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Nats tweaking Jackson’s windup

Feb 22, 2012, 8:13 PM EDT

Associated Press photo
The Nats believe Edwin Jackson tips his pitches when throwing from the windup.

VIERA, Fla. — Upon signing Edwin Jackson earlier this month, general manager Mike Rizzo mentioned that the Nationals might try to tweak the right-hander's delivery from the full windup after noticing he posted significantly better number out of the stretch last season.

It didn't take long for members of the coaching staff to pick up on one possible problem this morning during Jackson's first bullpen session of the spring.

Watching Jackson throw from the windup, pitching coach Steve McCatty detected the 28-year-old dropping the ball for a split second from his glove and potentially showing it to the batter before reaching back to throw it. McCatty asked Davey Johnson to take a look, and after watching himself, the manager asked catcher Wilson Ramos for his vantage point behind the plate.

"I did notice it from the windup that he did show more ball," Johnson said. "It wasn't real obvious. Actually, I went down and asked Willy Ramos: 'Can you see the seams?' Because I didn't have my telescopeRead more ยป

  1. waddu eye no - Feb 22, 2012 at 8:16 PM

    aha! first to comment! too bad i have nothing to say.but y'all knew thatgyfng

  2. natsfan1a - Feb 22, 2012 at 8:17 PM

    Nor do I, except for – second! :-)

  3. Anonymous - Feb 22, 2012 at 8:18 PM

    just make him pitch from the stretch the whole time. problem solved.

  4. Tcostant - Feb 22, 2012 at 8:20 PM

    I like they are tring ti fix the issue, but not fond of telling the rest of league the issue…

  5. Anonymous - Feb 22, 2012 at 8:25 PM

    if this was really an issue, you'd think that the hitters on one of his many teams would have told him when he got there: "hey, we hit you better than we should because we could see the ball in your windup. you may want to fix that now that we're not trying to hit you anymore." i'm skeptical that it really will make a difference.

  6. MicheleS - Feb 22, 2012 at 8:26 PM

    If they fix his problem, he can be a legit #2 (and possibly a #1), although, he won't be pushing JZ or Stras out of that role. And then I would take our starters over any others in the league!

  7. MicheleS - Feb 22, 2012 at 8:26 PM

    And did you know that bon bon's go really well with Koolaid?

  8. Knoxville Nat - Feb 22, 2012 at 8:35 PM

    MicheleS, Do bon bon's go real well with a cold beer while sitting on my sofa and watching a game on television? Guess I'll have to wait for MASN's first ST televised game to find out.

  9. Anonymous - Feb 22, 2012 at 8:42 PM

    the o's are using rick petersons biomechanical analysis,why dont the nats?

  10. Doc - Feb 22, 2012 at 8:46 PM

    Thanks for the analysis update, Mark!Now that's real baseball stuff, on everybody's part! Still, it seems strange that Jackson could pitch for 8-9 years in the Bigs and nobody else picks up on it, like Dave Duncan, or Don Cooper, two well-respected pitching coaches that EJax played under.Watching MLB Network, I see that Eric Byrnes has joined H. Reynolds and D. Pleasac at the Nats' Koolaide stand.Goooooooooooooooooooo Nats!!

  11. Wally - Feb 22, 2012 at 8:46 PM

    EJax has been around so long, I had this grizzled vet image in my mind. But he looks like a kid barely out of HS.Anyway, while I would love to believe that there is this easy thing to convert him into a more dominant pitcher, I find it hard to buy into. In today's day and age with technology as prevalent as it is, especially with Boras as his agent, I just don't think there is going to be an easy fix like this.

  12. Anonymous - Feb 22, 2012 at 8:55 PM

    I think that Rizzo thinks that EJax is a Cy Young type guy just waiting to find the right groove to get there. Here's hoping Mike's right!Best 25 go North!dfh21

  13. Anonymous - Feb 22, 2012 at 9:03 PM

    If EJax is tipping his pitches, how is it possible that no one seems to know how he is doing it? By definition, people must know, else he ain't tipping! Eight different organizations haven't figured out how he is tipping, yet MLB bats 100 better when he is out of the windup. Something doesn't add up here. Are we sure he is tipping? Maybe his arm action out the windup flattens out his fastball.

  14. lefty1950 - Feb 22, 2012 at 9:06 PM

    Maybe his concentration is better when he has men on base and he has to bear down. Without men on base he might not be concentrating as much as he should. GO NATS!

  15. Unkyd - Feb 22, 2012 at 9:28 PM

    I'm only hearing about last year, as far as the stretch/wind up disparity. I could see if he got a little careless with the ball, it might go unoticed for a few months?

  16. Anonymous - Feb 22, 2012 at 9:32 PM

    Position player converted to pitcher still adjusting. Nothing to see here move on downthe line. Emperor Lannan with no clothes how are things with him hmmm?

  17. Section 222 - Feb 22, 2012 at 9:40 PM

    I'm with Wally and Anon 3:25. It just seems far fetched that McCatty and DJ could identify a problem within a few minutes that the rest of MLB didn't notice and didn't fix. I know that these guys are miracle workers, but still. Does anyone know whether the stretch/windup disparity was only last year, or is career long? At any rate, here's hoping that EJax is as good or better than last year. That would still make him a darn good No. 4.

  18. The Fox - Feb 22, 2012 at 9:45 PM

    So why doesn't he just pitch from the strech?Who cares if there is no one on base, if he is more comforable and has more control than pitch from the strech. Yea he might lose a couple of MPH on the fastball but the numbers show he is more effective. If it was the other way around then there would be a problem.Am I missing something?

  19. Anonymous - Feb 22, 2012 at 10:07 PM

    This windup/stretch BAA is UNIQUE to 2011. Every previous year, his BAA was about equal with men on vs bases empty.Also unique last year was fact that batters hit .400 on count of 0-0, 0-1 or 1-0. Was much less previous years. That tells me the problem was pitch selection last year.http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/players/7241/situational;_ylt=An5WWqfR1FmPY9AcCazYvRiFCLcF?year=2011&type=PitchingSit

  20. whatsanattau - Feb 22, 2012 at 10:09 PM

    When baseball people say things like maybe he's tipping his pitches, they mean they have spotted it but don't want to tell the rest of the world what the exact "tell" is in case they haven't spotted it too. They use words like "maybe" and "correctable". To be clear though, just because you stop tipping pitches doesn't mean you win the Cy Young.

  21. Sec 3, My Sofa - Feb 22, 2012 at 10:14 PM

    Twenty-First!

  22. Anonymous - Feb 22, 2012 at 10:14 PM

    Maybe he just bears down more with runners on base

  23. Anonymous - Feb 22, 2012 at 10:15 PM

    But John DID tell everybody when he thought EJax was showing his grip. I don't think he has a clue whether EJax is tipping or not.

  24. The Fox - Feb 22, 2012 at 10:25 PM

    Maybe that's why he walks people so he can bear down ;-).Really what this shows is that Rizzo is still a scout at heart. I think he has thought for a long time that he could fix EJax but that is probably what the other 6 team he has played for though too. I've been told that some nights he'll look like the best pitcher on your club and others will be burbon and malox nights.

  25. Anonymous - Feb 22, 2012 at 10:48 PM

    Amanda Comak is reporting that EJax windup has already "undergone major overhaul" since last year. Someone should tell McCatty and Johnson before they spend a lot of time trying to spot the flaw …

  26. #4 - Feb 22, 2012 at 11:17 PM

    Guys fall in and out of habits tipping their pitches. It's not something that he's been doing for nine years. It's probably a fairly recent development.Curt Shilling used to flutter his glove as he brought his hands over his head in the wind up every time he threw his split finger. It was a habit he had a hard time breaking even when it was pointed out to him.

  27. bgib - Feb 22, 2012 at 11:49 PM

    Maybe he's not tipping anything and they're just doing this to give opposing hitters something to think about and look for.

  28. natsfan1a - Feb 23, 2012 at 12:08 AM

    I wouldn't dig in if I was you. Next one might be at your head. I don't know where it's gonna go. Swear to God.

  29. Sec 3, My Sofa - Feb 23, 2012 at 4:02 AM

    He doesn't want to go 3-0, so look low and away. But be ready for in-your-ear.

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