I’m surprised at the depth and knowledge ( for an amateur site) of the responses that were made. And I say this with the utmost respect and acknowledgment to those that responded. In particular:
-Don’t they realize that no matter what you do, when you have a whole bunch of pitchers with identical deliveries, identical repertoire, identical this and identical that, they’re playing into the hands of the opposing batters who will know right away that no matter who’s pitching they’re going to get something they can hit.
-I would ask for the best shortstop and second baseman they could get their hands on and teach the pitchers to throw low in the zone hoping for ground balls. I would also ask for the best defensive catcher available.
-Maybe these pitchers have the same mechanics and same pitch selection but how do they use their pitches? Even if they have the same pitches that doesn’t mean they throw the same pitches in the same situations.
This is the EXACT chronological order of reasoning that every single pitching coach, with a days worth of experience, would reason out. FIRST would come the … what-a ya nuts! SECOND would come the … da’ll muurder us! And finally, THIRD… I gotta do… what I gotta do!
So the next time your thinking of wanting to be a 6’6", 210 pounder with 95+ fastball, … and I’m sure a lot of you do … just remember how special a specialist is. That one pitcher that has that one or two pitches that gives a different look, that change of menu, that …”what the heck is that!’, on the horizon.
Remember, a rotation is like a mechanics tool box - an assortment of tools for various jobs.
Now I will admit, I’ve been responsible for rotations where everyone was brought on board because they were burners. Somebody that was somebody decided without any input from me this is exactly what the club needed - for what was available, both for talent and other resource considerations. And during the early part of the preseason and a few games after, we were in pretty good shape. After that, we were knocked around like a beebe in a box car.
It’s not unusual to want to form a rotation with the best and strongest that’s available. In the college game for example, recruiting isn’t easy - in fact it’s a pain. The alumni base has a very short attention span when a losing season is on the horizon, the dean of students has accreditation considerations for academic standards - along with admissions, and then there’s every governing body that gets into the act (NCAA for example), and the up and coming talent pool can dry up faster than a drop of water on the Bonneville Salt Flats. To make matters even worse, talent that is available can have money worries, personal matters, and host of other baggage that only complicates the process. So, the end result is get what you can get, in some instances, and work hard … no, make that worry hard and work hard at the same time, and hope that all that effort will be appreciated for what it is. (which it won’t)
With the professional ranks, durability is at the top of charts in many instances. A pitcher is a frail commodity that can go bad real quick, given the long trek through the Minors. The constant demand on the human body can be taxing for many. A simple thing like living conditions can test even the toughest competitor. So although preconceived images of what’s durable and what’s not, does look like a “circling the wagons” mentality - it takes a special person to break that clay mold and shine. And shining with that special something can work for you in ways that are not all that apparent. First off, being different in a good way brings attention to you. Second, that attention starts a rationalization process that gets people thinking of ways that just might possibly fit you into their needs. Third, a few phone calls of …” what da ya think of this guy”, can start a give and take that just might work in your favor for some expertise in the coaching department that’ll bring you along stronger than before. I’VE DONE IT.
So if your on a team with all heaters, if you realize that if you don’t fit that image and ability, start something that shines special, something that’s yours and yours alone. And as every pitcher tries to upset the timing and expectations of the batter, so should you fit in there somewhere with that same quality using your own special “it”. Be the go-to guy when a situation pitcher is needed.
Good response and some sound thinking.