Sinkbeil adjusting to bullpen

A new role has given Brett Sinkbeil a new comfort level.

Formerly a starter, the 25-year-old right-hander was switched from the rotation to the bullpen last season. The change improved his results.

At Triple-A New Orleans in 2009, Sinkbeil made 39 relief appearances, and his ERA was 2.94. He did struggle with consistently throwing strikes — as he struck out 28 and walked 26 in 49 innings. As a starter, he was 1-5 with a 10.59 ERA.

Sinkbeil, the Marlins’ first-round pick in 2006, is competing for a bullpen spot in Marlins Spring Training.

The organization feels Sinkbeil’s stuff works better out of the bullpen, where he is focusing on throwing two pitches instead of three. As a starter, the lack of a consistent third pitch hurt him as he went through the order.

For now, he has scrapped using the changeup, and he primarily throws a fastball (including a sinker) and slider.

“Last year we got my direction going towards the plate better,” Sinkbeil said. “We made some changes.”

The biggest adjustment to throwing out of the bullpen is being prepared every day, instead of pitching every fifth day.

“As a starter, pitching every five days, you have four days in between,” Sinkbeil said. “That was the biggest adjustment, doing my workouts, so I would be ready to go every day. That and you don’t have to worry about saving pitches for later in the game. You just give them your best stuff. You don’t have to hold back. It’s easier to get hitters out, because you’re not trying to set hitters up for future at-bats.”

— Joe Frisaro


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