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Yankees Magazine: Speed ​​Game

Yankees Magazine: Speed ​​Game

Driving the tempo on basepaths is a top priority for everyone in the Yankees organization

Matt Talarico focus on the whole roster – Burner and whoever you want should never be considered as being The threat of base theft. The team’s director of speed and baserunning and the author of “The Complete Stealing Base Book” knows that every player — from the quickest marvel like Anthony Volpe to the hulking outfielder looking to improve his first step — can benefit from what he knows. (Photo source: New York Yankees)

There is a natural way to set up the clubhouse for spring training, borrowing from the tried and tested method that the team still uses when they go north. Most of the time, pitchers Lockers next to pitchers, catchers and players at other positions also tend to cluster together. Veterans get prime slots, superstars are even better, and sometimes even enjoy extra lockers.

But spring training is about mixing, about natural mentors bonded through association. Between workouts and training sessions, the club has a lot of morning shifts and some downtime. That’s when the iPad came along, or the crossword puzzle, or — the last two years at the Yankees’ spring club — the Rubik’s Cube, which made another splash four decades later. For an organization trying to kick off a winning season while developing the next generation of winners, the hope is that time together — on the course, at mini-golf outings and, yes, at the clubhouse — can develop lawyers for granted. If you were Brian Cashman walking through the clubhouse in March, you must have enjoyed watching Anthony Volpe chat with DJ LeMahieu, see Austin Wells go deep with Jose Trevino, and hear Greg Weissert exchange ideas with Gerrit Cole.

There’s been a lot of that this year, just a little: As the Yankees and the rest of the league begin their seasons, they’re trying to Do this while mastering some rule changes that will make the game significantly different. Tested in the minor leagues before reaching its prime this year, the rules — pitch timers; limited passes and timeouts at bat; larger bases; and dramatic limits on defensive shifts — promise to keep the game going. Shorter, more action-packed, quicker rewards, athleticism and other traits that make a sport a more enjoyable viewing experience.

Ironically, it turned things around at least somewhat this spring. A conversation between Cole and Weissert? Who is teaching whom?

“There will be minor league players who are more familiar with it,” admitted Yankees ace Kerr. Weissert, with 04 1/3 of the major league innings are on his roster, adding with a laugh: “I know a little more about it than they do. I’m just trying to help as much as I can. Try to give them some hints ”

Cheeky jokes about status aside, players who find themselves in the Bronx on Opening Day have to be ready, the whole Spring is quickly adapting to faster games that require speed. The Yankees are ready, willing and absolutely able to prioritize speed as they step out into this new world.

They say “those who cannot be taught Man.” Matt Talarico, the Yankees’ director of speed and baserunning (and tour hitting coach), just reversed the pole a bit.
Immediately after playing at Manchester University in Indiana, Talarico began his coaching career, including at Heidelberg, Torres Ledo, Dayton and Wright State stop before he boards the Yankees train . His first stint in college was primarily as a hitting coach, and he noticed that there wasn’t enough focus on running bases. “I did that when I was playing,” Tallarico said, “so I thought I might be a good coach. That’s never how it works. You never coach what you’re good at Very good.”
Unsurprisingly, something so obvious to the fast Talarico doesn’t necessarily make it through to the college kids. “I think I hit a roadblock,” he continued, “and it led me down the road of, ‘How do I explain this better? Because this guy doesn’t understand what I’m talking about.'”
So Tallarico leaned on his mentor, Mike Roberts, who was at the Baseball Coaches of America conference. The longtime collegiate and Cape Cod Baseball coach is known for his philosophy of prioritizing aggressiveness and smart baserunning. The young coach researched his new mentor and watched countless videos of his son Bryan, the longtime Orioles star who played at

. Brian Roberts has stolen bases with 22 Steal 62 . “I looked at where he stood, how he acted, what he did, and why things worked and why they didn’t work,” said Talarico, who started building his own baserunning business.

It started with a website he created — stealbases.com — and when he went on the speaking circuit and started holding private training camps, he decided to His lectures were translated into book form as The Complete Base Stealing Manual.
Finally, more and more The more major league teams are starting to take notice of the stats that Tallarico and his college students are posting. He developed a relationship with Dillon Lawson over the years and the Yankees hired him as their minor league hitting coordinator 2014. “When Kevin Reese called,” Tallarico said of the Yankees’ vice president of player development who offered him the job 2018, “I just trust Kevin, and I trust Dillon Lawson too.
“Not one day I show up here, I’m not studying. ”

Of course, Talarico Education is not a top concern for either Cashman or Reese. Still, the results up and down the roster speak for themselves.
Last year, Aaron Boone’s team stole 11 Base, Yankees since

best total since . Also, it’s almost 55 bag285, this was the last season before Tallarico arrived. Over the years, MLB teams have played Has been hesitant to go crazy for a variety of reasons. Analysts have done a ton of work figuring out the cost of the off-base squeeze. Also, since the dominant pitching and slugging-focused offense has been going on all night and through home plate More points are being played than ever before, and most teams feel the risk-reward calculation favors restraint.

And, as you may recall, the Yankees last year Hit several home runs of their own, including Aaron Judge, who set an AL record 50 exploded. But Judge also got second place on the team steal.

“Booney likes to be aggressive, and he preaches that to the team,” third base coach Luis Rojas said. “So, I do see ourselves pushing it, finding places where we can move on and embrace it.”

This is not what you noticed first A glance at something. Yes, 285 Team added Isiah Kiner-Falefa, who Is a speedy infielder who, sure enough, hit a career high 22 Stolen base. But around him, you’re looking at a group of men known for trotting rather than sprinting. Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Anthony Rizzo, Gleyber Torres … this doesn’t look like a lineup destined to rank eighth in the majors in steals. “We’re not Burners,” Rojas continued. “We don’t have a team that’s known for speed. But we’re aggressive, and I believe we’re smart. We learn; we prepare.”

Judge, 6ft 7in, 282 – A pound-for-pound behemoth who isn’t a run threat. But just as Tallarico started working with outfielders, he saw what other coaches and teammates always had: Judge was smart, planned and conscious.

” He’s a good runner. Not just because of his size – he’s a good runner, That’s it,” Tallarico said. Rojas, who waved home from third, agreed. “He moves really well. He’s a good athlete.” Still, to convince a titanic slugger he should push the issue down the road and risk wear and tear and, of course, being out , which still takes a lot of time. Tallarico, like he’s done with a lot of players, certainly works with Judge on his first step and reading and so on. But he’s also trying to clear the mental block that a man of Judge’s size might have, superimposing video of him running the bases over films of some known speedsters, including Brett Gardner. It’s clear: the judges were right in the game. (Talarico pledged not to doctor the video when making the stealth threat.)

“The judge is on the move,” Tallarico said. “You don’t know when and where he’s going to decide where to go because he knows what he’s looking for and when it’s there. But he also knows when it’s not. That’s true of any great base stealer. They’re not just Run. There’s a lot more thinking involved than you might think.”
exist2019, Yankee Stadium fans want to see Aaron Judge trotting around the bases, but the big man also ends up with

Ranked second in the team Steals, the 9th time in history that the stealing player’s hit rate exceeds 39 home run – plus steal. “He ran well,” Matt Talarico said. “It’s not just his size – he’s a good runner, that’s all.” (Image credit: New York Yankees)

For example? Well, it’s hard to say.

Talarico and his players don’t want to offer too much about where they’re looking for the edge. “I don’t want to give up too much,” Jose Trevino said. “Maybe you should ask [Talarico],” Volpe said nervously. “I only have so much, and I’m willing to share,” Talarico added himself.

So, you don’t get any nuclear code here. What’s clear, though, is that the Yankees are trying to avoid any restrictions on the vision test. It’s not about letting the burners free to steal more bases. It’s more comprehensive than that. “Everybody plays a role in the run,” Tallarico said. “I don’t care who you are, you have some kind of role. If you’re the slowest player on the planet, we need you to be the slowest baserunner on the planet.” As a result, Judge (again, not slow at all) ) put the ninth together 50- Plus Homer/04 – Plus the all-time steal season. at the same time,’22 The club is in the top three seasons with stolen bases in franchise history. Kiner-Falefa and Harrison Bader praised the organization’s attention to detail, while Volpe gushed about the revolutionary way Talarico taught the running game.
“He’s the mastermind behind it all,” Volpe said, noting he’s been following Tara since high school. Some of Rico’s teachings. “The way we practice, you can really reduce the risk of being eliminated or second out. Going from first to second or third is a really big advantage for the team.”
There is no one kind of runner and no single success example. Even if you’re watching two movies of playing midfield, Judge doesn’t run the same way Bud does. Talarico points out that Volpe always looks like he’s shooting it with everything he’s got, with a real burn showing in his face; Oswald Peraza, meanwhile, seems to be smoother. But both were rated as good runners. The idea, he said, is to use objective metrics to try and figure out how to improve stride and timing. There are lots of high-speed videos, lots of resistance sled running, lots of sprinting, and one of Talarico’s favorite workouts, the trap-bar deadlift, which is fast, safe, and targeted to avoid adding too much bulky weight to combat everything else.
“Everyone’s a little bit different,” said Talarico and Ryan Chipka, who specializes in the Yankees’ minor league side, making sure that everything up and down the system Players are doing what is best for them. “We’re trying to put power under our bodies. If we make our movements more efficient, we have better posture, that’s more power, and that moves our center of gravity.”

However, the idea is to increase the speed of the game and use it to combat aging. Talarico knows he will lose every long war against Father Time, but he believes he can win this battle. In his view, everything — really, the entire game, and the ability to thrive in it — boils down to speed. “Building speed is probably the most important thing you can do,” Tallarico said. “As a proxy for your athleticism, your ability to swing, all those things.” Sometimes, the results show up in unexpected places.

The pandemic shut down the planet before Tallarico completed his first full spring training session with the Yankees. Many major league stars have been able to return to the gyms many of them built in their own homes, but young minor league players have had no such luck. So when everyone got back together, the Yankees coaches noticed some interesting by-products.
“A lot of people don’t have access to the weight room, but they do have access to the open area,” Talarico says. “A lot of guys work on a speed program — and I don’t mean run blind. I mean really fast, rest long, run really fast, rest long — and when they get back in the weight room, we Saw PRs [personal records] that they didn’t do. I think it’s representative of developing an explosive athlete.”

It’s just Talarico An example used to explain his role as part of the chain, not its own department. In that sense, it helps him as a hitting coach. You can’t steal first, as the saying goes; the ability to hit the ball and get to base, every time, is more important than Tallarico and his camera and clock sprinting downfield. Even beyond that, Talarico is pretty sure he can engineer the perfect swing to maximize the time a runner takes from home to first. But this can be a disaster, hit the ball down with poor form, and your body first moves forward before the swing is completed. No one would suggest it, even if it could make you faster.

Instead, it’s about getting used to the system, needing help and buying – literally, from all corners. Tallarico points to the base coaches — Rojas is No. 3, Travis Chapman No. 1 — and notes how much value they add, how much data they can combine on the field. He also noted that while the third base coach has the sexier job, the first base coach is the glue on the field. They can provide the most proactive assistance, instructing runners on what to do in quiet moments rather than trying to analyze it later. Because, unsurprisingly, some of the best speed drills a baseball player can do are the ones that make him slow down.

“The little thing is such a huge splitter, especially when it’s a big game, or when the ninth inning Anxiety is at an all-time high, when we need a bag,” Budd said. “When things get a little bit messy and it gets really heated and the crowd is really loud, you’re able to bring yourself back to this concept of simplicity and calm because you have repetition, you have ground.”

Baserunning is part of a larger chain. Matt Talarico’s coaching won’t be of much use if a guy like Harrison Bader (left) can’t reach first base. But as the Yankees continue to prioritize aggression on a fundamental path, small details can have a huge impact. (Photo source: New York Yankees)

It’s the same thing Rojas noticed when he was in third, he was trying to prepare for any possible outcome and knew he could trust the runners to be on the same wavelength. “I get excited when I see people taking their associate degree,” Rojas said. “At the beginning, second and third, right next to me. Because they always take the first step on time. It’s so important, for me, to have one guy play doubles from the beginning, for me , put a guy on a single from second, and for me send a fly ball that might be in range from third.”

In the minor leagues, as new rules are being tested, attempts at stolen bases Increased 16% From to2014. It’s too early to know what’s going to happen in the majors this year, but the Yankees are excited to find out.

“Look, I love running, so hopefully we can do it,” Boone said, considering the rules and some additional strategic tweaks Does it help push the team’s running metrics to a higher level 2019. “But the game will dictate that, and your staff will dictate that. It was a big focus for us last year. Hopefully we can keep doing that. But we’ll see.”

With a larger base, the distance runners will need to run will be slightly shorter, and the pick limit will be lower, even providing a good start. During this year’s spring training, players are sure to notice all the viral videos of pitchers or batters violating the pitch timer, knowing that before games start, Florida State’s experimental time is over. But it’s clear that MLB is going to be a little bit like an electric fence approaching the new normal, testing it very delicately rather than sprinting toward it at full speed.

There is no going back in time to Rickey Henderson and the Yankees don’t seem to be on top . But if Talarico’s main goal is to see each player — fast and slow — improve his speed and then use that improvement to become a stronger, more durable all-around player, then he can’t ask for more than he Already owned buy-in. Even, ironically, the player with the fewest serving hours offers the most assurance of what’s to come.

“I know a lot of guys work really hard to get that limit range up in training, and then I think a lot of people have seen it translate to race speed, said Volpe. “I think it’s just the culture of the clubhouse, everybody knows it’s important and wants to be better at it, no matter how many home runs you’re hitting. Everyone’s doing the same speed work, and it really hits the beat. ”
Jon Schwartz is Associate Editor of Yankees Magazine. This story appeared in April

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