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Last week I saw one Auburn game, against Williamsport.  I talked with Auburn's pitching coach Antonio Caceres, about some of the pitchers.  That interview and some observations, follow.

Antonio Caceres

BB: Joel Carreno started hot and recently has been struggling.  What is he working on?

AC: He is working on his mechanics, trying to make some adjustments.  He has been having a hard time out there for the last three starts, he is tending to get under the ball and leave his pitches up in the zone and flat.  When he is on he has good stuff, he just needs to put it together.  He throws a fastball, slider and change-up.

BB: Castillo Perez has been one of your best pitchers and seems to be improving every start out there?

AC: In the beginning of the season he wasn't sharp, now mechanically he is better, he is making better pitches, he is very consistent right now.  He is down in the zone, has a good sinker, good slider, his change is improving a lot, it's part of his success too.  But the main key with him is having his mechanics right and staying on line and being able to get the ball down.  Some times he would come off the ball and his pitches would come up and he was walking too many guys early in the season. 

BB: Has Josh Wells recovered from the Tommy John surgery and what is he trying to work on now?

AC: Well this is his first professional season pitching now, he is coming along, he has had some ups and downs.  He has a good fastball, he is 6' 7" which gives him good downhill on the fastball, good change-up and he is working on a curve-ball.  When he came here he didn't have a breaking ball.  This year is about getting him in the program, getting him in the routine, keeping him healthy and being able to go out every five days and compete.

BB: What about Marcus Walden, your youngest pitcher?

AC:  He is a young guy who has made big strides this year, like the others his mechanics were off but he is better now, his sinker is good, his slider is better, his change is improved and he is throwing well now too.

BB: What did you see in evan Crawford before he was hurt?

AC: He was a little hurt but he didn't want to say anything and he couldn't throw strikes, he struggled so much, he would throw one strike every ten pitches.  After he was hurt (BB: admitted he was hurt), we got him in a throwing program on the side and he has come back strong and is throwing strikes now. He throws a fastball and a curveball and he didn't have a change-up so we are working on the change-up now.

BB: What does Matt Wright throw?

AC: He is a lefthander, fastball, curve, developing a change-up and working on a slider.  He is throwing better now.  With all these guys coming out of college we want them to pitch and show us what they can do and we let them go and we make adjustments from there.  We let them pitch for a month or so and then make adjustments, we don't want to make big changes right away.  If they are not successful right away they say the coaches changed me and that's why I am not pitching well so we let them go and see what they can do and then help them out when they need it.

BB: Andrew Liebel has recently joined the team, what have you seen with him?

AC: He pitched one inning his first time and he was supposed to throw 35 pitches, then he got a sore arm and we shut him down for a while and he came back and he pitched a solid inning and he pitched well last time out but the umpires calls cost him three runs.  He has a big league change-up, a curve-ball, and he has a pretty good 2 seam fastball too.  I like his stuff, nothing overpowering, but good sneaky life on his fastball.

BB: Finally, three quick questions, who has the best fastball on the team?

AC: I think Marcus Walden, Castillo Perez and Josh Wells are all in that 90-94 range.

BB: Best change-up on the team?

AC: Bobby Bell, he has a big league change-up, I know I said Liebel has a good one too, but Bell's is too good for this league.

BB: Best breaking ball?

AC: it's tough to answer that in this league, these guys are inconsistent, one day these guys have a good breaking ball and the next day they don't have it.  When Carreno is on Carreno has a good one and Perez and Huggins are good too.

Thanks Antonio



Josh Wells started the game for Auburn.  Wells is quite tall, 6' 7" and has a great pitchers body with a classic delivery.  Wells threw a 91-92 mph fastball   Well's fastball was fairly straight and when he kept it down he was effective but his command of it was not very good.  As a result he was hit hard and hit the showers early.  Wells also threw a change-up and one curve ball that I saw.

Danny Farquhar relieved Wells and looked good.  Farquhar is about 6 feet tall and skinny.  As I mentioned last week, Farquhar throws from three different arm angles.  He can throw from the 3/4 arm angle, sidearm and submarine style.  From each arm angle he throws a fastball and an off-speed pitch.  His fastball from all three angles is 89-91.  His off-speed pitch from 3/4 is a change-up which becomes more slurvy as he drops down.  Farquhar kept the ball down very well in this game.

Charles (Chuck) Huggins was the final pitcher.  Huggins is a lefty, about 6 feet tall with an average build, who hides the ball well.  His fastball is 89-91 and in this game he was throwing it high and the hitter skept swinging and missing.  Huggins also throws a change-up and a curve.

The best hitters for Auburn have been Adam Amar and Joel Collins.  Amar did not have a hit in the game I saw but he did hit some very high pop-ups and flyballs.  Amar has a lot of strength but appears to have an upper-cut swing.

Brian Van Kirk swung the bat like a left handed Amar.  Van Kirk is not as big as Amar but swings hard from the left hand side.

Robert Sobolewski looked smoother than the others at the plate, he had just one hit but hit a couple of other balls hard.

Brian Kervin looked very good with the glove but not as good with the bat.

Jon Del Campo has a separated shoulder and hasn't played in a week or so.

An Interview with Antonio Caceres plus Doubleday Notes | 3 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
John Northey - Tuesday, August 26 2008 @ 10:06 AM EDT (#191296) #
Always fun to read about the low minors and how the coaches see things - getting stuff you can't from the stat sheets (at least until we get pitchf/x stuff for the low minors and even then we wouldn't know health vs not healthy).

Random thought: What I would love to see though is a 6'7"+ guy throw sidearm.  Now that would be the scariest thing eh?  Picture a left handed batter against Randy Johnson with him throwing sidearm ala Eichhorn - the batter would probably run away as soon as he dropped down ala Kruk in that All-Star game years ago.
Spicol - Tuesday, August 26 2008 @ 11:57 AM EDT (#191306) #
Colter Bean is a 6'6" sidearmer. It's about as close as I can think of.
Mylegacy - Tuesday, August 26 2008 @ 11:38 PM EDT (#191334) #

Looking forward to seeing Adam Amar in full season ball. At 22 years of age the 6' 4" 240 pounder has the following line: 215AB/9HR/18BB/22SO/.321/.378/.516/.894

Being a college guy it'll be interesting to see how he does as he progresses up the ladder.

An Interview with Antonio Caceres plus Doubleday Notes | 3 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.