The San Diego Union-Tribune has a fun article today about how their pitching staff has grown over the course of the season:
Remarkable as it is that he’s not even the Padres’ tallest pitcher
— that would still be 6-10 veteran Chris Young — [Adam] Russell isn’t that
much taller than five others on the staff. Mat Latos, Ryan Webb and
Aaron Poreda are listed as 6-6, one inch taller than Mike Adams and
Clayton Richard. None of whom, Young excepted, was on the Padres roster on Opening Day. Young, Latos and Adams were the only ones among the aforementioned
seven who were Padres property.
When the Padres traded Jake Peavy to
the Chicago White Sox on July 31, all four of the pitchers who came to
the San Diego organization were 6-5 or taller, and three of them are
now with the Padres.
“We traded away a point guard,” said Young, “and got four forwards in return.”
There’s the usual talk in there about how it’s hard for a tall pitcher to get all of his parts moving in synch for purposes of his delivery. I know tall guys have a hard time with this in practice, but I’ve never understood exactly why this is. They’re still proportional, right? Why can’t they do what short guys do only, you know, bigger? That aside, I’m surprised that more of them don’t do the Randy Johnson thing and adopt a simple-as-simple-can-be windup, even if they have to come down low to do it.
The other bit of bothersome conventional wisdom in the piece comes when Ryan Webb mentions that he wanted to be a shortstop, but when he tried out for the position in junior high school, his coach told him he couldn’t because at 6’4″ he was too tall.
I suppose things have worked out for Webb — he’s in the majors after all — but why anyone thinks a 6’4″ dude can’t play short is seriously lacking a grasp of baseball history.