They say in order to find yourself you must first get completely lost, and I my friends, lost the map. It doesn’t take a statistician to figure out that this season hasn’t begun like I thought it was going too but the great thing about any slump is that you always have the chance for redemption and that is the path that I am starting down. The biggest part of the problem is trying to figure out what’s wrong, too many times people spend all their time to figure out what went wrong instead of diagnosing the problem and it becomes time wasted as your problem just snowballs on you even more. Being in the public eye while trying to correct your problems, especially as a pitcher, where your box score is published every night can be very scrutinizing and taxing as you are trying to figure things out or figure out what went wrong. I, for the time being, have been placed in the bullpen to figure things out and where I went wrong and to give me time to fix it. One of the best things about being inside the bullpen is that you are with seven other guys who can watch you when you throw and everyone can help in diagnosing you, although we are all vying for the limited number of spots in the big leagues we all also lean on each other to for help when things just don’t seem to be going the correct way it’s a very bizarre paradigm if you ask me but I am very thankful to have great teammates and coaches to lean on and try and figure things out as well as coaches and family back at home for advice as well. The strange thing about slumping is that when you are doing it you don’t ever remember when you were good and it just seems to weigh on you even more as it feels the weight of the world is crushing down on you as the entire stadium is there to just watch you fail, again. Last night I think I had my epiphany while talking with coaches and watching video and I do believe I figured out what I was doing wrong.
I have been receiving many emails about the differences between the bullpen and the starting rotation and if some people have preferences. I would say that about 98% of pitchers have a preference as to what they want to be doing, but sometimes it doesn’t matter what you prefer but what you can adapt too. Starting pitchers have to have more stamina and do a lot more running in between starts to maintain your body. Starters usually have three good pitches that can get someone out, whereas relievers have two with a few exceptions. Usually when you are a relief pitcher you are only going to be in there one or two innings so you can show your full repertoire right away to the batter because you are not going to be going through the lineup more than one time so you don’t have to “hide” pitches for the second and third time through the lineup. Relievers tend to throw a little harder than starters because they can go out there for their one or two innings and “blow it out” per-se whereas starters have to pace themselves for five and six innings, so your guys like Verlander and Sabathia that can maintain 97mph throughout the game is truly amazing. Being in the bullpen there is a lot of down time for talking, psychology self-help, silly games, and my favorite past time people watching. It’s amazing what grown men can and will do to keep themselves entertained in a bullpen and the topics of conversation that come up but if you threw the day before and you know that you’re not going to be throwing that day then you have to keep yourself occupied somehow. Personally I think both have their merit and as to which I prefer, I do like starting but I am learning on how to be a reliever because I believe that is where my big league future lies with the Nationals, so even though I have been put in the bullpen to help figure out my mechanics and recent slump I am also taking this time to learn on how to get ready in a quicker manner and to be ready at any time, after all you can’t be too good at too many things! Until next time.
Please I encourage you to email me with questions, comments, concearns to Ryan.Tatusko@gmail.com and I will address them in my blog posts