BuckMagic wrote:allstar1579 wrote:That doesn't shock me, but I hope they are doing it to get him ready for a RP role. I scouted him a couple times last season and knew from day 1 that he couldn't be a starter. Guys just start teeing off on him once they get his delivery down the 2nd time through.
What exactly is easy to see in his delivery? Why is he easy to hit? Haven't seen him pitch, curious.
His stuff actually isn't all that good. He's got pretty good control, but his success is all tied to his delivery, he's got one of those Japanese-ball-hiding releases where he contorts his body and you can't see the release point. If you get him in small spurts he's effective because picking up on the ball so late, coupled with good control means guys can't get around on it fast enough, but by the 2nd and 3rd time through, guys have his release down and it's like BP. He had something like a 0.80 ERA in the first 3 IP but then would get touched for 2-4 in the 4-5th and get knocked out all the time. He's just another in the mold of Nomo, Okajima, and Otsuka, great in limited exposure, but once the book is out there not real effective.
Here's part of a write-up I did on him last season:
Got a chance to see Tanaka for a few innings yesterday in Bowie, and I saw some interesting stuff. First, Tanaka has six pitches, yes, six. He doesn't throw them all very often, but he can reach into the bag of tricks at any time. He's got a cutter which is his go-to, out pitch, it looks like the fastball, but it has late life in on righties and sits around 88-90. His fastball is straight and heavy, about 88-90 and he locates it well. His change-up is slow with about a 3 inch break, it sits around the 73-75mph range. His curve looks just like the change but it's got a much bigger break and comes about a tick harder than the change. His splitter has a hard bite and comes in about 80-82mph, and he has a slider as well but I didn't see it yesterday.
He's got four main pitches that he can locate and he throws most often being the Fastball, the Cutter, the Change and the Curve. Tanaka's two best attributes are his delivery and his use of multiple pitches to keep hitters off balance. His delivery involves a high leg cock, where he pulls his knee in to his chest, and like most Japanese pitchers he leans his forward shoulder across his body to help hide his release point. When he opens his shoulder the batter sees the knee fly out first, distracting from the release point for a split second and keeping batters on their heels. Most contact against him comes late with some opposite field contact common in the first couple innings. As hitters start to see him more in the second and third trip through the order they start to get more around on the ball like on the one hit he gave up yesterday, a pulled, hard shot down towards 3rd.