This isn’t Reds-related, but it follows up on our recent discussion about the Reds’ decision to scrap Dan O’Brien’s (low-)minor league pitch count and tandem starter plan.
This article talks about the Padres’ new requirement that all minor league pitchers thow at least 20% changeups.
The plan, implemented by Grady Fuson, a very well-respected development guy, doesn’t leave any grey area at the lower levels.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“We are using 20 percent as our earmark, with some flexibility in the upper levels based on the type of team they are facing,Ã¢â‚¬Â Fuson said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“But in the lower levels of the system Ã¢â‚¬â€œ none, no flexibility.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Obviously, this is a huge contrast to the focus on “individual plans” that Johnny Almaraz was talking about the other day.
In a passage that would certainly bunch up the panties of the DDN’s Marc Katz:
Fuson said the Padres will indulge change-ups that get clobbered, because in the long run, the prospect will benefit.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“If the Padres are doing that, I applaud them,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Steve Lubratich, the Indians’ director of personnel, who previously worked for the Tigers and Padres. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Not everybody is going to have a great change-up, no matter how you do it, but it’s a great way to develop pitchers. The goal of the minor leagues is to develop major league players. The change-up might not help them in (Class) A ball, but down the road it will help them.Ã¢â‚¬Â
And I just enjoy this response to resistance by unproven minor leaguers:
Ã¢â‚¬Å“My whole thing is about increasing the odds of success,Ã¢â‚¬Â Fuson said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“If you don’t want to throw your change-up, you’re telling me you’re a reliever. Fine. There’s the bullpen down there.Ã¢â‚¬Â