Take Five - with Cal Eldred

From Pitching to Coaching

Former St. Louis Cardinal Pitcher, Cal Eldred is in spring training camp as a special instructor. Ray Mileur catches up with him on the field.

RM: Cal, it's good to see you in uniform again and to have you here in spring training again. As a fan, to be honest I was hoping you were going to play another season for the Cardinals.

CE: We thought about it, but in the end figured it was time for me to go.

RM: Cal did you come down here with any specific goals or objectives as far as for working with the pitching staff this spring?

CE: No, it's more to see what the guys need as individuals as oppose to me having any goals or objectives. It just how can I help them.

RM: This morning you were working with Jason Marquis, focusing on his cutter. This appears to be a problem pitch for Jason. I guess because he can't see it cut and as a result, he just lacks confidence in it. Is that a problem?

CE: You, the pitcher, don't see it and you are not suppose to see it, the movement is so, and the catchers are so good on this level and the pitcher is thinking, man that ball is not even moving but oh yeah it is moving, that is the purpose of the cutter.

RM: I guess it's tough for someone to learn that pitch to have confidence in it when you can't see it doing anything.

CE: Yeah you are throwing it for location and you see the catcher's glove either not move or it is high or you not going to throw it where you want to all the time. But even when Jason was throwing it on the other side of the plate it was moving.

RM: Is that his out pitch, Marquis?

CE: No, is out pitch is a sinker. His out pitch is a sinker, but he has so much other good stuff, depending on how he got to two strikes, then other pitches can be out pitches.

RM: I talked with Dave Duncan about these non-roster pitchers and he was pretty impressed with the shape and condition that they reported to camp in.

I was surprised by Josh Hancock being cut by Cincinnati and being here in camp. It's not like the Reds have an abundance of pitching.

CE: Yeah, I don't know, I have no idea what that was about.

RM: Because, I'm not a pitching coach, but he looks pretty sharp to me. I mean a pitcher can lose 10 pounds in one game. (laughter)

CE: You sure can, I've seen a lot of guys who are 10 pound or 20 pound overweight..

RM: Hancock looks to me as he could be a member of the bullpen this season.

CE: It's very possible.

RM: Ok, Cal thanks for your time, good to see you.

 

EDITOR'S NOTE

For the record, Jason Marquis is in camp and working very hard. There has been some knock on him in the past that he isn't receptive to coaching. I've watched him work out with Cal Eldred and other coaches over the past week and I have saw no signs of him not wanting to work with the coaches and improve on his game.

 

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