Chicago (CBS) — Tommy Hottovy is in his fifth year with the Cubs, but this is his first as their pitching coach.
The 37-year-old was previously the team’s run prevention coordinator. He brings a more modern, analytics approach. Hottovy has been working with pitchers on assessing their spin rates and using data to help them with their mechanics.
“We use a lot of information,” Hottovy said. “Now, what data tells us a lot of times is what we can’t see with the naked eye.”
Cubs pitcher Steve Cishek said last year was “eye-opening” for him.
“I started using a four-seam fastball a lot more,” Cishek said. “I saw how it benefited me, pitching up in the zone.”
It certainly helps that Hottovy played in the majors briefly for the Red Sox and Royals not that long ago.
“I can sit and we can talk about a change we want to make and then I can literally go out and throw with them,” said Hottovy.
Hottovy was in Las Vegas this past December where pitcher Brandon Kintzler lives, so he went over and watched Kintzler throw at his house. Kintzler was blown away. He said he’s never had a coach ever do that before in his eight-year career.