All Things Bubba

Because how can you not love a baseball player named "Bubba"?

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Is it possible to work TOO hard?

The Reds roster is now down to 34 players. There's plenty of room to protect young prospects, sign free agents, and perhaps draft a Rule 5 player. Paul Janish is still on the roster, but some are predicting he'll be non-tendered. I still think the Reds will probably keep him for depth, since they have none at SS, and he still has options. He'll be cheap, and they don't seem to need his roster spot for anyone else. But who knows.

Been thinking about what went wrong for Janish this season. Maybe he was just unlucky. Maybe he couldn't handle the pressure of being the starter on a team that was playing much worse than fans and pundits had expected. Maybe he was exposed, playing every day.

But according to the Reds announcers, you can't accuse him not working hard enough. They said no one worked harder, and wondered if he worked too hard. They thought he spent so much time in the weight room he looked tired during the games.

I suppose that's possible; beat writer John Fay reported last year that Janish had a tendency to wear down over the season. Not surprising for a tough position like SS.

But I wonder if it's something more specific. One of the Reds coaches thought Janish's wrists were too weak, and recommended that he work on strengthening them. He reportedly did just that.

It may have backfired. I'm reminded of that time tennis great Andre Agassi bulked up, putting on 20 lbs. of solid muscle. He was tired of being blown off the court by power servers like Pete Sampras, and thought getting stronger was the solution.

It wasn't. The extra muscle made him stronger, but it also slowed him down. He later said that speed is an underrated component of sports in general. He eased up on the weight lifting and went back to his skinny, speedy self.

I wonder if something similar happened with Janish. Perhaps stronger wrists meant slower bat speed. In any case, whatever he did this year wasn't working; maybe he should go back to whatever he was doing last year.


posted by BubbaFan, 11:14 PM


This made me think of something I read from Joey Votto's trainer. He said that they specifically don't work Joey out to get him bigger, that they could add 30 lbs of muscle to him to get him to 260 but that would likely be detrimental to his game. Instead they work to make his existing strength easier to tap into, to get "playable strength" (whatever that means). Of course, Joey is already pretty huge at 230. But the point is, as you made with your Agassi story, more muscle doesn't necessarily equal better performance and can actually hurt performance.

I hope the Reds keep Soft-J. It seems to make sense for them to do so for now anyway.
commented by Anonymous darthmom, November 06, 2011 9:28 AM  
Wow. A 260 pound Joey Votto would be a monster!
commented by Blogger BubbaFan, November 06, 2011 2:14 PM  
For real. Not to mention, he's pretty much perfect the way he is. :)
commented by Blogger Francy, November 06, 2011 6:59 PM  
No argument there!
commented by Blogger BubbaFan, November 06, 2011 8:25 PM  

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