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Aaron Rodgers’ golf swing gets deconstructed

Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers was among the celebrity amateurs who had their golf swings were analyzed during the third round of the CBS telecast of the AT National Pebble Beach National Pro Am.

In this case, Rodgers and tennis star Andy Roddick (left), who was in Rodgers foursome, sat in a tent near No. 17 tee with Clint Eastwood, Jim Nantz and Nick Faldo as they had their swings examined by Peter Kostis of CBS and as a national television audience watched those swings on tape.

gets a lot of his hand action above his shoulders, Kostis said. where he begins to cock the hands a lot at the top. Then as he starts back down, he going to uncock the hands again early. He trying to be a little bit more patient with his hand action. I think if he could start his wrist cock just a little bit earlier in the backswing, he be able to keep it just a little bit longer into the downswing. It will help him a lot when his ankle heals and his knee is better so he can use his lower body to support his upper body. Admittedly, he is playing hurt right now.

Aaron Nola tinkers as he readies for Year 2

CLEARWATER, Fla. Between winter throwing sessions at his alma mater, Aaron Nola held a baseball in his right hand. He tinkered with different grips for his change up as he paced the training facilities at Louisiana State University.wholesale nfl jerseys The Phillies told Nola, their presumptive No. 1 pitcher at age 22, that if he were to do anything this winter, it was improve his change.

This spring offers something of a luxury for Nola, a veteran of all of 13 major league starts. He is in the rotation. Rather than stress over competition for a job, he can focus on the little things to advance his development.

Like the change up.

It was Nola’s third pitch during his rookie season, and he used it about 11 percent of the time, according to PITCHf/x data. Phillies pitching coach Bob McClure sees a more effective change up as paramount to Nola’s future success.

“For me, a starter who has good command, a good secondary pitch the change up is an equalizer,” McClure said. “It’s a pitch that keeps you from painting yourself into a corner. It just is. It’s a very valuable pitch, and I wanted him to be more comfortable with it.”

Nola will never blow hitters away. A consistent change up that complements his well located fastball that sits in the low 90s will make him less predictable, especially as the National League sees Nola for a second and third time.

The change up, he said, is “strictly my focus point going forward” this spring.

This winter, as he toyed with new grips, Nola found that his old circle change was the best. All he did was shift his fingers over a little bit. That, he said, could help him throw the pitch a tad slower while maintaining the same arm action as a fastball.

It is not a skill that is easily repeated at first.

“I’m just trying to throw it harder, where it doesn’t go as hard,” Nola said. “If that makes sense.”

McClure wants to see better separation between Nola’s fastball and change up velocities. Pitchers often seek an 8 to 12 mph separation between their fastball and change up. Nola’s fastball averaged 90.5 mph and his change up clocked in at 82.1 mph in 2015.

The key, of course, is maintaining the same arm action with each pitch.

“It was workable,” McClure said of Nola’s change up. “And he got ground balls with it sometimes. It was just a little hard. It didn’t separate enough. I think it could be a little better. He could slow it down a little bit and make it to where he feels like he can throw it in any count or bases loaded if that’s the pitch you want to throw, you have no second thoughts about throwing it.”

Scouting reports will show Nola became somewhat predictable with his third pitch last season. He threw the change up 128 times, according to PITCHf/x data. A majority (71) were in even counts. He rarely threw it when ahead in the count. And, when behind, it was not a consistent offering.

Catcher Cameron Rupp said he started to call for the pitch in different situations near the end of last season. Just three of Nola’s 68 strikeouts came on change ups.

“From what I’ve caught since we started here, it’s been better,” Rupp said. “It has a little more action. More strikes. It’s a little more consistent. I knew that was a priority for him when the year ended. He wanted that pitch to be better.”

It may not be a pitch Nola throws a ton more often, but the change up’s improvement is another mile marker in the development of a young pitcher. The little things.

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