Spring Training Miscellany: Taillon’s New Sweeper, Fulmer Arrives, Davis Wants to Compete, More
We have heard about Jameson Taillon working on a new slider grip – to create a “sweeper” slider – and now there’s a whole lot more detail on the pitch here at the Tribune and here at the Sun-Times.
In short, Taillon wants a better weapon against righties, and although he’s been working here and there on a sweeper the last two years, the inability to have a normal offseason made it difficult to work on. So maybe that’s a reason for optimism that it’ll take hold this time around, as the Cubs brought him a grip idea as part of the recruitment process way back at the start of the offseason. (The early reports have it working well sometimes in camp, sometimes not having as much movement – kinda what you’d expect as a guy is trying to make a new pitch usable.)
Pretty great theory here from Brendan on why Taillon (and the Cubs) are working so hard at the pitch:
Basically, Taillon has been throwing a gyro slider that doesn’t work as well as you’d want (despite good spin efficiency), but he does have some natural lateral movement in the pitch. Not necessarily what you want for a gyro slider (you want a faster pitch and more drop), but maybe it offers a great starting point for a sweeper (slower and more horizontal movement).
The goal is for the sweeper to replace the gyro – Taillon is not looking to have two slider shapes. So I guess we’ll know by the end of Spring Training if it’s taking hold, because it’ll be pretty obvious which slider he’s throwing in his final outings. The old slider might wind up bleeding into his cutter, which has a similar grip and shape.
Taillon was throwing live BP today, too:
Other Spring Training bits today …
- Multiple reports, and a couple pictures, had new Cubs reliever Michael Fulmer at camp today. So he’s all squared away, though his deal hasn’t been officially announced yet. Not sure what that is, as the Cubs can now transfer guys freely to the 60-day IL to make room. I tentatively expect that to happen – Ethan Roberts to the 60-day IL, Fulmer officially official – soon. Maybe even before I click publish on this post.
- There’s no other attitude to have once you’ve reached Triple-A and you’re in big league camp for the second time, even if it’s highly unlikely to happen:
- A world where Brennen Davis looks so good and healthy this spring that the Cubs have to think for EVEN A SINGLE SECOND about whether there’s a chance he should make the big league roster is a world where very good things lay ahead.
- Kyle Hendricks plyo’ing:
- Super close call, but I think the loudest crack goes to Ian:
- Cubs really changing things up this spring:
- Eric Hosmer taking swings:
- Ryan Jensen on the time Marcus Stroman spent with him yesterday: