Chicago Cubs: Appreciating Mike Borzello and his secret scouting reports
Chicago Cubs: Getting pitchers to buy in is a key for Borzello
Each pitching sequence is customized to an opposing hitter given a particular situation. The main goal of his scouting reports are to educate the pitcher on the opposing hitter’s approach and how to exploit it. There are certain opposing hitters that do not have an approach at the plate, so Borzello factors that in too.
The information in the scouting reports aren’t up for debate, but the most difficult part of Borzello’s job is getting his pitchers to buy into what the report is telling them to work on. A pitcher has to make a decision to understand and use the information during their bullpen session before they can effectively apply it in a game.
However, each pitcher has their own adjustment period to the report. Borzello recalls that Hendricks did not use the information during his first year and a half with the Cubs. The scouting report eventually forced him to come out of his comfort zone by using his fastball more aggressively to compliment his great changeup. It reportedly takes six to seven hours to put a report together for each series.
The combined knowledge of Ross and Borzello will pay dividends for an older pitching staff who will need to be successful in order to give the Cubs a chance to win the NL Central. While we don’t know when the 2020 season will start, we do that there won’t be another pitching staff more prepared than the Cubs.