Friday, April 17, 2009

The Return of Radhames Liz

"He doesn't have to get real fancy with a whole lot of things and can just throw his fastball. And for short periods of time, I think he can keep his delivery intact."
- Dave Trembley on Radhames Liz's transition to reliever

I wholeheartedly agree with the Dave Mc's assertion over at Weaver's Tantrum that calling up Radhames Liz after only a couple weeks in the minors (between camp and play at Norfolk) to work on his transition to the bullpen makes very little sense.

He was down to work on two things: a repeatable delivery and better control (for Liz, these are closely related).

So how did he do? Lets look. This great tool over at is great and gives me a way to display this data when I don't have the time to make the graphs myself.

Liz's pitches in relation to the strikezone:

Note the fastball way up next to the title of the graph. This also doesn't show two pitches that ended up in the dirt.

Liz really didn't know where the ball was going Wednesday night. Even when he got the ball in the strikezone, it was up and not fooling anybody.

Liz's release points against the Rangers:

That doesn't look too bad until you compare it with Jeremy Guthrie's release points from Sunday's game:

Guthrie's release points are much more tightly grouped. It doesn't look like much but that's the difference between a guy with repeatable delivery and one without one. It's a cliche but it is a game of inches.

Early returns are that Liz still isn't ready and calling him up does a disservice to Liz and the club. Liz has the stuff to be an elite reliever and I'm not sure this helps his development. Chris Waters, Alberto Castillo, Jim Miller or even Bob McCrory would have been better choices for an injury callup.

Hopefully, Liz learns to swim in the deep end...and fast.

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