ARMCHAIR SCOUTING: BOGGS’ DELIVERY THEN AND NOW
> Mitchell Boggs has turned into an absolute wreck, as you well know. In all honesty he has never been especially great, and his low ERA of 2.21 last year was evidently helped out a lot by the defense behind him. That said, he was still a pretty good pitcher last year, holding the position of set-up man behind Jason Motte.
But this year, he’s been tragically bad and his major league future is now in question. So what happened?
I’ll say up front I am no pitching coach. I can look at the numbers and tell you if you’re giving up too many hard hit balls or not throwing enough strikes, but how you go about changing that is beyond me. But a former pitcher noted to me that Boggs looked like his delivery was “flying open,” so I thought I’d look into it and see if he was right.
The Boggs on the left is the one about to give up the homerun to Jeff Francoeur in the game he shouldn’t have even been in. The one on the right is the one throwing a scoreless inning in the 20-inning game against the Pirates last year.
I apologize for this not being exactly shot-for-shot (my tools are limited), but I still think you’ll get the idea.
Again I’m no scout, but there appear to be some notable discrepancies to this untrained eye. Even before he even starts his wind-up, he’s got his feet positioned differently. And, though it’s more apparent when you watch the actual video, in frames two through four Boggs is clearly keeping his left leg further from his body than he used to. Then as he heads for the plate, his leg bends as opposed to staying straight like before. And towards the end, he seems to be leaning forward just a little bit less than before.
Again, I’m not sure what the consequences to these changes would be if they’re indeed the problem at all, and I’m not sure how identical each delivery can possibly be, but with changes that noticeable in delivery and performance, it’s at least worth looking at.
If you, on the other hand, know what you’re talking about, let me know in the comments or @elmaquino.