Happy Saturday, Viva El Birdos! And it’s only Friday!
The “Saturday Singles” podcast is back with a really excellent (if I do say so myself) interview with Connor Thomas, starter with the Memphis Redbirds.
Thomas is a sinkerball starter with really solid MLB projections. He doesn’t have a ton of velocity, but he makes up for it with a really low walk rate and some ability to generate K’s. Mostly, he just epitomizes what the Cardinals’ front office has looked for to pitch in front of their elite infield defense.
In this interview, we talk a lot about his repertoire and process — the approach he takes to getting outs. If you’re a fan of analytics there are some good nuggets in there for you. If not, well, Thomas does a great job of bringing the complicated concepts like break distance and spin down in easy-to-digest terms.
We also cover what I believe is an often misunderstood concept: the difference between command and control. Thomas explains both of these really well.
And he explains to me why he thinks we frequently see guys who were control specialists in the minors suddenly start walking batters when they reach the majors. “Trust your stuff!” He was real passionate about this one and I don’t think he’s wrong.
Lastly, we cover the development of his cutter and how Jason Isringhausen taught him how to throw it. And chat a bit about the improvements that the Cardinals have made in minor league housing.
It’s a jam packed episode! Honestly, I could have talked pitching with Connor all day! And I hope I have the chance to do so again at the end of the season.
I hope you take 17 minutes to give this a listen or watch. I think you’ll really enjoy it.
I published this early because on Saturday, I’m joining some of my fellow VEB writers and editors at Blogger Day at Busch. We get a Q&A with John Mozeliak and the full suite treatment. I’m hoping to do some recording there or shortly thereafter with Blake and Scooter!
Then we’ll have draft coverage and All-Star stuff... just content galore!
Enjoy your weekend! I know I’ll be enjoying mine.