Avoiding tipping his hand

Spring Training is a time to work on things, make corrections and prepare for the regular season.

For Leo Nunez, it’s also time to figure out something glaring he has been doing wrong.

leo-nunez-46-2009-mlb-florida-marlins.jpgA couple of days ago in Fort Myers, pitching coach Randy St. Claire pointed out that the Marlins closer has been tipping his pitches. Basically, but his glove positioning, Nunez was telegraphing when he would throw his fastball and changeup.

In looking at video from this spring and last year, it seems Nunez had been getting into this habit.

“It’s something I’m working on every day,” Nunez said. “For my changeup, I’m a little bit here [by his belt]. And my fastball, I’m a little here [glove closer to his face]. I have to do everything the same.”

St. Claire picked up on something being possibly wrong on March 11, when the Marlins faced the Cardinals. Entering in a save situation, Nunez gave up five runs (three earned) in two-thirds of an inning.

“I have to do everything the same, with my changeup, fastball and slider,” Nunez said. “I’m working every day.”

In terms of how he is throwing the ball, Nunez is doing fine. His fastball is gaining life, and his changeup is considered an “out pitch.” He says his slider is also coming along.

“Every day I’m working on my slider,” he said. “Every day it is getting better.”

Nunez has made six appearances in Spring Training, and he’s lined up for a few more outings, including working a two-inning stint before Opening Day on April 5 against the Mets in New York.

— Joe Frisaro


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