First News from Spring Training

There is one big surprise here on the southeast coast of Florida …

It’s friggin’ cold!

OK, I realize most of you are much colder than me … I hear it’s in the teens with snow in some places. Sorry ’bout that. But it isn’t exactly balmy down here … 46 degrees and windy as I type this. Good thing my suitcase is packed with nothing but shorts, t-shirts, and open-toe sandals!

Anyway, the plan today is to head over to Jupiter and watch the Mets play the Cardinals at 1pm. From what I understand John Maine will be starting for the Mets.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. isuzudude February 28, 2008 at 1:48 pm
    I’m looking for your expertise on two things.
    1. Apparently MLB has a rule in which teams have to bring at least 4 “regulars” to all of their spring training road games. As if the term “regular” wasn’t vague enough (regular as in starter, or as in regular occupant of a major league roster?), I think the rule is dumb. I mean, what’s the point? If a team wants to bring nothing but prospects and ST invites to a road game, why shouldn’t they be able to? After all, these are the players that may need the longest look at during ST in order for teams to make the decision as to whether to carry them into the regular year, or to showcase them for a potential trade. Shouldn’t MLB be more interested in more important issues (steroids? HGH? congressional hearings?) than worrying about what players go on spring training road games? What are your thoughts on this?
    2. Adam Rubin has a pic of John Maine throwing a pitch in the Mets vs. Cardinals post on Feb. 28th. Can you tell me what pitch Maine is throwing? I can’t figure it out by looking at his grip on the baseball.
  2. isuzudude February 28, 2008 at 1:49 pm
    Whoops! The link to that page is
  3. joe February 28, 2008 at 6:06 pm
    1. I believe the rule is due to spectators paying good money to watch MLB players in ST games — for example we paid $27 per ticket today. Not as much as a Shea ticket, but still not cheap.

    2. It looks to me like a “pitchfork” changeup … my personal favorite grip when teaching pitchers the change, btw. It’s held between the index and ring fingers, with the middle finger riding along the top. All those fingers provide “drag” or friction on the ball and cause it to come out of the hand more slowly than a fastball. It can dip down to the left or right a bit (not drastic, just a few inches) depending on the pressure point of the fingers at release.

  4. isuzudude February 29, 2008 at 9:02 am
    Thanks for the input. I know what the circle-changeup grip looks like, but wasn’t familiar with the pitchfork style. I’ve tried goofing around with throwing different types of pitches in pick-up stickball games, and tried throwing the circle change. Not easy at all. I can understand why the pitchfork is more popular.