“They love sliders,” Gray told The Athletic. “Sliders are a great pitch. The numbers say slider is a good pitch, but you might not realize how many s–tty counts you’re getting in while throwing all those sliders. They wanted me to be [Masahiro] Tanaka and I’m way different from him.
“I can’t command my slider that well. I want to throw my slider in the dirt with two strikes, and that’s about it. I don’t have that type of slider, like Tanaka’s slider. His slider, the catcher will catch it, and the batter will swing and miss. If I get a swing and miss, the catcher is blocking it in the dirt. When I try to throw sliders for a strike, I get around it and it’s just a s–tty spinning pitch. I don’t know how people throw sliders for strikes that are still tight, good pitches. I’m at 2-0 and I’m throwing a slider, and either I’m throwing a s–tty slider in the zone, or I’m yanking it into the dirt and it’s 3-0 and I’m screwed either way.”
“I didn’t throw as many curveballs, and that’s when it started to morph and lose shape,” Gray said.
“In my very last outing against the Red Sox, second to last game of the season in New York, I threw two innings out of the pen, all I did was throw cutters,” Gray said. “I said, ‘F–k ’em, all I’m going to do is throw cutters today.’ I just threw 94-mph cutters. … [Pitched well, and] I thought maybe I’ll make the postseason roster here … but I didn’t.”
“That’s the question,” Gray said of the walks. “It was insane. It wasn’t like two or three starts, either, pretty large sample, with that drastic of a split.”
Gray said he asked the coaching staff what it thought.
“Am I nuts? Do you see a difference? What’s the difference?” Gray said. “They said, no, you’ve just been unlucky. I was like, ‘that’s bulls–t.’” (Athletic)
Soooo, there’s a lot to digest here.
Sonny Gray was absolute trash last season. He had a 4.90 ERA. He walked 3.9 batters and allowed 9.5 hits per 9 innings. Every time he threw a pitch, I was convinced it was going to either float over the middle of the plate and land in the upper deck or the pitch was going to roll into the dirt.
Now, before we turn our attention to the Yankees, it’s important to remember that Sonny sucked. He couldn’t throw pitches. Some would argue that for a starting pitching, not being able to throw pitches is a bit of a problem.
Before we blame Gary Sanchez for letting every ball roll past him, I have to say that Sonny Gray probably should’ve just thrown better pitches. That would make Sanchez’s job way easier.
But for the Yankees coaching staff, Larry Rothschild specifically, you have to recognize that Sonny cannot throw the pitches you keep demanding him to throw. That’s like when you have a limited starting quarterback and you’re an offensive coordinator who keeps calling passing plays that you know for a fact your QB can’t make those throws. It’s like you’re the head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers and you demand that Shaq step behind the 3-point line more.
At one point, Sonny even goes to Larry and says ‘please help me figure out what I’m doing wrong’ and Larry’s response is ‘eh, just bad luck’. The fuck?
What is Larry Rothschild’s job?
We watched Luis Severino completely collapse in the last half of the season and when asked, Larry Rothschild said ‘he’s definitely not tipping his pitches’ while opposing hitters were like ‘oh, we know exactly what Severino is going to throw’. Rothschild is collecting checks and just watching Yankees games from the best seat in the house.
My fear is that the Yankees ran back the same exact coaching staff and now they’re expecting a different result. I’ve mentioned this before but last season in the playoffs, the Yankees needed base hits. They needed singles. They needed guys on base. And every single batter went up there swinging for the fences. If you recall, the Yankees didn’t make it to the World Series. Apparently, you don’t win because you hit the most outfield pop-ups.
Anddd the Yankees just brought back hitting coach, Marcus Thames, who didn’t correct any of the
Again, it’s not Larry Rothschild’s fault that Sonny Gray can’t throw a slider but it is 1000% his fault for forcing him to throw it over and over again knowing damn well he was going to walk every batter he faced.
I really hope players this year don’t fall into a massive slump because these coaches are just going to look at them at shrug. I’m ready to fire everyone but I’ll wait until at least opening day, I guess.
Good luck, Sonny Gray. Oh, and don’t ever talk shit about the Yankees ever again or it’s a WRAP.
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