Following his first start, Jays’ lefthander Ricky Romero talked about adding more sinkers after taking a year off that pitch, in which he won just nine games. In the wake of his initial spring outing, righthander Josh Johnson spoke of experimenting with a “comeback sinker.” What’s with all the tinkering? After all, these guys are established big-league pitchers.
Is pitching coach Pete Walker OK with the veteran changes?
“There is a balance but these are major-league pitchers that have been out there and they’ve had some success,” Walker said. “They’ve also had some failures and they know that to pitch for a long time in this game, they have to make adjustments. They may be a totally different pitcher 10 years from when they started, as far as incorporating new pitches, subtracting other pitches.”
Romero, in his post-game press briefing on Tuesday, spoke of the input that locker neighbour and close friend Brandon Morrow had given in terms of Ricky’s percentages of sinkers thrown between 2011 and 2012. The numbers were a shock to Romero and now give him hope for a rebound. Is that outside input considered poaching the duties of the pitching coach?
“I think over time, you learn a lot about yourself as a pitcher and there are certain times in your career you have to make some adjustments,” Walker said. “For Ricky, it’s really just going back to his grass roots. It’s him just using that sinker a little bit more. Brandon made a great point in some of the numbers and after researching ourselves, we definitely could see a significant difference.”
Blue Jays spring training: Pitching coach Pete Walker likes veteran changes
Toronto Star | Feb 27