Josh Outman talks about his old motion

Here’s a real nice interview with Josh Outman at Baseball Prospectus, with Josh focusing on his old delivery, the difficulties of changing (both mental and physical), and the challenges he’s had to overcome. This was my favorite question/answer

DL: Phillies assistant general manager Mike Arbuckle was quoted as saying that you probably would have been drafted much lower had you not changed your motion, because people would have been afraid of the injury factor. What are your thoughts on that?

JO: I think that was an assumption made under faulty information. What I was taught actually took stress off of my arm, so there wasn’t full comprehension on how my motion worked. Using a vertical arm position freed up my rotator cuff and enabled the use of the larger pectoral and abdominal muscle groups rather than the smaller deltoids and various other shoulder muscles. It used my lats to slow my arm down rather than just the posterior deltoids, and because those are larger, stronger muscles that can withstand more force it took a large workload off of my shoulder muscles. And eliminating the leg kick in lieu of a normal walking step, I was expending less energy to get the same production from my body, while sparing my throwing arm much of the wear and tear associated with pitching.

This is just another in the long line of instances where because something “doesn’t look right”, a guy is downgraded or given less attention, even though what he is doing might be working just fine. It’s good to see Josh has been able to climb the ladder and progress as a prospect while basically learning how to pitch again from scratch.

24 thoughts on “Josh Outman talks about his old motion

  1. any videos of his old motion out there?? im curious to see if it is what I am envisioning…. sounds like he really had faith in his old motion, was more comfortable, and felt better after pitching…. but we changed his delivery simply because it was unconventional…. :/

    Is there any concrete evidence beyond Josh Outman saying his old delivery was better, that it was really better?

  2. i am so excited about the reading phillies.
    * outman looks like he has really taken to the bullpen role and should be able to help out the big club this year. Really nice to see him get the pub from BP.
    * bastardo has had quality starts in 3 of 4 reading starts
    * golson is still raking
    * marson is still raking
    * donald is still raking
    * CC is pitching well for the most part
    * Overholt looks like he can help the big club out of the pen this year.

    am i being a homer or are these legit prospects?

  3. May have just been physical maturity, but his velocity increased when he changed to a traditional delivery.

  4. The increase in velocity after he changed is what made the difference on where he was drafted. If he had been throwing 90-95 with his original delivery I’m guessing it wouldn’t have been as much of an issue.

    But Outman is correct in one thing. There are many decision makers in baseball who are afraid of anything that isn’t “normal”.

  5. Sounds like he knows alot about his shoulder and the impact on pitching…I hope he can contribute this year…we really really need pitching. Although we need starting pitching far more than bullpen help.

  6. Good article…its nice to actually have decent talent in the minor leagues. I’m waiting for the mid-season trade that denudes the minors of its major prospects for a journeyman 4th starter…

  7. the phillies must bid goodbye to eaton and bring up carrasco or outman to fill his spot. they must add a lefty to their pen. donald should be moved to 3rd. and the big club should actively pursue , as ive said blanton. although blanton is only 2-6 he has a 3.70 era hes a ground ball pitcher and has not recieved any run support this year. lets not be fooled the phillies have an abundance of minor leagers to deal.

  8. Carrasco isn’t ready (according to pretty much any scout) and Outman has transitioned to a reliever so he won’t be starting again this year. He’ll likely be the 2nd lefty in the Pen by the All-Star break. Donald might have a shot at 3B in camp next year but it won’t happen in 08. If any pitcher is brought up soon it will be Happ from Lehigh Valley.

    Rose colored glasses are nice when looking at our minor-league system but most other Clubs don’t feel the same way you do about our prospects.

    Blanton’s pricetag will be very high for a 4/5 starter.

  9. To put it in proper context, Outman’s odd motion was taught by his father I believe, so naturally he’s going to defend it to the hilt. I think his passionate defense needs to be taken with a grain of salt. And if the “traditional” delivery favored by baseball experts was so short-sighted, why has Outman thrived with it? Seems like it was a sound decision to me. Kudos to Josh for accepting this guidance.

  10. I don’t think anyone is imagining that there is truly a pool of talent at Reading that appears to be developing into something substantial. It’s exciting.

    From my viewpoint, there are a few bits of very good news. First, the major league team seems to have all or most of the pieces it needs. There is more depth this year – no doubt about it. As a result, I don’t think we’ll have to trade a good prospect to obtain a 4th or 5th starter like Kyle Lohse or Cory Lidle – we really do not need a guy like that. The second bit of good news is that the only area where the team does seem to be a little thin – starting rotation – is the one place where there appears to be a major league ready starter waiting in the wings (JA Happ) with other players in reserve (Carrasco, Bastardo, Outman).

    The long and short of what I’m saying is this – the team does not have to give up quality minor league talent in order to shore up a weakness at the major league level. That’s not to say that minor league talent should not be part of a trade discussion (particularly for a “difference maker”), just that the Phillies do not have to overpay. I can’t remember the last time when this was so.

    By the way, regardless of what happens this year, it’s difficult to imagine Marson, Outman, Donald, Overholt, and perhaps even Bastardo and Golson not competing for jobs with the Phils next year. As for Carrasco, I don’t think he’s there yet. Now, he could turn the corner at any time, but he’s not ready for Lehigh Valley, no less Philly. Bastardo is, in my view, much more likely to be ready before Carrasco.

  11. “the team does not have to give up quality minor league talent in order to shore up a weakness at the major league level.”

    This is a fantastic thought, but one that assumes all of these players will step in with the big club and automatically have success. Some might, but certainly not all and probably not right away. These are not AAA rated prospects, with the possible exception of Carrasco (who isn’t ready anyway). Anybody looking for a Max Scherzer/Joba Chamberlin type boost from the Phils’ minor leagues is in for a surprise.

    Yes, the Phils have some rising prospect talent. Many guys have taken steps forward this year. But for the most part, they are B grade prospects with limited ceilings at the big league level. A guy like Donald might play 10 years — as an Eric Bruntlett type. A guy like Bastardo might pitch 10 years — as a Rheal Cormier type. Those guys aren’t going to bring you a championship. Certainly not as rookies.

    So I do think in order to shore up a weakness — that is, starting pitching — the Phils will have to sacrifice a package of these prospects in order to win now.

  12. I guess we can agree to disagree. My view is that we should probably wait and give our prospects a try before we trade them for starting pitching. I’d rather see if JA Happ can pitch in the majors before I trade him, Josh Outman or Antonio Bastardo for the next Kyle Lohse.

    In addition your point about other organizations and professionals downgrading the team’s talent is a good one, but it actually supports my position. I believe that, in the long run, certain key members of the Phillies’ current talent pool will significantly outperform expectations. I think there’s a good chance that, if forced to trade their young talent, they will get less than equivalent value.

  13. I’d like to think we’re aiming a bit higher than trading for the next Lohse/Lidle. If this team wants to really go for it, they need to think a little bigger. That said, I’m all for giving Happ a chance before trading minor league talent. However, if they can get a major league #2-#3 starting pitcher, who’s under contract for at least next year, i’d trade Carrasco(and someone else, i guess) easily. This team isn’t exactly old, but I don’t see this window being open for too long. Who knows how he turns out, but Carrasco is “only” pegged as being a mid rotation guy.

  14. You are making my point. I don’t want them to trade for the next Kyle Lohse either, but when was the last time we made a trade for pitcher who turned out to be any better than Kyle Lohse (I’m excluding Jamie Moyer – he was basically released by Seattle)? I think you have to go back to Curt Schilling to find that player and, at the time, Schilling was a struggling young pitcher. The bottom line is that in order to get a great starter, you are going to have to give up a LOT – and they Phillies are not willing to do that (and I don’t blame them). So, if you don’t give up a LOT (by a “LOT” I mean a trade that would include someone like Carrasco PLUS a couple of other reallly good prospects like Jason Donald or Michael Taylor), what you get is someone like Kyle Lohse.

    I wouldn’t lose sleep if we traded Carrasco for a legitimate number 2 starter, but the only way that could happen is a mid-year salary driven move and, frankly, I don’t even see that happening because whatever the Phillies are willing to offer, someone like the Yankees or the Angels or the Diamondbacks will offer more.

  15. marson is our most valuable prospect, hands down. catchers that can get on base are so hard to find. he also has a decent arm. he would be the #1 chip in any trade and CC might be #2. but it would probably take a 3rd guy too, like outman or overholt, to get a top of the rotation guy. and still not sure if that gets it done.

  16. PP Fan

    I think you are right on. The thought of losing CC, Marson and maybe Overholt for almost anyone makes me a little sick. It makes me think – what kind of starter would I have to get to give up those guys? Not Tim Hudson or Cliff Lee, that’s for sure. Basically, you’d need to get someone who you thought could become another Cole Hamels or Tim Lincecum. It’s no good to get a C.C. Sabathia unless you sign him at the same time and we all know that’s never going to happen.

  17. Marson had his first HR last night. I saw him play last week, but formed no opinion of that game. He might just be another Carlos Ruiz with little power.

  18. “I guess we can agree to disagree. My view is that we should probably wait and give our prospects a try before we trade them for starting pitching. I’d rather see if JA Happ can pitch in the majors before I trade him, Josh Outman or Antonio Bastardo for the next Kyle Lohse.”

    I definitely agree on Happ. I have made it my mission to do everything possible to influence the Phillies to yank Eaton from the rotation. To me, this Eaton experiment is done. It ended Saturday night. It is what it is (a mistake) and he is what he is (an awful starting pitcher). I totally understand giving Eaton the edge in spring training because of the contract. But to go any further with it just compounds the mistake. The bottom line is the Phils are going to have to pay Eaton about $13 million more whether he starts another game or not. To continue with him in the rotation only lessons your chances to win ballgames. There is no upside here. You could swap Eaton and Durbin, or cut Condrey and call up Happ. Either would suit me. They might not pitch all that much better, but at least you have upside.

  19. Jake – Lou Marson has a completely different career trajectory than Carlos Ruiz. Ruiz was a very late bloomer (28 year old rookie – that’s old) who, even if he achieves his potential, probably will never be a top flight catcher. He might become a “good” catcher, but that’s about it.

    Marson is a very young catching prospect with a great eye and, from what I understand, solid catching skills. His upside is significant as he is currently a 4 tool player (everything but power) and may yet develop power (his homer this weekend was to dead centerfield, so maybe it will develop).

    Even if Marson merely develops into a solid number 2 or 7 hitter with a good OBP, that is a significant upgrade over what Ruiz is now or is likley to become. And don’t get me wrong, I like Ruiz, but we have to see him for what he is.

  20. I live in St.Louis and played with Josh’s younger brother Zach; who pitch’s for St.Louis University and uses the same motion Josh used to. It is a very strange motion that was taught to them by their father who is a physicist and did much studying of the human body. Zach is doing the same change from his fathers way to the conventional way and has increased his velocity into the 91-95 range. I think the motion was more of a tactic used when they were young so they would not get reoccurring arm issues as they progressed.

  21. Thomas makes a good point. Its a very good thing that they didnt have as much wear and tear as other pitchers, plus they have gotten to look at pitching from more than one angle which can only further their understanding and mastering of the traditional delivery. None the less, Josh has obviously taken very well to the traditional style of pitching seeing that he will be making his first major league start Friday the 8th with the Oakland Athletics…

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