Author Topic: MacKenzie Gore Vidal Sassoon (2024) - Throw Ur Stuff 4 Strikes!  (Read 1940 times)

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Offline JCA-CrystalCity

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Golden:
MacKenzie Gore has deceptive secondary pitches. Now he needs consistency.

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Consistency. That’s the challenge for Gore, 24, who enters his second full season with the Nationals hoping to build off his growing pains from 2023. Gore ended last season with a 7-10 record and a 4.42 ERA, but those numbers overshadowed how dominant Gore looked at times. Per Baseball-Reference, he posted a 2.56 ERA in his seven wins and a 2.59 ERA in his seven no decisions. But in his ten losses, he had 7.71 ERA.
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Gore’s high-riding fastball is an electric pitch. He has the secondary pitches to pair with it. But finding the consistency with those secondary pitches and using them at the right time could turn him into an ace. Fortunately, Gore has a curveball, a slider and a change-up — all above-average options. Those pitches had whiff rate percentages of 37.9, 37.5 and 38.2, respectively, in 2023. But he threw his curveball and slider 18.8 and 18.2 percent of the time. And he rarely used his change-up.
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Gore’s fastball and curveball play deceptively off each other. Sean Doolittle, the Nationals’ pitching strategist, said the two pitches are on the same spin axis, yet Gore’s fastball is spinning backward while his curveball has top spin, making it difficult for hitters to determine what the pitch is. It’s even harder to react because of how fast his fastball gets in on hitters’ hands and how late his curveball breaks.

Hickey talks up the curve, which he wants Gore to use more, and both Hickey and Doo discuss improvements he has made to his change up.

Online Slateman

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We'll see

Offline imref

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I’m going to miss last year’s thread title.

Offline JCA-CrystalCity

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Offline JCA-CrystalCity

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Ryan Lohr at District on Deck has some thoughts on "How can Mackenzie Gore take the next step?: After his first full campaign featured high highs and low lows, MacKenzie Gore is looking to take that next step forward in his progression in 2024. What does that look like for Gore and how does he get there?"

The article does a nice data analysis on the movement, speed and effectiveness of his main pitches. While his stuff (fastball, curve, slider) is great (and really backed up analytically with swing and miss, vertical and horizontal break, shape, etc... info), his command has been horrible at times, leaving a ton of balls over the middle of the plate. While his walk rate is high, it's not dramatically high. It's the command and the balls leaking into areas where they can be crushed. Moreover, he tired as the year went on and the command worsened. [not surprising he tired as the season was the longest he pitched].  The writer suggests a fix to help on command - pitch out of the stretch.

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Gore has a busy pitching motion, he turns, has a high leg kick and a long stride down the mound. This delivery, while pretty, is hard to replicate. There is a lot of moving parts which is hard to consistently repeat. He also has a slight variation in his release points which can stem from inconsistent mechanics. . . .How do you help with mechanical issues when you have a long delivery? One way, pitch out of the stretch full time. Pitching out of the stretch simplifies a pitchers mechanics, allows for more consistency and can help with command and pitch movement. Gore with runners on (when you are consistently out of the stretch) has a lower WHIP, lower ERA, consistent K% compared to when there are no runners on (when you pitch out of the windup). All are indications that he could succeed pitching out of the stretch full time.

Notes past success for Corbin Burnes and Stephen Strasburg with this change. The author also suggest mixing his pitches more to become less predictable to disrupt hitters from teeing off on the fastball.

It's a nice, reasonable length read. I wonder if we will see more of the changeup and sweeper this year as part of trying to get hitters off his primary pitches. OTOH, I am not sure that's consistent with "it doesn't matter how fast you throw ball four."
 


Offline imref

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Nice read. Gore accomplished goal #1 last year, which was stay healthy for a full season. Hopefully he takes that next step WRT to his performance this year.

Offline JCA-CrystalCity

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Looking at his splits on FG, it's interesting to see he was by far most effective in high leverage situations.  Highest K rate, lowest walk rate, lowest average, lowest HR rate, lowest (sub 1) WHIP, sub-3 FIP and xFIP.

https://www.fangraphs.com/players/mackenzie-gore/22201/splits?position=P&season=2023

Offline Smithian

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1ace?_r_u_kidding_me?




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Offline rbw5t

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Looking at his splits on FG, it's interesting to see he was by far most effective in high leverage situations.  Highest K rate, lowest walk rate, lowest average, lowest HR rate, lowest (sub 1) WHIP, sub-3 FIP and xFIP.

https://www.fangraphs.com/players/mackenzie-gore/22201/splits?position=P&season=2023

The point of the article is that he's more effective out of the stretch, and that might be well true bc of the simplified mechanics.  But I also wonder if the better success in higher leverage is, maybe at least in part, due to better focus in those situations?  If so, it would seem like maybe he can make a leap forward toward being an ace by just maturing and developing better more consistent focus.  It definitely seemed like there were times when he was cruising and then just lost the zone for a couple of hitters for no apparent reason.  Loss of focus?  Seems weird, but also seems consistent with him being better when up against a higher leverage situation.

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Dont freak with this guy's mechanics again.

Online Natsinpwc

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Dont freak with this guy's mechanics again.
How do we get him to throw more strikes then. He actually reminds me of Gio.

 :couch:

Offline JCA-CrystalCity

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Dont freak with this guy's mechanics again.
he already throws out of the stretch, so this isn't really trying to change his delivery. It's more when he uses it.

Offline JCA-CrystalCity

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https://blogs.fangraphs.com/szymborskis-2024-booms-and-busts-pitchers/

Szymborski picks Gore as a breakout candidate. Of course, he picked Gray last year, but the write up is interesting.

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Of the three true outcomes, home runs have always had a weird relationship with pitchers. Strikeout and walk rates tend to be stable numbers, so it’s typically meaningful whenever they fluctuate drastically, whereas home run rates are extremely volatile. So volatile, in fact, that xFIP, a stat that has one of the more bizarre central conceits — “Let’s just assume that every pitcher has the same ability to prevent homers.” — actually has predictive value relative to stats that take a pitcher’s home run rate as gospel. As a result, “Let’s look for a pitcher who is pretty good but allows too many damn homers,” has proven to be a sneaky good way to predict breakouts, such as Corbin Burnes and Dodgers-era Andrew Heaney. MacKenzie Gore misses bat and he’s made great strides in improving his command, so I’m betting that he’ll wrangle the round-trippers too.

Offline JCA-CrystalCity

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MacKenzie Gore’s next step: Getting the results to match the stuff Perspective by Barry Svrluga

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The last of MacKenzie Gore’s 101 pitches Monday afternoon should be what’s boxed up and preserved for starts in the coming months. Maybe then, it’ll come to close the seventh inning rather than to record the first out of the sixth. He has more efficiency to learn, more consistency to find. But even in a somewhat uneven outing to open the home portion of the Washington Nationals’ schedule, this much is obvious: He can do things with a baseball most pitchers simply can’t.
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So that’s what the 2024 season is about for Gore, the Nationals’ gifted but developing left-hander: taking that arm talent and squeezing results from it. His stat line from his first start of the season — 5⅓ innings pitched, five hits and two walks allowed that led to three earned runs, to go with six strikeouts — was decidedly middling. His stuff is not. The trick: Getting the outcomes to match the ability about 30 more times.

Offline IanRubbish

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We've only got him for three non-throwaway seasons assuming next one isn't yet another one, and it's not like there are other prospects or young pitchers showing much progress.   By this point in his career he should have much better command than he does.   For his own sake he better learn soon if he expects Boras to get him something better than a short contract when free agency comes.

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Good start. Lets see him refine

Offline JCA-CrystalCity

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We've only got him for three non-throwaway seasons assuming next one isn't yet another one, and it's not like there are other prospects or young pitchers showing much progress.   By this point in his career he should have much better command than he does.   For his own sake he better learn soon if he expects Boras to get him something better than a short contract when free agency comes.
I'd say the biggest plus for refining and developing Gore since he was such an uber-prospect was just getting him through a year healthy without much more than a blister. I forget how long it's been since he was able to do that. That and his stuff are a good platform to build upon.

Offline imref

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Bullpen killer.  Snell lite. 

Offline JCA-CrystalCity

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Bullpen killer.  Snell lite. 
I'll take it. He's young enough to get better. Deeper in the season, he would have gone into the 6th and gone up to 100+ pitches

Online Natsinpwc

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I'll take it. He's young enough to get better. Deeper in the season, he would have gone into the 6th and gone up to 100+ pitches
I am not seeing it get better though.  I think all the Ks causes him to not care about minimizing pitches.  It would be ok if we had other guys who could go more than four or five innings.  But we don’t.  They are going to kill the bullpen guys. 

Offline JCA-CrystalCity

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I am not seeing it get better though.  I think all the Ks causes him to not care about minimizing pitches.  It would be ok if we had other guys who could go more than four or five innings.  But we don’t.  They are going to kill the bullpen guys. 
one guy, that dominant, doesn't kill the bullpen. He strikes out half the batters he's faced 3 times through the rotation, and has made huge progress on BBs. His BABIP is unrealistically high (.382). That's where he naturally gets his extra outs. Even if his HRs go up a bit, the BABIP normalizing and the lower BB rate will keep the damage less.

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one guy, that dominant, doesn't kill the bullpen. He strikes out half the batters he's faced 3 times through the rotation, and has made huge progress on BBs. His BABIP is unrealistically high (.382). That's where he naturally gets his extra outs. Even if his HRs go up a bit, the BABIP normalizing and the lower BB rate will keep the damage less.
Well yes they have five guys to kill the pen.  Would be nice if you could count on one guys for 6 or 7 innings each start. I think of an ace doing that.  The stuff is great. Pound the strike zone. 

Offline JCA-CrystalCity

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Well yes they have five guys to kill the pen.  Would be nice if you could count on one guys for 6 or 7 innings each start. I think of an ace doing that.  The stuff is great. Pound the strike zone. 
they have Corbin for length. Irvin gives them some length. Williams is hit or miss, but he gets them through 5+ most starts until late in the year, when he'll be gone. You want to save the bullpen? Use Floro and spot in Barnes. Rainey is your mop up guy.

By the way, the Nats are 20th in bullpen innings this year going into today. They are not overused. After today, they average 3.2 IP per game. That just is not a lot in the contemporary game.