Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area reports that Giants manager Bruce Bochy underwent a minor ablation procedure Tuesday morning to alleviate discomfort stemming from an atrial flutter, also known as an abnormal heart rhythm. Bochy is expected to rejoin the team on Friday, when his team opens a three-game series in Colorado against the Rockies. Bench coach Ron Wotus will manage the team in the interim.
As Pavlovic notes, Bochy has had heart issues in the recent past. He had two stents inserted during the spring two years ago and he was hospitalized last year in Miami due to his irregular heartbeat.
Bochy, 62, is in his 23rd year of managing and his 11th year with the Giants. His team is off to a disappointing 5-9 start, putting them in a tie for last place in the NL West with the Padres.
You hear a lot about pitchers tipping pitches. It’s often offered up post-facto as an excuse for poor performance by the pitcher himself or his own team. It’s sort of like the “best shape of my life” thing being offered in the offseason to talk about why the player got injured or played badly the previous year. “Smitty’s stuff is still great, he was just tipping his pitches,” said a source close to the player whose stuff is not really great anymore.
Which isn’t to say that pitchers don’t tip pitches. Of course they do. Opposing teams look for it, pick up on it and take advantage of it whenever they can. It’s just that (a) the opposing team has an interest in not talking about it, lest the pitcher STOP tipping its pitches; and (b) the guy actually tipping his pitches doesn’t want to talk specifically about it lest he starts doing it again.
Which is what makes this article at Sports Illustrated so interesting. In it Tom Verducci talks to an anonymous Houston Astros player who explains how Dodgers starter Yu Darvish was tipping his pitches during the World Series, leading to him getting absolutely shellacked in Games 3 and 7. The upshot: the Astros knew when a slider or a cutter was coming, they waited for it and they teed off.
Darvish is a free agent now. I’m guessing, whoever signs him, knows exactly what they’ll gave him work on the first day of spring training.