Timber Rattlers pitching coach Chris Hook is getting ready to open his second
Before he heads out
to Spring Training, he has to make it through The Interrogation Room.
One of the stories that fans of the
A. Basically, we discussed as a
whole how we can do a better job of developing quality long term major league
pitchers including what kind of pitcher we want to draft, how we develop that
pitcher and how we can maintain his health for the long term.
Q. It was noted that pitching coaches could submit topics for
discussion. What were some of your topics?
A. The great thing about this
symposium was that everyone had a chance for input. I mentioned topics
like max pitch count per inning and a more flexible total pitch count. All
things were discussed as a group and in the end Gord [Ash], Lee Tunnell, and
Reid [Nichols] will come up with the protocol in which we will follow as a
pitching development staff.
A. Biomechanics is the reading of
a stress test done on the pitching delivery. With this approach, techniques that
you might see used in video games and movies will be incorporated into looking
at pitchers' delivery by using silver reflective balls and a body suit. A
computer will analyze the delivery and point out deficiencies and stress points.
Once the organization has this type of information we can determine if we should
change delivery, workload, side work, etc. I have not been associated with a lot
of this testing but I understand the concept and look forward to learning more
about it as we move to integrate more into our Pitching Development system.
A. Wily made a lot of progress in
terms of having an understanding of what it takes to prepare to be a major
league starter. Obviously the stuff is there but I think he will look back to
the '09 season and know that is where he started to understand what he had to
do to prepare physically and mentally to tackle a full season. If he can
continue to get better with core stability I think we will see some wonderful
things out of Wily.
Efrain really had a mentally tough
season and for a 19 year old kid he really stuck it out well. I had to
constantly remind myself that he was 19 and to really stay focused on the big
picture with him and not what might be unfolding in front of him at that moment.
He was a joy to work with, always a smile on his face and he is a kid that wants
to get better. I think he understands now that being a command guy... who he is;
he will have to be able to repeat his delivery and location with a little more
consistency to continue to make progress. I know he did well after he left
us for the World Cup and I hope he continues that path.
A. The one guy that really stands
out to me is "Big Fred". Evan [Frederickson] had some delivery issues that
did take some time to iron out. During Instructional League he was able to take
on some late season delivery adjustments and just go out and throw and the
results were fantastic. He was hardly recognizable! The great thing about that
is you could really start to see a guy who was not only confident but
comfortable in his delivery because it felt good. Sometimes a whole season can
be turned around by one pitch... and with Evan I think he would probably say he
felt that turnaround in late August.
When Jeff Isom was in The
Interrogation Room earlier this year, he was asked about '09 draft
picks Eric Arnett and Kyle Heckathorn possibly being Timber Rattlers in 2010.
Instead of asking you if Arnett and Heckathorn will be in
A. I think they are really big humans! I really enjoyed getting to know each of them in Instructional League and much like the guys previously mentioned they have a lot of work to do. They also need to learn what it takes to be big league starters. Will the organization have them at Time Warner in 2010? Time will tell but I think both of them will end up where the organization feels that can achieve a certain innings mark and do it with moderate success as they develop.
You're on twitter
You are obviously Chris and ATY stands for At The Yard. What is At
A. AT THE YARD has been a lot of
things for me. It started in 1997 as a website as I was winding down my playing
career - it turned into a magazine in 2003 that was distributed throughout Minor
League Baseball until 2006.
THE YARD is also a
On twitter - I think I am finally
getting into a groove! It was hard to grasp at first but I am enjoying
connecting with people and sharing some of my ideas and thoughts on the game I
care deeply about.
Jeff and I are big fans of
technology and computers, it wouldn't be an odd thing for us to be on the
internet looking for the next tech goodie or concept.
Man oh Man, I had to shut down production because of
overwhelming demand. Once you released
that pic on your blog... Hook-A-Tee HQ's phones and emails were
blowing up! I had to shut it down to make sure I maintained focus on developing
Be sure to crank up the heat during the first month of the season so I can
defrost my toes. In all seriousness we'll have to see how that works out - as
long as my starter doesn't mind, I don't.
Q. How much are you looking forward the to 2010 baseball
A. I am looking forward to coming back. By the looks of
the Instructional League, our scouting staff has once again brought some nice
looking players into the organization and our young pitching looks very good. We
will see what we break with in April and who goes where... I look forward to
developing some new guys as well as winning some ball games for all those crazy,
tailgating T-Rat fans!
Past editions of The