Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Brett Tomko Pulls A Zito

In an effort to make the starting rotation, Dodger Brett Tomko has changed his mechanics this offseason. And we're not talking about his auto mechanics.

Brett Tomko is one of several pitchers trying to become the Dodgers' fifth starting pitcher. His quest began in December when he decided to overhaul his mechanics. Hours of shadow-pitching, watching himself in the mirror and playing catch with friends may finally be paying off. The veteran right-hander, who started 15 games for the Dodgers last season, thinks that his new windup will help him become a starting pitcher again.

"He's made some adjustments in his mechanics, and we saw some significant difference in it," manager Grady Little said. "We saw that there is a considerable amount of deception added to his delivery. It's much better than what we saw at any time last year."

The deception in Tomko's case was nothing more than altering the movement of his pitching arm. Rather than holding his arm -- and the ball -- away from his body during his windup, he now keeps everything behind his body until it's time for the delivery.

The deception? With tact? Just what are you trying to say? (Sorry about that digression; one thing lead(s) to another.) Although the foxsports.com article goes on to say that Mark Hendrickson "arrived in camp with newfound confidence" as well, I'd wager that Tomko's chances are more likely than Hendrickson's. Let's hope that Tomko's changes, if improvements, last longer than Barry Zito's experiment did.