Steve McCatty diagnoses John Lannan
All the pertinent parties believe John Lannan is fully healthy, that the physical issues restuling from stiffness in a tendon in his left elbow have vanished. Manager Jim Riggleman, pitching coach Steve McCatty and Lannan himself insist he is fine.
But the injury, McCatty said, may still be affecting Lannan in other ways. McCatty and Lannan watched video this afternoon and noticed Lannan's arm during his delivery was lower than it had been in the past. The adjustment, conscious or not, may have owed to Lannan's lingering concern about his elbow.
"I think that might play a little part of it," McCatty said. "You had that issue, and the one thing you always do is feel for it. When that happens, sometimes you might move a little bit."
Lannan's altered arm angle, which is barely noticeable during live action, does not give Lannan the same "flex and snap" on his sinker, McCatty said. The lack of movement on his sinker has doomed Lannan, who is carrying a 5.45 ERA after consecutive starts of 4 1/3 innings, the first time Lannan allowed at least 10 hits in consecutive starts.
McCatty believes the problem is a combination of Lannan's changed motion and diminished confidence.
"He's trying so hard," McCatty said. "When you're going good, you trust everything you do. That's the way that you stay in a groove, is just by trusting the ball and hitting your spots. When you're confidence isn't real high, sometimes you try to make a better pitch than you have to. You tend to nibble a little or over-turn it, make it sink more. And usually it flattens out. You just got to go out there and battle through it and do what you do.
"When you start to give up some hits, you get that little doubt in there. John will never quit. I know that. There's a lot of baseball left. Two good games in a row, he gets his confidence back and he'll be right where he should be."
June 16, 2010; 6:40 PM ET
Categories: John Lannan , Pitching rotation
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