During his first session facing hitters on Monday, Diamondbacks right-hander Braden Shipley broke out his new delivery. Well, actually, it’s an old delivery. Either way, he says he feels more comfortable and plans to stick with it for the season.
Shipley is now pausing at the top of his delivery before driving toward home plate, a timing mechanism that’s reminiscent of what some Japanese pitchers often do.
Shipley said he was doing it a few years ago but it wasn’t as long of a pause back then.
“It’s helped me get gathered and get into my back side a little bit more,” Shipley said. “I feel a lot better. I feel like I’m throwing harder. I’m able to get down the hill without feeling rushed getting down the hill.”
He said part of the impetus for the change was that his mechanics were inconsistent from start-to-start last year.
“One time out, my mechanics would be great; I’d pitch really well,” he said. “Then the next time they’d be off and everything would blow up in my face. I just kind of went back to what I’d done before, with my old mechanics, and wanted to stick with that.”
Shipley, who was the club’s top prospect entering last season, posted a 5.27 ERA in 70 innings in the big leagues last year. He’s competing for a spot in the rotation this spring but, at this point, appears to be on the outside looking in.
Reach Piecoro at (602) 444-8680 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @nickpiecoro.