Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |
In a story published Thursday about trends that are bringing dramatic changes to the pitching coach position, we reported that former Yankees and Mets pitching coach Dave Eiland was seen by some as less than receptive to analytics and technology.
Eiland is pushing back against that perception.
"All of this stuff, I've been using it since I came into the game," he told SNY on Friday. "To be categorized in a group that's anti-data or anti-technology is simply not true."
Eiland specifically mentioned the Rapsodo, a high-speed camera featured prominently in Thursday's story.
"We used the Rapsodo in spring training last year, and it was great," Eiland said. "For example, you can make adjustments to a guy's arm slot, or see if he's leaving the rubber too soon."
The Mets fired Eiland in June. While he is currently in the mix for positions with several organizations, his pushback raises a relevant concern about other experienced managers and coaches being labeled as old-school.
Frankly, both team executives and reporters like us should be extremely careful in putting people in categories, which can be narrow and reductive, and leave knowledgeable folks out of work.
Kathy Viola, the wife of Frank Viola, tweeted Thursday in response to our story, "Info & tweaking is great...analysis & analytics can be used in MiLB, spring training, and possibly between starts in MLB. But, does not replace coaches such as [Phil] Regan or @FrankViola16 who know how to prepare an athlete come game time. Upward of 90% is mental once a game starts."
Viola was a pitching coach in the Mets organization until 2018.
Eiland does not want to be painted with the old-school brush and says he has always appreciated the help that analytics can provide.
"Every year I've tried it and grown with it," he said. "I like this stuff as a verifier for what I'm telling the pitcher."
As for his future in the game, Eiland said, "I want to get back on the horse to see what new data is coming."