BP Author Doug Thorburn is an expert in all things baseball, but an outright genius on matters of pitcher mechanics. Ask him about his prospect mechanics series with Ryan Parker, or anything else.
Doug Thorburn: I love this time of year. The BP Annual will be hitting doorsteps soon, PECOTA is nearing a boil, and most of my time is consumed with the 2015 Starting Pitcher Guide. Let's talk some baseball.
AJ (Phoenix): Any ETA update on the SP Guide?
Doug Thorburn: We are aiming for an early Feb release date, same as last year
Sara (Tacoma): You and Sporer were in on him last year; who is this year's Corey Kluber?
Doug Thorburn: The easy answer is: nobody.
Kluber made a tremendous leap, pitching above and beyond what I expected despite already being extremely high on him going into the season. He stood out as a pitcher with an A-grade delivery and electric arsenal that had not yet been discovered by the mainstream, and then he went and upped the ante by further improving his mechanics and stuff (especially command). There are certainly a handful of "breakout" candidates, but I don't see anyone close to the Kluber category.
Crawdads (Reno): Will Rodon blow out his arm within the first 2 yrs of his MLB career? Are you at all concerned about his slider usage in college?
Doug Thorburn: I don't play the injury prediction game, as there are too many variables involved and we are only privy to a couple of them. I am very interested to see how he does while working with Don Cooper; Rodon's in-season development will be an intriguing story line.
kiper90 (Rochester, NY): Hey Doug, what are your thoughts on Alexander Reyes & Steven Matz? Could both become role 6 type players, or are the concerns for Reyes control & Matz injury pass holding them back of that possibility?
Doug Thorburn: I covered Reyes in the NL Central prospects piece, and I think that he has all of the basic ingredients to solve his walks issue. He just needs to iron out his timing, which is typically the last thing to come around for a pitcher – it can also take the longest. Stay tuned.
Matz is an intriguing prospect, with three potential plus pitches. He put up 140 innings last year, and his Tommy John was back in 2010, so I think that he is breaking free of the injury shackles.
Greg (NY): Who are your top 5 rookie of the year candidates?
Doug Thorburn: ROTY is all about opportunity, and teams are still shaking out their rosters. Ask me again in 2 months.
Slevin (Brooklyn): Are there any red flags in Jon Gray's me hanics/delivery? I know that a stiff front leg has been mentioned in previous reports. Has that plagued him at all (spotting/location), or is it more of a nitpick?
Doug Thorburn: I love Gray's delivery, and I would rate it as one of the best (if not the best) in the minor leagues. I wrote about him here. The stiff front leg is a minor issue, but it is also one that he has been working on, and his learning curve is one of the most impressive aspects of Gray's profile.
Grizzly (Chicago): What do you think of Gerrit Cole this year? Would you move a solid OF like Starling Marte for him in a dynasty league?
Doug Thorburn: Big fan of Cole this year, and I would definitely swing that deal in a dynasty league if it's available.
Guancous (Silver Spring): Do you trust Wacha and Arrieta next year?
Doug Thorburn: Arrieta = Yes.
Wacha I am less sure, and they are currently far apart on my 2015 value chart.
The Dude (Office): Who do you think is the best (or best 2-3) pitching coach in the game today? All-time?
Doug Thorburn: There's too much going on behind the scenes for me to answer this with any sort of conviction. We hear about the extreme cases, especially when a P-coach has an observable skill - ie Dave Duncan with the splitter or Leo Mazzone with expanding the zone - and we can guess that guys like Ray Searage and Don Cooper do an outstanding job. But a realistic ranking system is difficult, and my own coaching biases would certainly come into play.
Silverback38 (VA): What is the concern that hitters have to worry about when recovering from TJ; versus the pitchers?
Sano vs Taillon
Doug Thorburn: I would have to have a conference with Ryan Parker in order to get a better answer, but for starters the UCL is not taxed nearly as heavily with the swing as with the pitch, so the overall worry is lessened.
Shawnykid23 (CT): From what you've seen, has Lucas Giolito improved upon his near 20-grade momentum or is it still near the bottom of the scale?
Doug Thorburn: Yes! I was very pleased with what I saw from Giolito in 2014, specifically with his improved momentum. I wrote about it here:
Sara (Tacoma): In most articles I have read, it dounded like Lucas Giolito had above average mechanics but was near-glacial in his time to the plate. Did he make any improvement on that this season? What grade would you give him overall?
Doug Thorburn: Please see above response.
It also makes me happy to hear that the "glacial" tag is catching on.
Ron (Texarkana): What can we expect from Robert Stephenson this season? Will he be able to lower his walk rate and keep his K rate?
Doug Thorburn: Stephenson is a bit of a question mark with respect to expectations, as he took a big step backward last season. His momentum slowed down noticeably last season, and he had difficulty coordinating the new timing pattern. Hopefully the old charge returns in 2015, in which case he could make a big-league impact by fall.
bumphillips (Downtown): How did you begin your study of mechanics? How do you continue that study?
Doug Thorburn: Awesome question, and thanks for the interest.
I began my dive into pitching mechanics at the National Pitching Association, working with Tom House. I wore a lot of hats at the NPA, from coaching to directing the motion analysis program, the latter of which honed my eye for pitching mechanics.
That study continues today, from scouting with Perfect Game to the evaluations of professional players that are seen in Raising Aces. Never stop learning.
Shawn (Cubicle): How would you handle pitchers who are coming back from their 2nd Tommy John surgery? For some reason ~160 IP is sticking in my head for guys coming back from a 1st. Would this number decrease for guys coming back from a 2nd, or should the recovery process be the same regardless? Do you think teams may "try something different" (though not sure what that would be) with these guys as the 1st surgery was not as successful as others?
Doug Thorburn: Each player is different so I would avoid any sort of template, especially for a player coming back from his 2nd TJS. The aspects of recovery don't necessarily change, but the rate of recovery is dependent on the player and how he is developing within the rehab process. I don't put much emphasis on strict innings caps, as they tend to put pitchers in smaller buckets rather than appreciating the snowflakes.
Dan (San Francisco): How do you see the A's rotation sorting itself out? Who gets the last two slots between Jesse Chavez, Jesse Hahn, Sean Nolin, Kendall Graveman, and Chris Bassitt?
Doug Thorburn: I would give the leads to Hahn and Nolin, though I could see Nolin getting beat out by one of the last two during camp. The A's know that they need to monitor Chavez's innings, so I think that it makes sense to keep him in a swingman role until the need arises.
cracker73 (Florida): What are your thoughts on Collin McHugh? Is he a #2 starter? What is his upside?
Doug Thorburn: I really like McHugh. We probably saw his upside already, but I think that his performance was legit last season and he could retain much of that 2014 performance.
Max Scherzer (Nation's capital): Doug, take a look into your crystal ball and tell me how I'm going to do for the next seven years. Will I still be effective in a few years, when my heater is 92 instead of 94?
Doug Thorburn: Tough to say, Max. Seven years is a really long time. You've been dominant for three seasons, and I think that you will be a great pitcher for the next 2-3. Beyond that, my crystal ball gets hazy, but I will say that I really like your arsenal, the depth of which should buffer your performance as the velocity wanes.
cracker73 (Florida): Best career: Carlos Martinez or Trevor Rosenthal?
Doug Thorburn: So much of that depends on CarMart. His mechanics went south last season in a bullpen role as he sacrificed stability in the name of power, but the same could be said about Rosenthal and his own transition to the 'pen (the instability was a real problem for Rosey last season). For now give me Rosenthal, if only because his role has already been cemented. We are still figuring out CarMart.
AJ (Phoenix): Tyler Kolek certainly went to an org that has had success in developing flamethrowers. You have him very good power and stability grades in an Under the Hood article. He had some issues with the free passes in his professional debut. What can we expect from him?
Doug Thorburn: Right now the emphasis is on fastball command, refining secondaries, and building stamina with safe workloads. If he develops well - and he has the mechanical baseline to do so - then he could be devastating, with true ace potential. I'm not too worried about the 22 innings in his pro debut.
tsweber (Reno): Trevor Bauer is so smart and has so many pitches. Great pitching coaches in CLE too. Seems to have stepped up last year. Is there reason for optimism on Bauer this year? Might he make another step and become a solid SP3 at least?
Doug Thorburn: Bauer could certainly take another step forward. I have long contended that he needed to simplify his delivery and approach in order to master the basics of consistency, and then he could complicate things. He really simplified things last season, and he is in a great organization to optimize his development path. The ceiling is still tremendous, and now he has a greater chance of hitting that ceiling.
Shawnykid23 (CT): With his name popping up in the trade rumors and the no-hitter to end the year, Jordan Zimmermann may not be underrated anymore? Who takes the crown as the most underrated SP now?
Doug Thorburn: I hear ya - I felt that Zimmer and Bummer were underrated at this time last season, and now they have likely gone the other direction. I wouldn't necessarily call him underrated, but Iwakuma is really good when healthy. There are also certain orgs that I trust, and their pitchers consistently seem to do well - WAS, STL, TB, CLE, OAK... and PIT is getting there.
kylanje (Florida): What are your thoughts on Brady Aiken and his mechanic/potential going forward as a top pitching prospect in baseball?
Doug Thorburn: I'm not that big on Aiken's delivery (B- stability, C+ power), but his stuff is ridiculous - tho I do have questions about how well his loopy curve will translate to the highest level. I liked Kolek and Rodon better in last year's draft, personally. I think that his prospect status will be fine, because that curve will make minor league hitters look silly at the lower levels, but he could hit some speed bumps in his development (when he signs, that is).
Shawn (Cubicle): Do you think Carlos Martinez sticks in the St. Louis rotation? Can he make a Marcus Stroman-like leap this year, where he sticks in 2015, and then really breaks out in 2016?
Doug Thorburn: It really depends on his development, as mentioned earlier. I wouldn't put CarMart in the Stroman class though - they are very different pitchers, and Stroman is/was a lot safer due to his baselines for mechanics and stuff.
Ralph ('Burg): How worried are you about Jarrod Parker and his second TJ?
Doug Thorburn: There are always big questions following a second TJ, and my expectation would be that he takes longer to get back to full strength. Even when/(if?) he gets back on a MLB mound, his skill-set might be diminished. Same goes for Medlen, Beachy, etc.
Marlins88 (MPLS): Thoughts on the Twins new pitching coach Neil Allen?
Doug Thorburn: Don't know much about him, but looking forward to his handling of the staff in 2015.
AJ (Phoenix): Can you talk a little bit about Carlos Rodon's delivery and what you think it spells for him success wise? What will he need to work on?
Doug Thorburn: I might be in the minority here, but I really like Rodon's delivery. I gave him B+ stability and B power in this article (which also includes write-ups on Aiken and Kolek). Some might be thrown by his funky angles, but last season he was finishing on-line to the target. Hopefully he retains his solid momentum, but Don Cooper adheres to a "stay back" philosophy that could alter Rodon's pace to the plate.
Frank (Toronto): What are you thoughts on future roles for Daniel Norris and Aaron Sanchez in Toronto? Two really good starters, or back-of-the-rotatio/bullpen types?
Doug Thorburn: I really like Sanchez in the bullpen, and hopefully he continues to lengthen his stride a bit with a touch more momentum. I think that Norris has a future in the rotation, though he needs to hone his delivery during the rotational phases and work on his timing to find consistency. I think that Norris has a limited ceiling, though.
dvanhait (Holland): Rank these three guys as to who you think has the best chance of a comeback year in 2015: Hellickson, Lyles, or Despaigne?
Doug Thorburn: I would rank them as:
1) Helix, especially if he is able to throw the slide step out the window (yet to be seen – who's catching him in AZ?)
2) Despaigne, who has only one year of pro ball and 94 MLB innings under his belt so I don't really think he has anything to come back to, but is a crafty pitcher who is fun to watch.
3) Lyles, a non-K pitcher who spends half of his games at altitude. Recipe for disaster.
Bob (Michigan): Thanks Doug. Henry Owens or Steven Matz? For 2015 and next 6 years. Why?
Doug Thorburn: Gimme Matz - I prefer the stuff. Not sure that either will have a big impact in 2015, given the depth ahead of them. Six years is a long way out, but for the next 3 years I prefer Matz.
Ron (Texarkana): Steven Matz has climbed up the prospect rankings very quickly.. What is his realistic floor/ceiling?
Doug Thorburn: Lots of Matz questions today.
I think that there is a wide gap between the two. I would say that he has the upside of a no. 2, the likelihood of a no. 3, and the floor of a no. 4-5. But he looks like a starter, and I expect him to be productive at the MLB level.
Vic (Baltimore): Who do you prefer in an NL only 12 team league? $5 increases per year. Wacha at $8 or C Mart at $1.
Doug Thorburn: So that essentially means that CarMart trails Wacha by 1 year, so I would go with Wacha at $8 because we know what he can do in the rotation, but CarMart's role is still up in the air.
Donkey Kang (KBO): It seems as though a lot of the top prospect arms (Bradley, Glasnow, Wheeler, Stephenson off the top of my head) have control issues. Is this something that gets figured out with reps/time? And do 'we' put enough risk on command issues when evaluating prospect success in MLB?
Doug Thorburn: I think that it is a natural byproduct of the obsession with velocity, in general. Power arms tend to have power deliveries, which are more difficult to stabilize. The natural byproduct is that we get pitchers who throw hard but can't command the baseball - that's what the minors are supposed to be for, but not everyone figures it out.
Awesome name, BTW
Donkey Kang (KBO): Aside from pitch selection (i.e. chucking more sliders), was there anything mechanically Arrieta did differently to explain his huge breakout?
Doug Thorburn: Yeah, he altered his momentum pattern, particularly the transition from leg lift to stride. He was very inconsistent in the past, sometimes incorporating a stop at the top, but he worked with coach Chris Bosio last season to come up with a more consistent timing pattern (with better momentum). Voila!
Shawnykid23 (CT): Thanks for the chat, Doug! I know you graded his overall delivery as one of the best in AL East, but what do you see for Marcus Stroman in 2015? Full-on breakout potential?
Doug Thorburn: I really like Stroman this season, and he has the stuff and the delivery to potentially wreak havoc on the American League. The big question is whether he can continue to spot the fastball low in the zone, lest his homer rate skyrockets. My dart throw for his 2015 would be an ERA in the low-3's, with an uptick in both K's (closer to 9 K/9 inn) and walks (~2.5 BB/9).
DanDaMan (Sea Cliff): Doug- how worried are you about Madison Bumgarner's heavy workload from last year affecting this year's outcome?
Doug Thorburn: Such a workload increase naturally raises concerns about this year, and it is possible that the kinetic toll of 2014 will impact his 2015. That said, Bumgarner has a lot going for him, including one of the most efficient deliveries in the game. He was also throwing harder in October than any other point in the season, a double-edged sword that A) speaks to his great condition at the end of the season, while at the same time B) increases the kinetic toll of those additional pitches.
Marlins88 (MPLS): Are you worried about the amount of sliders Tyson Ross throws? Had a forearm injury to close last season ... Wondering if his mechanics have anything to do with that, or just the amount of sliders he throws? Thanks!
Doug Thorburn: The forearm injury could be tied to a number of things. Ross definitely throws a ton of sliders, and though I think that issue gets overblown a bit, his near-40% rate is an eye-opener. He also has an interesting delivery, given that he remains very upright, resulting in a tall release point despite his low-ish arm angle. He used to be painfully slow with a very short stride, but Ross has added a bit of oomph (along with some late spine-tilt) since coming to the Pads. I will definitely have a close eye on him in 2015, but I think that the sliders are more of a concern than the delivery.
Kyle (Eastwood): What kind of correlation is there between swinging strike rate and strikeout rate? Should White Sox fans be concerned about Jose Abreu's sizeable swinging strike rate?
Doug Thorburn: I haven't run the numbers, and I imagine that there is meaningful variation on a player-to-player basis. I don't expect Abreu to crack .315 again this year, but I do think that he'll put up huge numbers in the power categories.
Drifter (Long Branch): Hi Doug:
If there isn't a predictable next Corey Kluber, is there a predictable next Marcus Stroman? That is, a prospect in the minor leagues with size/vertical plane concerns that are overblown and might surprise in the majors in 2015?
Doug Thorburn: There isn't really a Stroman mirror for 2015, but '14 had Yordano Ventura, which I think is a closer comp than any of the current crop. When in doubt, bet on the raw stuff.
Marlins88 (MPLS): Would you rather have Shark or Stroman for the next 3 years?
Doug Thorburn: That is tough because I really like both pitchers. Neglecting salaries and such, I would go for Samardzija.
Shaun (Vegas): How much can kne compare Thler Kolek to fellow Miami arm Jose Fernandez? Where does Kolek compare at this stage of their careers? Is late 2018 (per the Marlins top 10) a realistic ETA for Tyler Kolek? Is there a chance he could get to the show at some point in 2017? Or is that too optimistic?
Doug Thorburn: There is no comp to Fern. His rapid development and aggressive assignment were unheard of, and the Defector is a pitch that separates him from the pack of pro pitchers.
Kolek's development will dictate his ETA - if he refines FB command quickly, along with his secondaries, then 2017 might be reasonable. But I agree with our prospect staff that late 2018 is more realistic.
Marlins88 (MPLS): Plain n Simple: Top 3 Mechanics in the AL and then in the NL?
Doug Thorburn: AL: Kluber, Price, Darvish
NL: Zimmer, Bummer, and probably Kimbrel.
Paul (Texas): What are your projections for Martin Perez, assuming he recovers from his injury just fine? Any concern that he won't recover or is doing something to cause the injury with the way he is throwing?
Doug Thorburn: He's always been a high-power low-stability guy, which increases the injury risk. He had made some positive adjustments over the past year prior to the injury, but his inconsistency was another concern. I don't expect him back til the 2nd half of the season, at the earliest, and I expect that he will have a bumpy road as he tries to rediscover his release point.
Joe (PA): Thoughts on Tony Cingani for 2015? Will he repeat his dominant 9k+/inn of 2013 or more of the 2014 destined for the bullpen type of guy
Doug Thorburn: Cingrani was over his head in '13, and low-velo pitchers who throw fastballs 85% of the time and rely on deception are likely to be exposed. He doesn't fit the traditional reliever role, profiling as more of a no. 4-5 starter due to his strong command, but his unique profile could result in an outside-the-box role.
Everyone wants to know (so be a fortune teller): What is you opinion on Tanaka and how do you think his health will hold up in 2015 and beyond? Or is your guess as good as anyone else's?
Doug Thorburn: I haven't graduated yet from Miss Cleo's Psychic University, so my best guess will have to do. I think that his split is ridiculous, and his stability was much better in 2014 than I had expected based on the footage that I had seen from NPB. I do worry about his health, though, and the Yankees choice to let him pitch at the end of the season was a real head-scratcher. He's one of those guys that I trust more for the "beyond" than for 2015.
Cal Guy (Cal): Hi Doug, Who would your rather invest your team's assets on a long term contract, a TJ survivor with a super high ceiling (e.g. Giolito) or a not as high ceiling but clean health record guy (e.g. Gausman)?
Doug Thorburn: I think that we disagree on Gausman's ceiling, because IMO it's still through the roof. That said, each situation is unique, and whether to hand out a long-term contract to a pitcher is a potential issue in itself. Both Giolito and Gausman have some risk factors that can be seen, including elite velocity that acts to balloon the injury risk. In general I am a ceiling guy, and I think injury risk can be minimized with proper training and technique. But there are additional factors beneath the surface.
Cal Guy (Cal): Doug, Do you think it is more a matter of "when" than "if" for Tanaka needing TJ surgery and when would that "when" be?
Doug Thorburn: I see more as a "when," and odds are that the team will see how he feels in Spring Training.
Freddie (Cleveland): Doug, thanks for the chat!! Do you think the Tribe has enough horsepower to win the AL Central??
Doug Thorburn: Definitely could happen. That club has crazy depth, and the Tigers are vulnerable - especially if one of their stars goes down with an injury for a significant stretch.
Post-hype (everywhere): Now that the Danny Salazar hype train has slowed down from last off season, will you be boarding it this off season while others are getting off?
Doug Thorburn: Yup. He's highly volatile, but the vaulted ceiling is too tempting. He's a bit of a wait-and-see, but that's why fantasy benches exist.
Rob (DC): After reading your analysis of Aroldis Chapman's otherworldly torque, I tried to stand with my hips rotated 70 degrees from my shoulders. I almost pulled a muscle. How does a person prepare his body to pitch with that kind of torque? Can it be achieved through throwing alone, or is some kind of specialized training necessary (e.g., to impart flexible strength to the obliques)?
Doug Thorburn: Achieving torque requires core strength in addition to flexibility, and there are certainly drills that help to develop those physical aspects - I would need to demonstrate the drills appropriately, though. The Red Dragon has crazy athleticism, and his ability to generate torque is unparalleled.
Bill (New Mexico): Speaking of outside-the-box roles, would it be worth while for St. Louis to designate Marco Gonzales or one of their high-minors guys (Tim Cooney, etc.) as 1940s-style swingmen to get fantastic but fragile Adam Wainwright and Michael Wacha a rest every three weeks or so? Or have pitching roles become too specialized for that?
Doug Thorburn: The specialization of pitching roles is part of the issue, and the other part is that there is no assured resting pattern that would definitely make a difference for Wainwright and Wacha. I love the idea of expanding roles and having pitchers dumped into buckets based on individual tolerance (ie 20 pitches, 40, 70, etc) rather than the pre-approved patterns of one hitter, one inning, or 100 pitches (depending on the role).
bob m (brookhaven pa): Hi Doug
A couple things for you; Assuming good health do you see a big breakout year for G. Cole----if so what his his ceiling? Can he become a solid #1 pitcher pm a contending team?
Also, Is Mike Fiers the real deal and is there any reason why he cant continue to be effective?
Lastly, is Almora gonna be a good major league player?
Doug Thorburn: I really like Cole this year, as alluded to in an earlier question. I thought that folks were expecting a bit too much on the development side with Cole at this time last year (granted his 2013 progress warranted hype), and now we're on the other end of the hype train.
I am not nearly as big on Fiers, as he has mechanical obstacles to repetition that cloud his consistency. Throwing over-the-top to good-framing catchers is hiding some of this via a low walk rate, but the concern has more to do with elevated pitches and hard-hit baseballs.
Lastly, you'll have to ping the prospect team on Almora, as I don't know enough about him at this time.
Jim (Seattle): Hi Doug, thanks for doing the chat. Who is your top pick for a pitcher who is mechanically sound byt have yet put together a career season? I don't mind two or more candidate if you have them in mind.
Doug Thorburn: I'm still waiting for Eovaldi to iron out his timing and find consistency. He is real close to being a great pitcher, but small mistakes could get punished in NYY.
Zack Wheeler is in a similar boat, in that timing is the last thing that he needs to figure out, but that can take awhile.
I think that Cashner is also ready to take a big step forward.
Matt (Cambridge): Are you buying a bounceback from Sabathia this year? He was still generating swings and misses as well as grounders while he was pitching, but had a big homer problem. But a knee problem could have really altered his mechanics I imagine.
Doug Thorburn: The knee problem is a big concern, due to the severity as well as his large frame - those shock absorbers have a hell of a job. Balance and consistency have long been keys to CC's success (along with his slider), but he might struggle to find a consistent release point if the knee is compromised in any way.
In Da Hizouse (Da Hizouse): Tell me about TJ House, he killed it in the second half last year and yet he doesn't seem to be in line for a spot in the rotation for 2015. Can he continue that level of success if he gets the opportunity?
Doug Thorburn: He's kind of a left-handed Masterson, with the low-sidearm release point and reliance on the slider. With so much lateral variation on his pitches, there is a good chance that his walk rate sky-rockets, and his other pitches were hit hard last year. I think that he is a great candidate to "make him earn it."
Matt (NJ): Hey Doug, if you had to name two or three SPs who's current status in scouting and fantasy circles underrates their mechanics (a la Kluber getting an A- grade this time last year), who would you go with?
Doug Thorburn: Gausman has a B delivery, as does Danny Salazar (when he's on). I would also put Alex Meyer in that category (B grade mechanics), given that his delivery is much better than is often credited, as everyone worries about him coordinating his size.
All of the A's are guys you've heard of, which is what made Kluber stand out last preseason.
Trout (Roslyn): Winker or Dahl, who you got? ETA for both?
Doug Thorburn: Winker and Dahl have very different skill sets, so it would depend on team need – Winker feels safer, while Dahl's the upside pick. Projecting ETA is a fool's errand, with too many variables at play, but the prospect team would have a better idea of where these players stand on the development scale.
Alex (Anaheim): Obviously he was dominant in 2014, but are you worried that Betances will have problems with command at some point?
Doug Thorburn: Very worried. There's a lot of Ubaldo in that delivery, and I could definitely see Betances struggling with consistency and command at various points in the future.
Doug Thorburn: Excellent questions today, gang, and there are still some gems left in the queue. Sorry I couldn't get to everything today, but feel free to hit me up on Twitter, @doug_thorburn