February 25, 2013

Beavan doing work for Mariners

Blake Beavan went 11-11 last season with a 4.43 ERA and 67 strikeouts. This offseason he gave University of Texas pitching coach Skip Johnson a call to work on his throwing angle and take advantage of his 6'7" frame.

And at least for now (He's throwing in spring training and some of  these players will literally be bagging groceries in a few weeks), it looks like he's improved.

Beavan made his spring debut on Saturday against San Diego, tossing two scoreless innings and generating numerous ground balls. One of the first people he phoned after the game was Johnson.

Mariners pitching coach Carl Willis feels Beavan's new throwing angle and ability to repeat his mechanics helped him "hide" the ball from hitters longer in Saturday's game.

"It looked like the ball was getting on the hitter a little quicker," Willis said. "They were having a tougher time getting started than in the past."

Willis cautioned that it's still early spring and pitchers are mostly ahead of hitters. But he says Beavan is now repeating his delivery not only on fastballs, but also on breaking balls as well.

"It's so huge that he's staying in his (arm) slot," Willis said. "Because last year, with breaking pitches, he was a little inconsistent and I think it sometimes tipped off the hitters. Now, everything looks like a fastball until the ball leaves his hands."

Good, now it may not be just Felix out there throwing well.

(To get your Blake Beavan gear, go here.)

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