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Cool interview with Brendan Ryan re: defense

4

Excerpt: DL: Metrics show that you have great range to your right. Why? BR: A lot of it is positioning and a lot of it is trust. One thing I do out there is trust my instincts — I trust where I feel that the ball is going to be hit. For instance, when [Jason] Vargas is on the mound, I know the way he typically commands the ball, so I have a really good feel for where the ball is going to be hit. I have a decent feel for a lot of players who have been in the league for more than a couple of years. I know their tendencies. If you know where the pitch is going to be, and what it‘s going to do, you kind of know what the hitter’s bat path is going to be. You’re really just playing percentages and tendencies. Most of the time, I’m moving one way or the other on the pitch. Say that Vargas is pitching and it’s a cutter in to a righty. I can kind of shuffle to the right and get a head start. It’s almost like cheating. You can’t move so early that you’re giving something away, but even so, there are times where I’m almost running, because I know where that ball is going to be hit. Say it’s Brandon League. He’s got that super-turbo, two-seam sinker. If it’s a righty hitting, maybe once a season somebody stays inside it and goes up the middle. If that happens, you get burned on it, but 99% of the time you’re moving the right way. The idea is to make everything look simple. The idea is to not have to make a back-hand, or dive for a ball.

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