar to Johnson (6ft +, lefty, throws hard, mentally tough), could use that pitch on right handed hitters to complement his curve...that would be sick! (Assuming he can locate it of course)

dodgerphreak
07-23-2008, 05:51 PM
I agree, I personally think that Kershaw needs five pitches, two of which he already has:
1) His 4-seamer
2) He needs a two-seamer
3) He has a curve
4) He needs to develop his changeup
5) He needs to develop a hard slider

This way he has 3 pitches in the 90+ range and two pitches in the 75-85 range that do drastically different things. If there is one or two things that he needs to do this off-season, they are A) Develop a two-seamer(not that hard with how hard he throws) and B) Develop his changeup to get it to a Santana-type level. If he does those, he will be in great shape for next season.

dan1to
07-23-2008, 06:20 PM
I agree, I personally think that Kershaw needs five pitches, two of which he already has:
1) His 4-seamer
2) He needs a two-seamer
3) He has a curve
4) He needs to develop his changeup
5) He needs to develop a hard slider

This way he has 3 pitches in the 90+ range and two pitches in the 75-85 range that do drastically different things. If there is one or two things that he needs to do this off-season, they are A) Develop a two-seamer(not that hard with how hard he throws) and B) Develop his changeup to get it to a Santana-type level. If he does those, he will be in great shape for next season.

That sounds familiar. I totally agree:D

c2thab
07-23-2008, 06:24 PM
Kershaw just needs to realize he is not gonna blow his fastball by anyone at this level and start locating it. If it takes a couple MPH off the speed who cares...location is more important than speed. If he can develop a good change-up he will be fine. If he has three above average pitches and can get some movement and better location on his fastball all of his other pitches will be much harder to hit.

Lettuce137
07-23-2008, 06:30 PM
http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/is-clayton-kershaw-worth-the-hype/

I found this a while ago and had it bookmarked. Thought it might be nice to share.

Bushleaguer28
07-23-2008, 09:11 PM
I too have noticed some things when Kershaw pitches that arent so much a cause for concern as they are a cause to send him back down for more work. I personally dont think he is ready yet. He seems when you watch him as if he thinks he can still pitch like hes in high school. When he falls behind hitters, he throws **** shot fastballs that will always get hit.

When Kershaw gets hit, he gets hit HARD and thats because he simply does not locate his fastball enough. Just because you throw mid 90s doesnt mean you can throw thigh high fastballs dead central. It doesnt work that way. And i agree with the OP, for a lefty his fastball seems to have much less movement than it should.

His windup reminds me a lot of Hamels, but the main diff there is that Cole has a devastating change which makes his fastball seem that much harder.

bowa#1
07-23-2008, 09:12 PM
Very frustrating! We score 16 runs the night b4, and send young Kershaw out there and get him 1 run. He'll come around if we dont ruin his confidence. Whats the word on Penny?

old blue
07-24-2008, 01:37 PM
why did we bring him up vs Colorado?

BlueZoo
07-24-2008, 05:26 PM
So that the kid could be embarrassed in the House of Arena BB...
and so that Dodger fans, who turn their lonely eyes to the FO to get them into the playoffs at this time in the season, are brought back to the reality of the total incompetence and stupidity of those in charge to go out and get someone worth while.
Just in case you had renewed faith ...