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.

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=== 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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moethedogOver on USSM they are suggesting that Lloyd was very close to playing Miller in RF today (with Van Slyke's approval), which seems not to make much sense since the alternative was to rest Cano, evidently. If you played Miller in RF then Cano had to play 2B. A Ty Kelly would fit into a multi-positional role for this team. BTW, Denorfia is a career .801 guy vL. He's at .623 this year, slugging .320. Will be interesting to see who gets the Sept. 1st call ups. Romero and Smoak, certainly. After that?5 min 6 sec ago
MtGrizzlyErasmo Snell returns35 min 5 sec ago
Tacoma RainWell the streak is over... The Mariners had gone 200+ game of not giving up 10 runs or more.44 min 40 sec ago
IcebreakerXLooking at the scoring summary, I wonder why McLendon didn't pull Erasmo in like the 3rd and switch to The Bartender or something. I guess we can look forward to a sweep by the Astros too... The M's really enjoy playing down to horrid teams, don't they?51 min 18 sec ago
IcebreakerXCan someone fill me in on how bad Erasmo was today? I don't feel like watching a dirge performed by tone deaf cats.53 min 4 sec ago
rick82Yeah, this pitching was really starting to spoil us. I forgot what it was like to get shelled. I was looking at some of our guy's OPSes and thinking how unacceptable I thought these would have been last season, but how good they look this season, and what a difference a stellar pitching staff makes. This game accentuated my thoughts.1 hour 3 min ago
SABR Mattwow...how long has it been since the Mariners get this badly detonated?1 hour 50 min ago
SABR MattI think Walker gets three starts and Elias gets 3.1 hour 50 min ago
moethedogWhich means that Elias/Walker/Wilhelmsen are the guys. Sans ERam, then you probably have to throw Elis three more starts2 hours 8 min ago
mojicianI don't think we're going to see Erasmo anymore for a while.2 hours 15 min ago
mojicianErasmo is having a bad day.2 hours 27 min ago
SABR Mattwell sure...Elias will have a couple more starts...but the point is that the Mariners will need someone else to do more of the ehavy lifting and are not counting on top notch stuff from Elias or Ramirez. Also...some of Elias' starts will go to Taijuan Walker after September 1 I think. Especially since Ramirez is taking a giant bowel movement on the mound today.2 hours 34 min ago
moethedogElias is at 148.2 innings, including his one Tacoma start. He threw 148.1 in '12 and 130 in '13. I would bet he gets to 160 this year. Three 85-90 pitch starts, or so. We have 31 games left. What is that, six #5 starts? Three for Elias and 3 for Ramirez would be just ducky. Maybe two for the Cuban.3 hours 29 min ago
mojicianNay verily Matt. Elias is just going to have to rub some dirt in it, because the Mariners are not done with him yet. Observe the five point symetry of the wheel of filth. Points 1. Felix, RH control artist specializing in offspeed. Pt. 2. Chris Young, the trick pitcher. Every legendary pitching staff should have one trick pitcher, be he a knuckleballer like Tim Wakefield, or a 7 foot tall slowball artist, like um, Chris Young. Pt. 3. Hisashi Iwakuma, Right handed control artist specializing in offspeed, mirroring Felix. Points 5 and 6 of the rotation also must mirror each other to make an ideal monster. McClendon wants two rookie lightning armed lefties and not just one. The trick pitcher is usually the tail of the monster pitching staff, (or the head on a bad team like Toronto) the flame throwers are the legs, and the control artist off speed virtuosos are the arms who do the finer work.3 hours 55 min ago
SABR MattLOL moj...I think McClendon is viewing Paxton as the guy that needs to be good right now in order to keep the rotation together since Elias is basically done with his pitching for the year. He's the glue because we have no one else to fill that role that he likes. Though he is warming up to Ramirez. :)4 hours 11 min ago
mojicianBut, here's the conspiracy theory: McClendon doesn't view pitching on a two dimensional grid model. Rather, he sees a circle. McClendon has such a bias toward nastiness from his pitchers, that Paxton is the glue because he keeps those other pitchers who might pollute the pitching staff with horse(manure) pitches off the team. Paxton glues the back end of the rotation to the front end so instead of a broken chain of intermittent nastiness, there is one seamless wheel of filth. When McClendon spins the wheel, it comes up filthy every time, not just Filthy, Filthy, Filthy, Filthy, Horse (manure), Filthy. . .4 hours 24 min ago
MtGrizzlyPaxton down and Erasmo up. It's a paper move since Paxton's next start isn't until 9/2.4 hours 28 min ago
mojicianMcClendon called Paxton "The X Factor" and the "Glue that holds the rotation together". On a baseball grid, X and rotation glue would denote forward process, i.e. getting through lots of innings, and Y would represent upward progress, i.e. allowing few runs. If you weren't McClendon, you might consider Paxton more of a Y Factor guy than an X factor guy.4 hours 33 min ago
SABR MattPaxton looked pretty uncomfortable/ugly last night and it still got us a shutout. Thank you sir, may I have another?8 hours 47 min ago
Tacoma RainIt was interesting that Paxton himself felt said he had no off speed stuff until the well into the 4th inning...16 hours 55 min ago