Tuesday, February 20, 2007

A Portrait of a Saito as a Young(ish) Man

Dodgers.com posted an interesting piece about Dodger closer Takashi Saito, who uses a steno pad to sketch hitters' strengths and weaknesses. Apparently this exercise helps him commit to memory the hitters' tendencies as he can visualize his sketches.

Before every series, Dodgers pitchers meet to review the advance scouting report of the new opponent. With traveling secretary Scott Akasaki translating, Saito sketches out a nine-section hitting zone for each hitter and marks areas of strength and weakness.

"For the most part, hitters don't like it up and in or down and away, but there are some exceptions and this helps me remember the exceptions so I don't throw it into their strength," said Saito. "It's easier for me to remember when I think about how it looked on paper."

As a public service, we wanted to help Sammy with his preparation for the Friday April 6 game against the Giants. When Barry Bonds comes to the plate (assuming he isn't on the DL by then), please visualize this: