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Villa Slow / Laura Alvarez Architecture

first_imgCopyAbout this officeLaura Alvarez ArchitectureOfficeFollowProductsWoodStone#TagsProjectsBuilt ProjectsSelected ProjectsResidential ArchitectureHousesSan Roque de RiomieraSpainPublished on November 13, 2017Cite: “Villa Slow / Laura Alvarez Architecture” 13 Nov 2017. ArchDaily. Accessed 11 Jun 2021. ISSN 0719-8884Browse the CatalogShowerhansgroheShowers – Croma SelectGlass3MGlass Finish – FASARA™ GradationPartitionsSkyfoldVertically Folding Operable Walls – Zenith® SeriesWall / Ceiling LightsCocowebLighting – Blackspot LED Barn LightUrban ApplicationsIsland Exterior FabricatorsPublic Safety Answering Center II Envelope SystemCeilingsSculptformTimber Batten Ceiling in All Souls ChapelHanging LampsLouis PoulsenLamp – PH 5 + PH 5 MiniGlazedGrespaniaWall Tiles – Porto PetroThermalSchöckInsulation – Isokorb® Concrete to SteelCeramicsTerrealTerracotta Baguettes in Vork CenterCompositesLamitechPlastic facades PanelexCarpetsHalcyon LakeCarpet – Nobsa GreyMore products »Save世界上最受欢迎的建筑网站现已推出你的母语版本!想浏览ArchDaily中国吗?是否翻译成中文现有为你所在地区特制的网站?想浏览ArchDaily中国吗?Take me there »✖You’ve started following your first account!Did you know?You’ll now receive updates based on what you follow! Personalize your stream and start following your favorite authors, offices and users.Go to my stream “COPY” Manufacturers: Artifort, Innovation Living, J.G. Herman CeramicsContractor:SOAL inversionesInterior Wood Works:Carpinteria AstilleroModel Making:Matteo SilveriiLocal Support Building Permit:Ivan Arenal, Patricia Revuelta.City:San Roque de RiomieraCountry:SpainMore SpecsLess SpecsSave this picture!© David MonteroRecommended ProductsWindowsC.R. LaurenceCRL-U.S. Aluminum Unit-Glaze SystemWindowsRodecaAluminium WindowsWindowsOTTOSTUMM | MOGSWindow Systems – BronzoFinestra B40WindowsSky-FrameRetractable Insect Screen – Sky-Frame FlyText description provided by the architects. Villa Slow is a rental holiday retreat in the Natural Park of Valles Pasiegos, in the North of Spain emerging from a stone-ruin within a more than two-hectare terrain of natural landscape.  The new home typology is based on a traditional construction of the area called ‘cabaña pasiega’ (peasant cabin) but with a contemporary twist. The strategic location of the construction on top of a little hill facing south, grants impressive views towards the valley and from the mountain.Save this picture!© David MonteroSave this picture!Section CCSave this picture!© David MonteroThe scheme of the house is simple. Two big panoramic windows in the living room facing opposite directions create a beautiful scenography of mountains, clouds, and trees. These two openings allow to enjoy the impressive views towards the valley and mountains from the spacious living room in the centre of the house. Two bedrooms are situated next to the living area, on the eastern wing, in the most private side, both with their own bathroom and openings to the infinite landscape. They receive beautiful light in the morning. Thanks to their generous height, a mezzanine on top of the bathroom core,  allows for additional sleeping arrangements: just a couple, couple with children, friends, etc.Save this picture!© David MonteroSave this picture!Sections HH + GGSave this picture!© David MonteroVilla Slow is designed and built with extreme mindfulness and care for detail. The house is very respectful with the environment in aesthetic and technical terms. Villa Slow is a passive house thanks to a heat pump, under floor heating and high quality insulation and windows for a minimum heat loss. The high performance glass warms up the interior in the winter and the big wooden shutters protect from heat gain during summer. All materials used to build Villa Slow are reused from the old stone shed or come from the area of Cantabria.Save this picture!© David MonteroThe rough exterior stone-walls and roofs contrast with the delicate interior wooden structure and details. Villa Slow is a house of subtle contrasts: rough-delicate, open-closed, wood-grey, interior-exterior, traditional-modern.Save this picture!© David MonteroSave this picture!© David MonteroLaura Alvarez architecture tries to find balanced solutions in materialisation. In this project, wood elements give a warm feeling, whereas white helps understanding the building envelope. A combination of classic sitting furniture and minimalist elements create a very calm space from which enjoying the outstanding natural setting.Save this picture!© David MonteroProject gallerySee allShow lessArchitecture Is Moving Into a Realm Where History Plays as Much a Part as MediumArticlesCall for Entries: Museum of Architecture’s (London) Gingerbread City Exhibition Comp…Built Projects & Masterplans Share Projects ArchDaily Spain Villa Slow / Laura Alvarez ArchitectureSave this projectSaveVilla Slow / Laura Alvarez Architecture Photographs Year:  Architects: Laura Alvarez Architecture Area Area of this architecture project Save this picture!© David Montero+ 36 Sharecenter_img Area:  160 m² Year Completion year of this architecture project Villa Slow / Laura Alvarez Architecture Houses 2017 ShareFacebookTwitterPinterestWhatsappMailOrhttps://www.archdaily.com/883422/villa-slow-laura-alvarez-architecture Clipboard CopyHouses•San Roque de Riomiera, Spain ShareFacebookTwitterPinterestWhatsappMailOrhttps://www.archdaily.com/883422/villa-slow-laura-alvarez-architecture Clipboard “COPY” Photographs:  David Montero Manufacturers Brands with products used in this architecture project last_img read more

US Olympic Committee chooses Salt Lake City for potential 2030 Winter Games bid

first_img Beau Lund December 14, 2018 /Sports News – National US Olympic Committee chooses Salt Lake City for potential 2030 Winter Games bid FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmail4kodiak/iStock(NEW YORK) — The United States Olympic Committee has selected Salt Lake City to represent the U.S. in a potential bid for the 2030 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.Salt Lake City and Denver were the two finalists to represent the U.S. after Reno/Tahoe, Nevada dropped out of the running. In a press release, USOC Chair Larry Probst said Salt Lake City was eventually chosen because “we believe Salt Lake City will give us the best chance to return the winter Games to the U.S.”The Utah capital hosted the 2002 Winter Games. The International Olympic Committee will choose the host city for the 2030 Games. It is not yet clear when the IOC will make that decision. Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.center_img Written bylast_img read more

Tunnocks invests in efficiency

first_imgScottish-firm Tunnocks has invested £4 million in new machinery to improve efficiency at its Uddingston site, which produces its Caramel Wafers and Teacakes.The firm spent £2m on new machinery earlier this year, including two foiling machines, two flow packs and a robotic case packer earlier this year. MD Boyd Tunnock told British Baker, the firm then spent another £2m on a state-of-the-art robotics system from Schubert to pack its teacakes, which it is “just bedding in” at the moment. It will be used to pack either six or 10 teacakes to a box, or 12 to a tray.“We already had four wrapping machines, but Schubert supplied the feeding systems to these wrapping machines as well as the robotic packer,” explained Boyd. He said that the bakery’s previous line had been running for 10 years and was inefficient. “Efficiency has now gone up by 20-25%. We’re using less labour and also getting a bigger throughput,” he added.Boyd told us that main change has been to teacake production, with five less people needed on the floor per shift. However he said the firm has not made any redundancies and is looking to move from a double shift per day, to three shifts, five days a week. He said the new machinery is about “long term payback”. “But as a family business we can afford to do that, and we’re willing to do that as we’ll be getting a better end product.” He added that the new machinery gives the firm the ability to increase production, but importantly it will allow it to maintain its current prices. The firm employs 550 staff, and turned over approximately £35m last year. It exports to over 30 countries worldwide, including Canada, the Canary Isles and Japan.last_img read more

WHO update highlights bird flu puzzles

first_imgJan 26, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – The latest World Health Organization (WHO) fact sheet on avian influenza shows that the complex mysteries of the H5N1 virus, while compelling, make it difficult to anticipate what the virus will do next.On one hand, the virus has spread aggressively along migratory bird routes in the last several months, sparking poultry outbreaks and culls in places such as Russia, Romania, and Turkey. Its spread in Turkey led to a fast-developing human outbreak, which is now up to 21 cases with four deaths, but appears to be ebbing, WHO officials have said.On the other hand, WHO says in its Jan 20 publication, “the virus does not easily cross from birds to infect humans.” Tens of millions of poultry have been infected in the past 2 years, yet “fewer than 200 human cases have been laboratory confirmed.”The lengthy overview discusses current knowledge of H5N1 disease in birds, the role of migratory birds in spreading the virus, and the disease in humans. It identifies a number of areas of concern and gaps in knowledge, including:Containing poultry outbreaks – WHO suggests culling as the first line of defense, but adds that vaccinating poultry is a “supplementary emergency measure, providing quality-assured vaccines are used and World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) recommendations are strictly followed.”The role of poverty – WHO describes how poverty can hamper efforts to control H5N1, especially when the virus infects backyard flocks. “In situations where a prime source of food and income cannot be wasted, households frequently consume poultry when deaths or signs of illness appear in flocks,” the report says. Such deaths in flocks are common for other reasons, so H5N1 infections may not be suspected. “The frequent absence of compensation to farmers for destroyed birds further works against the spontaneous reporting of outbreaks and may encourage owners to hide their birds during culling operations.”Migratory birds – Evidence is growing that wild birds are carrying the lethal form of H5N1 long distances and spreading it to poultry flocks along their flight paths. Among the details supporting the theory: viruses from Turkey’s first two human infections were nearly identical to viruses found in birds around Qinghai Lake in China, site of a massive migratory bird die-off that began in late April of 2005.Who is at risk for infection – Most human cases have occurred in households that kept small poultry flocks. For unknown reasons, very few cases have been found in presumed high-risk groups, such as workers in live-poultry markets, poultry cullers, veterinarians, and health workers caring for patients without wearing adequate protective equipment.Differences between human H5N1 cases and ordinary influenza – The incubation period in H5N1 infections may be longer, and watery diarrhea without blood appears more often in H5N1 cases in people. Many patients also have lower respiratory tract symptoms by the time they first seek treatment. In addition, clinical deterioration is rapid in H5N1 cases.Treatment with antiviral drugs – WHO is working on an “urgent review” of recommendations on the use of oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and other antivirals in H5N1 cases. Clinicians should consider increasing the dosage and duration of oseltamivir treatment beyond the standard 150 mg per day for 5 days in severe cases, the report says.This flu virus, WHO says, is of the most pressing interest to human health for two reasons: it has caused the most human cases of severe disease of any avian virus, and it could evolve to allow easy spread among people.”H5N1 avian influenza in humans is still a rare disease, but a severe one that must be closely watched and studied, particularly because of the potential this virus [has] to evolve in ways that could start a pandemic,” the report concludes.See alsoWHO fact sheet on avian fluhttp://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/avian_influenza/en/last_img read more

Chevrolet Performance renews lucrative cash bonus program with IMCA through 2019

first_imgGRAND BLANC, Mich. – Chevrolet Performance has renewed a lucrative cash bonus program rewarding IMCA drivers and sanctioned tracks through the 2017-2019 race seasons.Drivers winning track championships while competing exclusively with 602 or 604 crate engines receive a $250 bonus. Tracks sanctioning any combination of the Modified, Hobby Stock and SportMod divisions and displaying Chevrolet Performance banners become eligible for cash bo­nuses of their own.“This is a program that paid cash back to our drivers and sanctioned tracks to the tune of $75,000 last year. It is easily our biggest cash bonus program for drivers,” emphasized IMCA Marketing Director Kevin Yoder. “This is a big deal. A lot of money will get paid directly to drivers and tracks that support IMCA and Chevrolet Performance.”Driver bonuses will be paid after point standings become official; track bonuses will be paid through­out the season.The Chevrolet Performance IMCA crate engine bonus program originated in 2005 with cash awards to eligible Northern SportMod drivers finishing in the top five in track standings.It expanded to include Modified, Hobby Stock and Southern SportMod divisions and began paying track championship bonuses in 2010.One hundred and twenty-one drivers earned Chevrolet Performance bonuses last year. The pro­gram has seen more than $200,000 paid to IMCA drivers in its first 12 seasons.“It’s important to note that four of Chevrolet’s biggest dealerships in the United States are IMCA sponsors,” Yoder said. “I would encourage our member drivers to return the support of Karl Chevro­let, Scoggin-Dickey Parts Center, Friesen Performance and Kupper Chevrolet when they have the opportunity to do so.”Information about the Chevrolet Performance bonus program is available from Yoder at the IMCA home office, 319 472-2201.last_img read more

Mr. Clean Is Sick

first_imgDo you get sick too easily?  Did you grow up with allergies?  One reason might be your home environment is too clean, says a story on PhysOrg.    The “hygiene hypothesis” asserts that our immune system over-reacts to lack of stimulation by turning on itself – producing autoimmune diseases and allergies.  It “blames increased allergies on cleaner homes, increased air pollution and changes in diet.  Obesity and lack of exercise may also play a role.”    One researcher at University of Iowa is treating patients with multiple sclerosis and colitis with parasitic worms.  He claims incidents of these autoimmune diseases increased when parasitic worms were eliminated from our environment.  He thinks they have a “profound symbiotic effect on developing and maintaining the immune system.”Not sure we are ready to go that far and add parasitic worms to the diet – that idea needs much more proof!  The principle in this article could, however, help us think differently about some organisms with bad reputations.  Remember the milk maidens in Robert Jenner’s day who developed immunity to smallpox by working around cows?  Humans apparently need exposure to certain organisms to develop and maintain the immune system.  Certain tribes in Africa seem to get along quite well living in harmony with their livestock outdoors in environments that would freak out an American city dweller.    Maybe we should stop thinking of parasites as good vs evil, and view them instead as accelerators and brakes.  Everything in the living world is in motion.  There are constant pushes and pulls.  This is true in the genetic world, where promoters and repressors steer the expression of genes in a complex dance.  Our immune systems are not going to sit idly by when everything is sterile.  Needing stimulation and direction, they will practice on the body’s own cells, like bored firefighters setting the fire station on fire.  What’s needed in this view is balance, not isolation.    Our bodies are already covered inside and out with bacteria and other organisms, so encounters with more of them is only a matter of degree.  The microorganisms, fungi and worms in a new environment may act as alarms to keep our bodies ready.  Perhaps they even inject information needed for the body to adapt to the new environment.  They only become problematic when they swamp the body’s ability to react – perhaps because the immune response was not adequately exercised during development.  Allergies, in this view, are an over-reaction to things that should have been encountered in childhood.    These are mere suggestions that need more rigorous investigation.  The hygiene hypothesis cannot explain everything.  Plagues often ravage tribes close to nature as much as they do city dwellers.  Some parasites are nasty in any environment.  Maybe some of them had a useful function once but mutated into pathogens.  Whatever the balance point, cleanliness is still virtuous.  Didn’t we learn that from Joseph Lister?  (See last month’s Scientist of the Month).  All good suggestions need moderation.  Continue to shower and wash your hands.    The idea humans need exposure to organisms in natural environments makes sense, though.  Would some hospital patients recover faster in gardens open to fresh air?  Would incidence of allergies drop with more exposure to nature in childhood?  Is working the earth in gardening and farming good for health?  These seem like proper subjects for controlled experimentation and long-term population studies.  Meanwhile, it’s a good bet to increase your outdoor exposure.  Jog outdoors when you can instead of going to the gym.  Take your kids camping; go on hikes and visit a variety of outdoor environments.  This is unquestionably a better strategy for long-term health than parking them in front of the TV or video games with a bag of junk food.  This is a one principle both creationists and evolutionists should be able to agree on.(Visited 39 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Gift of the Givers 25 years of philanthropy: Dr Livan Meneses-Turino

first_imgIn a series of five articles, we share stories from Gift of the Givers volunteers in their own words as the organisation marks its 25th year of serving humanity. Dr Livan Meneses-Turino is an orthopaedic surgeon and in this, the final article, he describes Gift of the Givers as a family. He joined in 2010, and has never regretted serving mankind.Dr Livan Meneses-Turino with children he helped in the Philippines. (Image: Gift of the Givers)Sulaiman PhilipDr Livan Meneses-Turino: HOD of Orthopaedic Surgery in Northdale Hospital, PietermaritzburgWe are very often faced with decisions that are considered life or death. I hope and pray that those decisions are forgiven.In Haiti, we were faced with many casualties needing urgent attention. I remember a young man who had been trapped under the rubble. His left arm was severly damaged. Dr Duwayne Carlson, an American orthopaedic surgeon, spent the entire night trying to save his limb but could not stop the bleeding. My team mate, Dr Johnny de Beer, decided to perform an amputation of the patient’s upper limb to save his life. Carlson was devastated, but we prayed together and he came to understand that our mission involved the need to make aggressive decisions quickly to save lives.I came to South Africa from Cuba in 2001 as part of a programme to bring Cuban doctors to work in areas where doctors were scarce. My first mission with Gift of the Givers was to Haiti in 2010, and I’ve been a part of this family since then and have never regretted a single minute spent serving our fellow humans.In Palestine, volunteers got to teach surgical methods that had never been practiced there before, (Image: Gift of the Givers)I am a trauma doctor and orthopaedic surgeon, these are my modest skills, but I have been an assistant nurse, organiser, handyman. Like everyone else, I am there to do whatever is needed on a mission.Dr Meneses-Turino at work saving lives in Nepal. (Image: Gift of the Givers)If I am away from the hospital, whether I’m on holiday or abroad at conferences or congresses, I let Imtiaaz know so he can contact me in case of emergencies. My bags are always ready because I am among the first group that goes. I save my leave days to use for missions, but if I am called, my management board and colleagues are quick to back me. It is always difficult to leave our families behind but it is our duty to serve, and we could not do it without the help and understanding of the people around us.Its something I see with Gift of the Givers, we give without expecting anything in return. We serve, no we are blessed, to have a leader like Dr Sooliman who was sent from above. [He] is the most humble and dedicated person I have ever come across.I learnt in Haiti that to be succesful in what we do we need to be organised and prepared, and not just from a professional perspective but psychologically and spiritually as well, and Dr Sooliman is the calm centre that makes that possible.I pray that I am given the strength to continue to serve. Not only because we offer assistance where and whenever it is needed, but also because I learn so much and we leave behind a legacy. Going to Palestine in 2014 was one of the best things that has happened to me. There were 100 volunteers and I was one of only 10 that were allowed to enter. I was able to train Palestinian surgeon on how to do a pelvic surgery, a skill that had never been developed there.Dr Meneses-Turino in Nepal after the earthquake. (Image: Gift of the Givers)Another example came from our service in Nepal after the earthquake in 2015. When we arrived we found that surgeons were struggling with the number of casualties suffering from pelvic fracture injuries. Pelvic surgery is my sub speciality, so we decied the best way forward was to teach local surgeons how to treat this trauma. In the beginning we operated together with Nepalese surgeons, but soon they were doing cases on their own. I was at the European Federation of National Associations of Orthopaedics and Traumatology (EFORT) Congress in Austria this year and saw a paper about pelvic and acetabular surgery  written by doctors from the Nepal Medical College Teaching Hospital in Kathmandu. That was such a heartwarming surprise.Our first profile was on medical co-ordinator, Dr YM Essack. Click here to read more.To find out how beekeeper, Owen Williams, has contributed to the organisation, click here.Emily Thomas, who works in logitistics at Gift of the Givers shares her story.Ahmed Bham is the head of search and rescue. Read his story here.The Gift of the Givers volunteers consider themselves part of one large family. (Image: Gift of the Givers)Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

How The Rays Are Surprising Baseball Again

The Tampa Bay Rays are not supposed to be in first place in the AL East. Since 2008, the Rays have never ranked higher than 20th in payroll. This season, the Rays opened with a payroll $176 million less than the Red Sox and $144 million less than the Yankees. There are underdogs and then there are the Rays.Yet, it’s a few weeks into the 2019 season, and the Rays are still in first place. And our projections predict that they’ll be a playoff team. It’s still early, of course, and the Rays’ hot start could cool as more games are played — and they did take a tumble over the weekend against the Red Sox. But they’ve been so successful — going into the weekend, their pitching staff had the lowest ERA and fielding-independent pitching in the majors and no lineup was making more quality contact, for example — that it’s worth trying to make sense of how the Rays are defying the odds. It’s not just homegrown talent and innovative strategies propelling them this year, though the defensive shifts and the reliever openers are still happening. Instead, they’ve found yet another way to win: They’re getting more out of other clubs’ players.Their top two and three of their top six position players this season were acquired from teams via trade during the last calendar year, and the 2.5 wins above replacement (WAR), according to FanGraphs’ measurement, of those three accounts for almost half of the Rays’ position player total. And their top pitcher to date, Tyler Glasnow, was acquired in the same July 31 trade with the Pittsburgh Pirates that brought them their best position player, Austin Meadows.1Meadows was placed on the injured list Sunday with a thumb strain.“We feel very strongly about our ability to get the best out of guys,” Chaim Bloom, Tampa’s vice president of baseball operations, told FiveThirtyEight last summer.Two of those guys — third baseman Yandy Diaz, acquired in a December trade, and Glasnow — provide a glimpse into what the Rays might be doing right, and why this surprising start might be sustainable. Prior to arriving in Tampa, Diaz was known for an excellent batting eye and elite exit velocity. From 2017-18, among batters to put at least 200 balls in play, Diaz ranked 13th in average exit velocity (91.7 mph). But that didn’t translate to power as well as we might have expected. He hit only one home run in 299 plate appearances in Cleveland and had the fourth-lowest launch angle among that same cohort, at 1.9 degrees. (The MLB average this season is 12.3 degrees.) Diaz was pounding ground balls into the turf too often. With the Pirates last season, Glasnow, a once highly touted prospect, found himself in a long-relief role. He had lost his command and his confidence. What the Rays acquired at the trade deadline was a struggling pitcher, but one with intriguing underlying skills: a sharp breaking ball and a fastball that ranked at the top of the “perceived velocity”2Perceived velocity combines actual velocity with extension, or how closely a pitcher releases the ball toward home plate. leaderboard since his debut. Glasnow’s average fastball of 96.7 mph looks like it’s going 99.3 mph because he releases the ball, on average, 7.6 feet in front of the pitching rubber. (He ranks first in the majors in perceived velocity this season.) The data-heavy Rays began with a simple message to Glasnow: Trust that your fastball will still work in the strike zone.“I tried to express to him that he could be really aggressive in the strike zone,” Rays pitching coach Kyle Snyder said. “The guy is 6-foot-8. He throws the ball from 52 and a half feet [from home plate]. He’s an upper 90s guy. It’s an all-power, no-art approach. I just think the more he understood that the hitter in the box had to respect the fastball and cheat to it, the better the breaking ball was going to be.”Glasnow’s share of pitches thrown within the strike zone has increased by 4.7 percentage points this season, the 24th greatest improvement in the majors, just behind teammate and reigning AL Cy Young winner Blake Snell. While it’s early, Glasnow has also had the sixth-greatest decline in walk rate in the sport (5.9 percentage points).Glasnow said the team also wanted him to focus on keeping his fastball elevated and his curveball down, while throwing the latter more frequently.While he and the Pirates had agreed in 2018 to change his approach to one similar to what the Rays are espousing, Glasnow said it was hard to alter how he had thrown since being drafted in 2011. “The [Pirates] were very down in the zone, downhill angle,” he told FiveThirtyEight last September.The Rays reinforced how his elevated fastball and 12-to-6 breaking curve could play together by sharing the same path, or tunnel, before the curveball breaks downward. Making the pitches look similar as they approached the plate would create confusion for batters.“Tunneling is important,” Glasnow said. “It’s definitely more of an emphasis here.”Consider the pitches working in tandem against the White Sox on April when Glasnow struck out 11 over six scoreless innings. His elevated fastball: But the Rays had a plan to get more out of all their batters, particularly those with Diaz’s tendencies. During spring training this year in Port Charlotte, Florida, hitting coach Chad Mottola and the Rays came up with an idea for a practice constraint: They were going to build an on-field wall.They didn’t have what they needed at the spring facility, so they sent a truck 90 miles up I-75 to Tropicana Field, their major league home, to commandeer the netting typically used to shield players and coaches during batting practice. The next morning during batting practice, Rays hitters found a barrier of netting on the infield. They were asked to hit over it — to lift and pull the ball. Another issue last season: Diaz hit 57.1 percent of balls in the air to the opposite field, the fourth-highest mark in the league. That’s not conducive to power: Leaguewide this season, 33.4 percent of fly balls hit to the pull side have gone for homers but just 5.2 percent of those hit to the opposite field.It’s not an ideal batted-ball profile for a player who, well, has muscles like these: “He was never given the opportunity with Cleveland in a way he thought he deserved,” Mottola said. “Letting him know he’s going to be in the lineup no matter how he plays today, that makes you a better player immediately.”This season, the Rays have the second-lowest share of balls hit to the opposite field. (They had the highest share last season.) The Rays rank second in the majors in average exit velocity (90.3 mph), up from 26th last season (87.0 mph). It’s still early, of course, but those are marked changes.The wall — or something — appears to be working. And his whiff-generating curveball, which currently ranks fifth in vertical movement and 15th in swing-and-miss rate among pitchers who have thrown at least 50 curves, falling below the zone: “I saw it on the internet,” Mottola said of the practice, similar to what the University of Iowa called The Great Wall of Groundball Prevention in 2016. “I said, ‘Why don’t we just do it?’ At the major league level, it wasn’t anything more than a conversion starter. For younger kids, it was a way to stimulate thoughts more than anything.”This spring, the Rays’ Great Wall of Groundball Prevention evolved to focus not just on trying to get the ball in the air but also on getting the ball in the air to batters’ pull side. The team also used pitching machines to produce velocity and spin more like what batters would see in actual games.The Rays wanted to move the point at which hitters contacted the ball to out in front of the plate, which would allow them to pull the ball better, Mottola said. After all, that’s where the most power is generated. When Mottola began his coaching career in the Toronto organization in the late 2000s, he watched as Jose Bautista was taught to change his focus and try to pull everything. He became a star.Whether because of the wall or something else, Diaz has changed the way he’s hitting this season. After an offseason of focus on contact point with the Rays, he’s now pulling 41.4 percent of batted balls, up from 28.9 percent last season — the 26th greatest increase in the sport. He’s hit five home runs in 89 plate appearances so far.Diaz never pulled a home run in Cleveland. He has done so three times in Tampa. Glasnow is first in the AL in ERA (1.53) so far this year after posting a 5.79 ERA in his two-plus seasons in Pittsburgh.Glasnow and Diaz have made what appear to be real skill gains since arriving in Tampa. Of course, the sample size remains small early his season, and they will have to prove that their starts are sustainable. But if the Rays are indeed spinning developmental gold, the team may have landed on a path to long-term success.Check out our latest MLB predictions. read more