Braves Team Report - MLB - Yahoo! Sports
Phillies left-hander Cole Hamels had a lot going for him already, but in an on-field postgame interview amid the delirium of the Phillies’ championship, the World Series and NL Championship Series MVP credited veteran left-hander Jamie Moyer with guiding him through the season physically and mentally so he wouldn’t hit a wall as he went over the 200-inning mark for the first time.
In fact, Hamels said, thanks to Moyer’s tips, he felt good enough to pitch for another month.
Contrast that with Braves rookie left-hander Jo-Jo Reyes, who, around the All-Star break, decided he didn’t want future Hall of Fame pitchers Tom Glavine and John Smoltz around for his bullpen sessions.
“I was thinking way too much,” Reyes said later. “It’s not a bad thing having Glavine and Smoltz in your bullpen, but a certain point you’ve got to cut off where you’re not thinking so much and taking that out to the game. I’d be thinking, at this point in my mechanics I’d be here, I’d be there, instead of just trusting just to throw the ball and not worry about my mechanics. Every time I was throwing a bullpen there was somebody with me.”
Yes, it is a common problem for young pitchers to remember to trust their own stuff—because that’s how they got an opportunity to play in the majors in the first place—but to brush off Glavine and Smoltz, who both generously put in a lot of time to help young pitchers, well, that’s not wise.
It’s one thing to be confident. It’s another thing not to work hard enough because you think you’re good enough already.
Reyes, looking back, decided he had not approached his first major league spring training correctly. He was ready conditioning-wise but not pitching-wise. This year he is going to gear his offseason to start tossing and throwing earlier so that when he gets to spring training he is mound-ready.
Hey, Glavine and Smoltz could have told him that.