Monday, February 16, 2009

You're not going to be able to out-energize him

New Pirates pitching coach Joe Kerrigan has nearly two decades of professional coaching experience.

But it's the other things he brings to the job that his players care about most. According to this article, "it's his enthusiasm, too, that make him the right man for the job."

"His experience is certainly a strength, though he has more going for him than just that," starter Ross Ohlendorf said. "The energy that he brings and the passion with really wanting to help us out is what I think is going to make him really good for our team."

The article points out how Coach Kerrigan's "enthusiasm has already been infectious. Kerrigan arrives at Pirate City early every morning to put in extra work with pitchers. He's brought with him in-depth plans and scouting reports, as well as dummies to be used as imitation hitters during side sessions."

"You're not going to be able to outwork him," [Pirates manager John] Russell said. "You're not going to be able to out-energize him. That's the great thing he has."

Players say "it's the little things -- like Kerrigan's willingness to crouch down to catch pitchers' side sessions -- that have been noted."

"It is something small," Ohlendorf said. "But it shows how much he cares."

The article describes how "before meeting his new pupils, Kerrigan spent a week in the video room of PNC Park this winter. He watched every pitcher he'd be working with. He made notations, and with those, he built plans. The key, Kerrigan said, is spending the necessary time observing."

"Before you go up and talk to a guy, you really have to know what you're talking about, and you better be sure," Kerrigan said. "The only way that you're sure is by watching him throw."

But while the players appreciate his energy and enthusiasm, his experience is just as critcal. "For years, Kerrigan has also played significant roles in developing team scouting reports on hitters. The attention to detail, the thoroughness and the emphasis on finding unusual patterns in hitters' statistics are especially important when developing those reports. That would seem to bode well for improved preparation from his staff moving forward."

"He's a great mechanics guy, but it's the total package," Russell said. "He knows what else goes into pitching. You have to know how to get people out. You have to know how to prepare. You have to know what you're looking for. That's what he brings -- the vast experience of being able to do that on a daily basis."