Forgot to mention this in last post, but the mechanical adjustments that BMac/staff implemented last season were merely phase one. They were changes made to lower stress on his scapula and return quickly to pitch for TX before season's end.
Phase 2 was the offseason, where his arm slot was lowered some and he switched to a 2-seam repertoire:
"But the fixes were only temporary as McCarthy revamped his mechanics again, added muscle in his upper body and worked on developing a sinker and cutter. "Last year was a good primer," said McCarthy, who went 7-4 with a 4.62 ERA in 17 starts last season. "It was something I could come back and pitch with quickly and have some success with. Mechanically, it wasn't where I want to be, but I've gotten a lot closer now." The changes help McCarthy move downhill better and get on top of the ball" (Wilson)
EG had this note up about Ryan's interest in Gentry: "...Ryan wanted to get a better grasp on what kind of player Gentry is..." Not sure it really makes any difference what Nolan thinks of Gentry as the minor/major league staff already have a pretty firm grasp on the matter. Gentry is a 5th OF until he hits above AA who probably has some value to an NL club in that role but not really to TX (or most of the AL) unless they need a short term replacement at center due to injury down the line. Gentry has never been ahead of Boggs in the end.
KLAW had some pithy,overstated comments on Harry and Hunter, given his brief look at them during their 2 inning appearances. He definitely didn't do his homework on Hunter, as my breakdown of his pitches and velos countermand his observations:
Harrison threw two innings on Saturday and averaged 93-95 mph with a hard cutter at 88-90 mph that he used heavily even in changeup counts -- even though he has an average changeup. Harrison's delivery is rather striking: He's incredibly quick for the first half, as though he has somewhere else to be, but he's a little more deliberate after he separates his hands. He comes from a pretty high slot, possibly too high for a slider, but a reliever with two above-average pitches and a usable third pitch doesn't need a true breaking ball to be effective.
• Texas' starter, Tommy Hunter, was 88-91 with a soft cutter at 83-87 mph and a very soft curveball at 74-78. His fastball command was fair, and I still don't see what he has to get big league hitters out consistently. Harrison could have the stuff to start if his shoulder permits and someone can calm him down, but Hunter looks like a reliever.
Klaw is the first person outside of camp to mention Harrison's mysterious "quick, violent" delivery. It was apparently the one he used/switched to during his dominating streak last year. I need to go back to some accounts of his starts in May to see if I can get further info on this issue. I just don't remember it. What I recall is that Harrison took off after a conversation with Teagarden about controlling his tempo better. More on this later...
Somewhat OT, but related to Harry's ceiling, and future improvement, I am reminded of a comment by Harrison last year when asked why he went to the cutter. He said that he was haveing trouble getting a feel for his changeup, which, coming into camp, was his best secondary offering. So Maddux suggested he work on the cutter until he got a feel for his change. In the end, Harry threw his change almost 10% less than during his rookie year which is a little unsettling given that it was an AA pitch throughout the minors. Throwing his change more this year would seem to be a key area to improve upon for him as it would make all of his pitches better.