When Joey Pinetar’s Advice Goes Wrong | The Process Report

When Joey Pinetar’s Advice Goes Wrong

Joel Peralta is a bullpen staple, a site favorite, and someone who may have a post-playing career with the franchise. But Peralta’s recent influence on Josh Lueke might be a bad thing.

Lueke has appeared in two games and faced five batters since his promotion over the weekend. Despite hitting 97 mph multiple times during his days in Durham, Lueke is yet to register a first-pitch fastball this season in the majors. In fact fastballs account for fewer than 25 percent of his overall pitches so far. The most extreme sequence took place on Tuesday night, when Lueke threw Shane Victorino seven-straight offspeed or secondary pitches without taking the fastball for a walk.

Of course Lueke got Victorino out anyway, and most mistakes are more about pitch location than selection. Lueke just does not need to pitch like Peralta. Peralta only pitches like he does because he must in order to survive—and even then he throws his fastball the most of his individual pitches. That doesn’t mean Lueke should abandon pitching backward completely; there are occasions where it makes sense, and can help keep batters off balance. It just means he shouldn’t be tripling or quadrupling up on offspeed or breaking pitches to begin at-bats while his fastball sits in reserve.

A few nights ago Joe Maddon ranted about how the fastball remains the best pitch. Don’t be surprised if Lueke hears a similar lecture if this continues.



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