JJ and Mad Dog

JJ may just need to clear his head, writes Mark Bradley, who spoke with the now-Gwinnett Brave after his last start in Atlanta.

“A lot of people get on me about how fast I’m throwing. I need to go back to pitching. But [velocity] is a hot topic every time I pitch. Everyone wants to see how fast I’m throwing, and that gets in your mind.”

Too bad Greg Maddux, who SHOULD be employed as a special assistant by the Braves, isn’t around to counsel JJ.

“If you’re standing in the middle of the interstate and there’s a car coming at you, can you tell if it’s going 55 or 60?”

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8 Comments on JJ and Mad Dog

  1. rankin' rob // April 24, 2012 at 8:34 am //

    I’m not sure what’s wrong with JJ, and I’m pretty sure McDowell and Fredi don’t, either. Of course, I’m not paid to figure it out. But it sure seems like his career in ATL has come completely undone. He’ll sign somewhere else after the season.

  2. roadrunner48 // April 24, 2012 at 8:58 am //

    He’s not pushing off from the rubber the way he should. Consequently, he’s lost velocity on his fastball, and the lost velocity means less movement on that pitch. It’s the movement that he needs.

  3. charlesad // April 24, 2012 at 9:04 am //

    I seriously doubt Mark Bradley knows what’s wrong either. Who knows why, but it is obvious JJ can’t throw as hard, nor with as much movement or control as he did a year ago. AAA is a much better place to try to figure it out than the big leagues. Maybe the geeks were onto something with all the talk of JJ’s luck and the weird stats they used to back up the talk. I would guess it’s probably a mixture of psychology, physical health, luck and just losing it a little. It happens. Maybe FW saw last year’s struggles as more than a blip, and that’s why he tried to trade JJ in the offseason.

  4. The statheads may be annoying in the way they state their case, but there is some truth to what they say about hurlers like JJ who pitch to contact. It isn’t right to say that these pitchers will never experience sustained success with a low BABIP, but I can certainly see that they have less room for error than strikeout pitchers.

  5. roadrunner48 // April 24, 2012 at 12:43 pm //

    Warren Spahn had a pretty good career pitching to contact.

    JJ wasn’t lucky for five years straight. He needs to get his knee issue resolved, or he needs to figure out how to make his pitches move if he’s going to stay n the high 80’s.

  6. cleteboyerfan // April 24, 2012 at 12:48 pm //

    He may still have a problem with his knee. Not neccessarily a physical problem either. He may not trust his knee and it’s affecting his mechanics and, thus, his velocity.

  7. Viva Rufino Linares! // April 24, 2012 at 1:04 pm //

    I was going to ask about his mechanics also. The knee may be fine, but it could still be in the back of his mind. That’s all it takes to screw things up. At least I hope it’s his mechanics.

  8. Agreed–Spahn, Maddux, and others have had good careers pitching to contact. That type of pitcher just has less room for error, and those guys didn’t make many errors. Which leads me to believe that, yeah, the knee, confidence, mechanics, etc…what everyone else is saying…is probably right.

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