Last season, Goldeyes’ right-handed reliever Brandon Bingel transitioned from a more conventional delivery to a sidearm one. The change in arm angle necessitated a modification to Bingel’s repertoire.
“I was always a four-seam (fastball), slider guy,” said Bingel. “Now I’m a (two-seam) sinker, sidearm slider guy. The slider now has a totally different break than a normal slider. From the sidearm angle, (the slider) is tough to pick up for righties, so I can kind of get away with a little more. There’s more forgiveness. Against lefties, I try to really focus on the back foot. If I leave it over the middle, that’s a pitch they want to see, and it’s a pitch I don’t want to throw. The slider just has to be a little better to lefties than to righties.”
Relievers are frequently pressed into action on consecutive days, and sidearm pitchers generally recover more quickly after making an appearance. Bingel has found this to be the case during the switch.
“Yeah, some days I wake up thinking I’m going to be sore,” Bingel said. “Then I throw that day at the field, and it’s really not that bad. I think once I get more comfortable with it, that will definitely help.”
The Gary SouthShore RailCats’ pitching staff utilizes a structured running program each day. RailCats’ pitchers are seen running as a collective group for roughly 30 minutes leading up to regular batting practice. Manager Greg Tagert has implemented the program for nearly three decades. Tagert believes the conditioning is beneficial for keeping his staff fresh for the long haul, especially since the RailCats operate with a four-man starting rotation.
“Things definitely change, and I’m trying to adapt,” said Tagert. “It’s probably not quite as rigorous as it used to be. I’ve had to adapt a little bit, otherwise I’m worried guys might walk away and go somewhere else. The best guys to ask are probably Miles Smith and Gabe Perez (who played for the Kansas City T-Bones in 2017). When they got here, we asked, ‘what do you think?’ And they said, ‘it isn’t really as bad as it looks from afar.’
“It’s probably not as difficult as guys make it out to be,” Tagert added. “The belief is—until somebody can convince me otherwise—that you can’t tell me you don’t feel a little better in terms of recovery. At the end of the year, in most times over the last 14 years or so, our guys have been healthy. We’ve maintained. I can’t say it’s a direct result of (the running), but I know it’s not hurting.”
Inaugural Chicago Dogs’ manager Butch Hobson spent three years managing the Boston Red Sox from 1992-94. Hobson suited up for the Red Sox as a player from 1975-80, hitting for power and defending third base at historic Fenway Park.
“Red Sox fans adopt you as one of their own,” said Hobson. “It’s an awesome stadium, awesome city, and has awesome fans. I grew up in Boston, and had a chance to go back and manage the team that I grew up with. I got to manage Andre Dawson, Wade Boggs, Roger Clemens. I had some tremendous players. I love the Red Sox. That’s my team, and always will be. What a wonderful place.”
The Goldeyes have a quick road trip down to Sioux Falls, and open a three-game series at Sioux Falls Stadium Friday night at 7:05 p.m. Fresh off a 14-strikeout performance last Saturday, Kevin McGovern starts for Winnipeg opposite all-star right-hander Dylan Thompson. The game can be heard live on 93.7 FM.