Stephen Pryor Scouting Report 6.2.12 - Dr's Prognosis

 .................................................................................

=== Don' Try to Bluff ME, eh hoser ===

Maybe the simplest poker tell is the staredown.  If an opponent splashes his chips and stares at you real hard, he's trying to back you down.  He's hoping you'll fold.  

And why would he be hoping that you'll fold?  Because if you bet, he'll get caught with weak cards.... now suppose a guy slides a stack of chips in gingerly and looks away meekly, hoping not to do anything to put your sense of danger into gear.  Why would he sincerely be wanting you to put chips in?

See, life ain't so hard .... :- )

................

Dr. D genuinely expected a soft landing for Stephen Pryor.  And Eric Wedge is a guy who believes, even more than most managers, in letting a starry-eyed rook ease into the hot tub.

When the White Sox put men on base Saturday, and Paul .370 Konerko came up to the plate, Wedge went out and got the best pitcher.  Stephen Pryor.

You ain't bluffing me.  You can tell me the M's were still behind, or that the bullpen was low, or whatever.  But in that AB, you confirmed everything I've suspected all along.  Don't kid a kidder.

.

=== Short Man ===

Pryor was visibly experiencing a panic reaction when he came in on Saturday.  He was huffing and puffing, shoulders high, eyes wide, neck tight.  After he was through the inning, they showed him on the bench and he was smiling, but clearly hyperventilating.

Man, who can blame him.  It's your career.  How many guys have a bad outing or two, and POOF goes the major league career?  Happens all the time.  What if you had ten minutes to secure your future or not?

Dr. D's day gig is public speaking.  He can relate.  Pryor was panicking - an involuntary response to a serious, serious threat.  This threat was to Pryor's livelihood, his childhood dream, fill in the blank you take it from here.

............

It didn't matter.

Pryor's mechanics are simple and, for him, his task is hilariously simple.  All he REALLY has to do is --- > heave the ball down the middle.  He did that.  Pryor's ability to execute his specific task is one that withstands stress.  The fight-or-flight response calls for large muscle movement.  Pryor simply applies his large muscles to the threat.  Then he feels better.  It's hard-wired into his brain to simply "punch" the threat.

.

=== Short-Term Role ===

It will take what, two or three weeks, for Pryor to acclimate psychologically.  During that time you can pitch him in pressure situations while not putting pressure on him.  That's exactly what they did to the 19-year-old Jeff Clarke when speaking to scary audiences.  They shoved him out there under the bright lights, and told him hey you're doing great for a rookie.  Great job!  Great job!  Hey, even if it goes wrong, happens to all of us.  Aren't you ever going to get one wrong?  Oh, you just did... ha, ha, you owe me a burger tomorrow.  Hey, great line that one about...

Even the scouts speak in terms of a "nurturing environment."  Certainly the M's coaching staff can provide that.  The next five appearances don't have to be in blowouts.  They just have to be with the understanding that failure is completely understandable.

.

=== Bring 'Em On Dept. ===

Don't care what you tell me:  I don't believe that Stephen Pryor is throwing any better now than he was when the season started.  Maybe I only get one vote, mine, but I vote that Pryor is (and will be) a vindication of SSI's griping and moaning about the delay of the Big Five.

Taijuan Walker could come up here right now and set the league on fire.  Most fans think he needs to get better.  Talk to the hand.  

:- )

Point's moot.  Pryor is up.  Why isn't Capps?  This time next month they'd be saying "don't let the Mariners take a lead into the seventh."

.

BABVA,

Dr D

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Comments

TAD's picture

TAD

Dr. D,
I thought you might have mentioned on the side the 3 excellent innings pitched by our new closer - as further proof (perhaps vindication) that Tom W actually belongs in our rotation.

Thanks for the another great write up. I know you have expressed many times that Geoff Baker is an excellent writer that we should be appreciateve to have in our media sphere, but I wanted to give a quick shout out for all the fun, entertaining, thoughtful reads

1

First, want to echo TAD's sentiments about SSI and the immensely entertaining stuff turned out daily by our gracious host. Makes baseball much more enjoyable :-)

Love that Z is stocking our 'pen with Super-Villains. One such character came to mind when reading the Pryor series: Pyro.

Throws big heat with baaaad intentions.

Thanks again for the great reads!

2

I think that makes Pryor take his place as Duke Nuke'm.

Can't wait to get Capps up. I don't expect him for a bit, though - whose spot does he take? Need a long man, that's Iwakuma. Need a couple of lefties (Luetge and Furbush). Need a closer (Wilhelmsen and Pryor are candidates until such time as we let League try again). League needs value before he can be traded. Kelley just got back.

When League goes, Capps comes up. I don't see that happening til July. Once they announce the AA All-Stars I expect Walker and Capps to get promoted to AAA, and that will give Capps a few weeks to humble PCL batters before his big-league callup.

Here's hoping Hultzen is on a more accelerated timeframe. The entire AL is tough this year, and there are very few gimmies. I want the Ms to continue to be a tough out all year long.

"It was just back and forth," said White Sox skipper Robin Ventura. "They are tough. They won't go away. They go ahead and we catch them and they go ahead. It's just one of those games. They are tough to put away."

If our pitching will hold down the other team then we can stop getting caught from behind in the first place.  Release the Kraken!

~G

3

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Gordon Grossyep. "Just" a fractured fibula is one thing. Damage to a joint or fractures in other leg/foot bones is different.2 hours 25 min ago
GrumpyInitially I assumed he got hit with the ball on a bad throw, but I saw a gif of the injury... it was a fall. My concern would be not so much the fibula but possible other injury to the ankle2 hours 32 min ago
Gordon GrossI'm hoping for 6-8 weeks, Grumpy. Still leaves him with a lot of season to learn and get better. If it's sooner, great!2 hours 38 min ago
GrumpyFibula fx are usually not a big deal (that's the little bone in the lower leg).3 hours 23 min ago
Tacoma RainSorry to hear about Ji-Man. I had high hopes for him. However, Choi's injury probably opens a spot up on the 40 man now though, as Choi will most likely be placed on the 60 day DL3 hours 45 min ago
Gordon GrossTyler Smith is getting coal in his stocking from me for that throw. So, so sad for Choi. I'm hoping it's the sort of fracture that can be healed in a couple months, but lower leg fractures are tricky. I'm really hoping Choi is more Rendon than Snelling - dude has to stay on the field to take advantage of all that talent. Poor kid. Heal fast and come back strong.4 hours 29 min ago
MtGrizzly@StoneLarry: Ji-Man Choi fractured his right fibula in a play at first in the eighth.5 hours 57 min ago
Lonnie of MCToo bad about Choi.6 hours 4 min ago
Gordon GrossYeah, I was wondering if Lara found any dynamism in his swing - he did not. So he'll need to have a good eye and make really solid contact on what he swings at. Not sure that he can do that against more advanced breaking balls, but we'll get to find out.7 hours 11 min ago
MtGrizzlyLara is burnt toast with that swing.7 hours 18 min ago
MtGrizzly@shannondrayer: Walker on throwing new slider-"I'm fighting for that 5th spot so I'm going after them throwing everything-I'm not working on anything".7 hours 30 min ago
Gordon GrossNext group of guys: Choi gets hit by a pitch, Lara has a powerful but slow swing, long fly ball. Kivlehan had a very professional AB and hit a single the other way behind the runner. I really can't help but love that kid.7 hours 39 min ago
okdanLara, Choi, and Kivlehan in the game now...7 hours 44 min ago
Gordon GrossJones gets a hit off a diving glove, but tweaks his ankle a little and gets replaced by a PR.7 hours 59 min ago
Gordon GrossMarte's still holding his hands at face level, with the bat up like an Olympic torch, and swinging down at the ball. I really want to be more sold on that kid - guess I'm waiting for the adjustments that will help him be more than a singles hitter who never walks. Hard to be Ichiro and succeed that way.8 hours 12 min ago
Gordon GrossSam G. looks awfully comfortable out there. Hope he's just as comfortable once the hitters have their timing - that could be fun.8 hours 20 min ago
Gordon GrossFunny seeing Woodward as a coach out there. Isn't he still a spring chicken? I'm getting old.8 hours 28 min ago
Gordon GrossTwo plate appearances, two nice singles for Montero.8 hours 29 min ago
Gordon GrossMontero has a seriously different body. Splits to snag a ball at first? Yikes. Let's hope he has seriously different plate results too.8 hours 36 min ago
Gordon GrossMark Lowe gets a shot today later maybe. Gaviglio is up now. Taijuan is done @ 2 innings.8 hours 39 min ago