Tipping Pitches Might be the Reason for Latest Eduardo Rodriguez Struggle; Lou Merloni Upset That it's Revealed

E-Rod has been giving hints to opposing batters about what pitch
he is about to throw, and it's costing the Red Sox.
Photo courtesy of MassLive.com 

Pete Lepak
RedSoxLife Contributing Writer

Toronto, ON- .241 slugging percentage against when no one is on base, .523 when runners are on. Eduardo Rodriguez is a different pitcher when pitching from the windup, and pitching coach Carl Willis revealed why on Monday, saying that E-Rod's head movements on different pitches from the stretch were borderline obvious. He also added,

More than anything, it's a matter of pitchers being consistent within their deliveries. More so than not, starters have a consistent delivery where everything looks the same. That's what you gear yourself towards.

Providence Journal Brian MacPherson tweeted about the weaknesses to E-Rod's game last night, and America took note. Jerry Remy began to talk about it on the NESN play by play. NESN began showing split screens of how he was tipping his pitches. And Clay Buchholz and Wade Miley told E-Rod what he was doing. The point is, Eduardo Rodriguez is a young pitcher who is still learning the MLB game, but his stuff is electric and he could help this Red Sox team if they want anything to do with the 2015 Post Season. But by being young, you have to learn on the fly sometimes. While he stopped tipping his pitches after a subtle hint from his teammates, he started  to get a little wild as the game went on, and perhaps it was because he was thinking too much and dropping his head. So how much of an advantage do the pitches give the hitters when they tip their pitches? Lou Merloni, former Red Sox player and now WEEI radio personality chimed in this morning about about how much of an advantage it is for hitters to know what's coming, and added that
Tipping pitches in like a magic trick. Once you know how it's done, you can't believe how you were duped.

Merloni wasn't just unhappy about E-Rod's errors. He was more upset that NESN broadcast exactly how Rodriguez changed his head angle before every pitch so that common folk like you and I (and all other teams, of course) could take note.
So many pitchers tip. This is the first time I've seen it go public. Carl Willis should've never said anything.
Merloni added that he remembered talking to Roberto Alomar years back when he revealed that every pitcher has a tip and that they were very common in the game, but no one says it publicly. While it was great to watch the TV yesterday and see how E-Rod was making his mistakes, I am confused that NESN would choose to air the weakness of our best pitcher in the middle of the season. The whole world can notice his head dropping when he is pitching from the stretch, but just how quickly can a rookie change his mechanics? Not only that, but when he is stressed and tired later in the game, will he revert back to showing his signs? At this point, any little change to throw off the hitters might help. The Red Sox are only 6 games back and look to be one of the hotter teams in the AL, and that is without Pedroia and Hanley.

If Eduardo Rodriguez can make some changes without the public hearing about it, he should go back to the dominant pitcher he has shown to be. But even if he continues to tip his pitches, Lou Merloni doesn't think it's over for him.
Even if you know what's coming, you still have to execute and hit the ball

To see more about just how E-Rod is tipping his pitches, see the tweets by @brianmacp

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