Josh Kalk Interview

For anyone with interest in PITCHf/x — no, scratch that — for anyone with even a passing interest in statistical analysis,’s interview with Josh Kalk is a must-read.

16 comments… add one
  • Wow, great find AG. I’ve always wondered how many cameras they use and what software is involved.
    Interesting stuff about Great American Ballpark and Coors Field too.

    Atheose July 25, 2008, 11:41 am
  • no maas has been on a roll lately with their interviews. Another good one.

    Nick-YF July 25, 2008, 11:46 am
  • Better stuff on Hughes and Joba and Moose and Pettitte.
    Tough call on Hughes – let him throw the slider and risk injury or make him develop other pitches and risk ineffectiveness.

    A YF July 25, 2008, 11:48 am
  • Best part of the article:
    Because his release point is so steady, you would think that comes from a very repeatable delivery and, indeed, that is reportedly one of his best traits. In fact, you have to wonder if his release point is too consistent. The way he is throwing right now, the batter knows exactly where the ball is coming from. That might be helping him pick up the ball earlier and give him more time to determine the pitch type. This is something that needs future investigation, so consider it a theory right now.

    Atheose July 25, 2008, 11:58 am
  • Great read, I’ve always wondered about this stuff.
    I will say, I’m very surprised that people give interviews to NoMaas. Their message board is loaded with nothing but horrendously racist, homophobic, antisemitic, hateful garbage from the lowest forms of life on the planet. Giving them interviews strikes me as tacit acceptance of their readership and participants.

    LocklandSF July 25, 2008, 12:14 pm
  • “Giving them interviews strikes me as tacit acceptance of their readership and participants.”
    I think they must have a inside connection. I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s someone in the business with his childhood buddies. They all use pseudonyms.
    And they can simply pitch it as a fan site. Writers understand that. Besides, there’s a lot of hateful nonsense that gets posted here too, in case you haven’t noticed.

    A YF July 25, 2008, 12:18 pm
  • A YF, you can’t possibly be comparing the arguments we have here with the outright hate mongering that goes on at NoMaas.
    Seriously, even you have to be able to see the difference in this.

    LocklandSF July 25, 2008, 12:46 pm
  • “Seriously, even you have to be able to see the difference in this.”
    Not from you.

    A YF July 25, 2008, 1:19 pm
  • Great article/interview.
    Why would throwing a slider be any harder on an arm than throwing a curve? Teach him the slider – please!

    IronHorse (yf) July 25, 2008, 1:25 pm
  • Why would throwing a slider be any harder on an arm than throwing a curve?
    Actually when I was a pitcher in highschool I had a great curve but couldn’t get a good slider. I was at a pitching camp about eight years ago hosted by Tom House and even he couldn’t teach it to me–the way my hand pronated was a little strange, so I got very little break on it.

    Atheose July 25, 2008, 1:39 pm
  • He already knows the slider and by all accounts it’s very good. The problem is it put increased torque on the arm and the Yanks had him develop a curve instead once he hit the minors. So he’s thrown the curve much more ever since. Interesting that the f/x data suggests it may be too good and so too easy to recognize.
    “Hughes has a plus 12-6/1-7 curveball that supplements his fastball; he throws the curve 20-30% of the time. Incredibly when he was drafted Hughes didn’t have a curveball but Yankees minor league pitching coach, Nardi Contreras, made him swap his slider for a curve largely to reduce pressure on the arm that the slider imparts. You’d have thought it would have taken a while for Hughes to master the pitch wouldn’t you? No. Within a few months, and after a bit of help from Mike Mussina, Hughes had one of the finest curves in the minors.”

    A YF July 25, 2008, 1:39 pm
  • “Not from you.”
    See, that makes no sense. I insult you because you’re a truly horrible human being with not one redeemable quality.
    The people at NoMaas insult people based on color, religion, sex and sexual orientation.
    Does this clear up your confusion?

    LocklandSF July 25, 2008, 1:41 pm
  • I feel about as likely to be effective as the 68-year old NFL ref stepping between two lineman about to fight, but please please you two, could you not take this thread down the predictable road? It’s a pretty interesting discussion.

    IronHorse (yf) July 25, 2008, 1:44 pm
  • “It’s a pretty interesting discussion.”
    Hmmmm, except which one of us is actually contributing to that discussion? What was SFs definition of a troll again?

    A YF July 25, 2008, 1:52 pm
  • With a bit more research, Hughes has returned to the slider, but only a few times each game, if that.
    Speaking of which – anyone else catch the recent SI cover on Lincecum? Turns out his Dad constantly tweaked his weird mechanics throughout his childhood to get maximum velocity from his small frame – 5’10” 170lbs and throw 98mph. Better – he made UWash promise, before signing, that they wouldn’t change them. Same deal with San Fran.
    It’s an interesting story and makes you think. How many guys have had their mechanics changed and failed vs. succeeded? Same deal from the other direction – mechanics never changed that failed vs. succeeded? Meanwhile – it’s so tough to know what to do with an individual case. Statistics is about generalities, not specifics.

    A YF July 25, 2008, 2:02 pm
  • Here’s that story to help pass the time to first pitch:

    A YF July 25, 2008, 2:06 pm

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