Tomlin summarizes the new pitching philosophy as emphasizing:
1. Fastball command
2. Remove Clutter from pitcher's minds
3. Eliminate vagueness. Communicate better. As teachers have an answer for "why?"
For Familia, it's about MechanicsThe organization made two changes to his delivery, 1. encouraging him to be more athletic and less mechanical, and 2. more upright, rather than crouched.
"We wanted him to have the ability to use his athleticism, to be natural and not be so inhibited…The biggest thing we did was we stood him up tall. He's a big, strong, tall guy (listed at 6-foot-3, 185 pounds), but last year he had a bit of a crouch in his delivery. He was bent over, so we concentrated on getting his arm on a better path. He really bought into what we were trying to do…Before, Familia would crouch over a bit and the path of his arm would get wide and swing away from his body. Now he's standing taller and he's got his arm on a better plane."
One specific improvement is that by standing taller, Familia's changeup has improved. Tomlin again:
"He's staying taller than before, so he no longer comes around the side of his (circle) changeup. The switch enables him to get his arm up through the ball on all three of his pitches."How good has Familia's stuff been in the zone? Minor leaguers can't hit it as his 34 hits allowed in 55.1 innings attest.
For Holt, it's MentalFor Holt, whatever progress he's made, and I'm a little skeptical that it's real, has been mental, not physical. Tomlin:
"The stuff is there. The ability is there. With some guys, their mechanics need to be straightened out. …. And for some (like Holt), it's all about how they handle the mental side of pitching."
Holt has walked 18 batters in his last 11.1 IP, and sent 6 wild pitches to the backstop. He walked eight in four innings in his last start against New Hampshire, his fourth start against the Fisher Cats among his eight outings.
For Carson, it's bothApparently Carson needs to learn to command the whole strike zone:
"We wanted to get him using both sides of the plate," Tomlin said. "In the past he was a little more one-side-of-the-plate dominant (to his glove side). We like to see our pitchers use both sides of the plate, and now he believes he can do that. Now the emphasis will be on the changeup and not being afraid to use it.For what it's worth, left-handers are hitting .265/.342/.353 against Carson in 34 AB and righties are bopping .294/.359/.452 against him in 126 AB.
For me, Familia is significantly ahead of both Holt and Carson.