Say Goodbye to the Pause in Yu Darvish's Delivery

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Say Goodbye to the Pause in Yu Darvish’s Delivery

Chicago Cubs

You no doubt noticed over the past two starts that Yu Darvish has not been using the pause in his delivery. Added in Spring Training, Darvish would pause at the top of his windup, theoretically messing with the timing of the batter.

I say theoretically, because I’m not so sure how effective it was since it was so consistent. If you have the body control to be able to do it, you want to be more like Johnny Cueto, who varies his delays and pauses and windups to throw the batter off. Darvish was more or less perfect in his “pause mechanics,” which, well … if it helps you pitch, cool, but I don’t think you’re mucking up the batter’s timing at that point.

Moreover, there was that dang balk call against the Braves that totally threw him off – and that was the last time he really used the delay. Apparently, it’s now gone-gone. It wasn’t just a two start fluke.

“I don’t know what purpose that it served,” pitching coach Jim Hickey told Cubs.com. “In my opinion, less is a little bit more. If you can simplify it – and do simple better, as [manager] Joe [Maddon] would say – I think you’d be more effective.”

Adding that the Cubs believed it might be a little more tiring to continue doing the pause as compared to a more traditional windup (which Darvish did use last year), Hickey said it was a group effort in coming to a decision to abandon the maneuver.

To be sure, it’s not at all hard to imagine that the pause could lead to command troubles (the tradeoff, again, would theoretically be messing with the hitter, if it actually worked). And Darvish had notable command troubles in his first few starts, so …

In the end, whatever approach is going to make Darvish more comfortable, tighten up his command, and make his delivery more repeatable/clean/health-preserving. That’s all I’m looking for, as fun as the pause was at times. I’m mostly glad to hear that the coaching staff worked together with Darvish on making the change, and that it appeared to pay immediate dividends.

Alas, that means no more hilarious accidental extra pause strikeouts:

Featured image by @MBDChicago



Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.