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Salty stuck in minors bc he cant throw to the pitcher


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Saltalamacchia in minors to work on throwing ... to the pitcher

By Andy Behrens

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Jarrod Saltalamacchia(notes) has absolutely destroyed the pitching he's seen so far at Triple-A. He's batting .343 in 18 games for Oklahoma City with five doubles, three homers, and an on-base percentage of .400.

You might recall that Saltalamacchia began the year as the Texas Rangers starting catcher, then hit the disabled list with a back injury just two games into the season. Considering the current state of the catching position in Arlington (Matt Treanor(notes) is hitting .209), you'd think that Saltalamacchia would be welcomed back.

His bat is ready, but the rest of him isn't. Saltalamacchia is struggling with his throws — not his across-the-diamond throws to second base, but his 60-foot tosses to the pitcher's mound.

Details here from MiLB.com:

In Salty's last game, Tuesday night at AT&T Bricktown Ballpark, 12 of his throws back to the pitcher landed either short of the mound or in center field. He had five errant throws in the first inning alone.

"He's just got to keep playing until he gets it right," RedHawks manager Bobby Jones said. "I don't know what else to do. It's a shame. It's definitely what's keeping him here. He's blocking the ball well and swinging the bat well. He's just got to figure it out. It's a shame."

Saltalamacchia said, "Everything feels good. My throws have been good down to second. We've been working on different arm angles, getting on top of the ball more rather than getting on the side. So everything's going smoothly and we'll see where it goes."

Yikes. He's talking about "getting on top of the ball more" on his throws to the pitcher. That's messy. It sounds like this isn't a physical problem since he's apparently making in-game throws that have a much higher degree of difficulty. Here's hoping he can beat the issue quickly, before it develops into something like the Mackey Sasser situation. Saltalamacchia is a serious talent, but this is clearly an affliction that a catcher can't live with.

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So hold on, he can throw just fine down to second base, but he cant throw to the pitcher? Like after a pitch is thrown and called a strike, he can't stand up and make the casual throw? Really!? Is that really what his issue is, or is there some underlying hidden message that I just can't wrap my brain around?

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So hold on, he can throw just fine down to second base, but he cant throw to the pitcher? Like after a pitch is thrown and called a strike, he can't stand up and make the casual throw? Really!? Is that really what his issue is, or is there some underlying hidden message that I just can't wrap my brain around?

It's not unheard of. Macky Sasser is the most famous example of a catcher having this issue. It usually starts with an injury, but the player for whatever reason just completely loses the release point when throwing the ball. Sasser routinely made throws into second without a problem, but Brett Butler once stole a base on him as he double-clutched trying to get the ball back to the pitcher.

Steve Sax and Chuck Knowblauch both developed similar problems as second basemen making the throw to first. And Braves fans are painfully aware of Mark Wohlers. As a Brave, he struck out 282 and walked just 83 in 211 innings, saving 112 games in the process. Then he got hurt, and when he came back, he had no feel for his release point, and was never an effective pitcher again.

So it typically starts off as a physical injury, but the psychological impact persists after the injury is healed.

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It's not unheard of. Macky Sasser is the most famous example of a catcher having this issue. It usually starts with an injury, but the player for whatever reason just completely loses the release point when throwing the ball. Sasser routinely made throws into second without a problem, but Brett Butler once stole a base on him as he double-clutched trying to get the ball back to the pitcher.

Steve Sax and Chuck Knowblauch both developed similar problems as second basemen making the throw to first. And Braves fans are painfully aware of Mark Wohlers. As a Brave, he struck out 282 and walked just 83 in 211 innings, saving 112 games in the process. Then he got hurt, and when he came back, he had no feel for his release point, and was never an effective pitcher again.

So it typically starts off as a physical injury, but the psychological impact persists after the injury is healed.

That's crazy. Thanks for the explanation though. I guess I figured muscle memory to kick in at that point. I mean he has been doing it for how long? It just seems weird that he can make the throw down to second but cannot get the ball to the pitcher. Hope he is able to recover from it. Maybe he should go see a shrink or something.

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It's not unheard of. Macky Sasser is the most famous example of a catcher having this issue. It usually starts with an injury, but the player for whatever reason just completely loses the release point when throwing the ball. Sasser routinely made throws into second without a problem, but Brett Butler once stole a base on him as he double-clutched trying to get the ball back to the pitcher.

Steve Sax and Chuck Knowblauch both developed similar problems as second basemen making the throw to first. And Braves fans are painfully aware of Mark Wohlers. As a Brave, he struck out 282 and walked just 83 in 211 innings, saving 112 games in the process. Then he got hurt, and when he came back, he had no feel for his release point, and was never an effective pitcher again.

So it typically starts off as a physical injury, but the psychological impact persists after the injury is healed.

Chuck Knoblauch was a sad case. Went from a gold glove to a guy who couldn't make a routine throw. If he had to make an instinctive great throw, he could still do it, but not the easy ones.

Rick Ankiel is another case. The Braves broke his brain.

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Chuck Knoblauch was a sad case. Went from a gold glove to a guy who couldn't make a routine throw. If he had to make an instinctive great throw, he could still do it, but not the easy ones.

Rick Ankiel is another case. The Braves broke his brain.

Chuck Knoblauch deserved everything he got!

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Major League 2. Someone needs to get him a victoria secrets

Playboy works too! Lol!

It's not unheard of. Macky Sasser is the most famous example of a catcher having this issue. It usually starts with an injury, but the player for whatever reason just completely loses the release point when throwing the ball. Sasser routinely made throws into second without a problem, but Brett Butler once stole a base on him as he double-clutched trying to get the ball back to the pitcher.

Steve Sax and Chuck Knowblauch both developed similar problems as second basemen making the throw to first. And Braves fans are painfully aware of Mark Wohlers. As a Brave, he struck out 282 and walked just 83 in 211 innings, saving 112 games in the process. Then he got hurt, and when he came back, he had no feel for his release point, and was never an effective pitcher again.

So it typically starts off as a physical injury, but the psychological impact persists after the injury is healed.

Yep. I remember when that happened to Wohlers. He recovered a little bit and had a decent year or 2 for the Indians later after that happened but the dominating and untouchable Wohlers was gone forever.

I don't remember how he got hurt but for some reason I'm thinking it was in a car wreak and had nothing to do with baseball.

Chuck Knoblauch was a sad case. Went from a gold glove to a guy who couldn't make a routine throw. If he had to make an instinctive great throw, he could still do it, but not the easy ones.

Rick Ankiel is another case. The Braves broke his brain.

Ankiel had that meltdown in the playoffs in 2001. And the Braves still somehow found a way to lose that game after Ankiel stopped them a 6 or 7 run lead.

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That's crazy. Thanks for the explanation though. I guess I figured muscle memory to kick in at that point. I mean he has been doing it for how long? It just seems weird that he can make the throw down to second but cannot get the ball to the pitcher. Hope he is able to recover from it. Maybe he should go see a shrink or something.

Seeing a shrink might help, but I would think that it's just a matter of getting the feel down right now. He needs to try something like Sasser did, and throw it back to the pitcher as hard as he can, as if he were throwing a guy out at second. Once Sasser started doing that he was fine.

I've always been intrigued by this kind of problem in baseball. I remember just feeling so bad for Wohlers as a little kid, and I just couldn't figure out how someone could ever have that problem.

Edited by Testasparo
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It happens. I went through it in high school. My 6'6'' pitcher was either jumping for the ball or picking it off his shoe tops. I finally got pissed off and after every pitch I'd get up out of my crouch and fire the ball back at his head as hard as I could. It worked and I never sailed or short hopped one again. It's all mental you just have to break through it.

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