From SABR member Evan Drellich at Baseball Prospectus on April 7, 2016:
The story of how Brent Strom came to be the pitching coach for the Houston Astros begins with a cartoonist for the New Yorker named Mike Witte. Witte had played high school ball with some of the St. Louis Cardinals owners, and as an adult studied the pitching motion until he was qualified to serve as a consultant to major-league teams on pitching deliveries. During Jeff Luhnow’s first year as farm director in St. Louis, Witte told Luhnow that of all the pitching coaches he had observed, Brent Strom had the best feel for the principles Witte was discovering in his research.
“I asked him to come to St. Louis, the dead of winter, and meet me,” Luhnow recalls. “Poor guy showed up without a coat and took the subway to and from the airport and it’s like 30 degrees out. But we immediately connected. We started talking about pitching and deliveries and all the stuff that he’s an expert in, and I knew I was talking to someone that had probably has much knowledge as anyone in the game, and had a passion for it. And was most importantly open-minded, and willing to learn new things.”
When Luhnow went to Houston, he hired Strom to be the major-league pitching coach. “This game changes,” the Astros GM says. “There are a lot of truths to this game that never change, but there’s a constant evolution of getting more information, the ability to use that information and gain new insights. Strommy’s as good at that as anybody I’ve seen.”
Late last season, Evan Drellich spoke at length with Strom about the life of a pitching coach, and his own approach to it.
Read the full article here (subscription required): http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=28843
Originally published: April 7, 2016. Last Updated: April 7, 2016.