April 12, 2021

Sunday Notes: Collin McHugh Ponders Pitching Philosophy and Politics (FanGraphs)

Collin McHugh is cerebral both on and away from the diamond, and that attribute was on full display in a recent Zoom call with reporters. The Tampa Bay Rays right-hander fielded questions on multiple topics, most notably his craft and the possibility of MLB’s moving this summer’s All-Star Game from Atlanta to another locale. I asked McHugh how his new team compares to one of his old ones in terms of pitching analytics.

“The behind-the-scenes things are a little different,” responded McHugh, referring to his tenure with the Houston Astros from 2014-2019. “I think they probably have a more well-versed staff over here, in total, of being able to communicate the advanced information to guys. I worked a lot with [Brent Strom] in Houston, and Strommy and I got to know each other really well. He was kind of my guru, or whatever you want to call it. If I had questions, I went to him.

“Here, it feels, at least to this point, like there is a more holistic approach,” continued McHugh. “From [pitching coach] Kyle Snyder — starting with him — and the pitchers, to Stan [Borowski] in the bullpen, all the way through the data-analytics system, then all the way up the…

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