Orioles' Erbe Looks To Calm Violent Delivery
SARASOTA, Fla.—When analyzing his delivery, young righthander Brandon Erbe decided it was time to end the violence.
Erbe spent the winter concentrating on refining his mechanics, often times working without a ball. And he made a fast impression on manager Dave Trembley during bullpen sessions leading to the first exhibition game.
"Boy, that was something," Trembley said. "He threw 35 pitches and he didn't throw two that were above the knees. Everything was down. He's really cleaned up his delivery a lot."
It didn't happen by accident.
"I've kind of been working on it for the past couple years, really, but this offseason was the first time I was really able to convert it to being on the mound and not have to think about it constantly," said Erbe, the 22-year-old graduate of McDonogh School in Baltimore who was 5-3, 2.34 with 62 strikeouts in 73 innings at Double-A Bowie last season.
"When I've done it in the past, I've been able to control it in the bullpen, but games is when the adrenaline starts taking over and I'd have trouble again. This past winter I spent a lot of time working on it getting to be muscle memory."
Erbe described his past delivery as "pretty violent," and blamed it on the health issues that have slowed his progression.
"I literally would jump both feet off the mound in some situations," he said. "I've been trying to limit that and stay smoother toward the plate, especially with the way my delivery was. It would cause a lot of injuries and everything. I'm trying to smooth it out. So far it's been going pretty well, but I think the true test will be once the games start and the adrenaline picks up a little bit. I have to keep it calm."
Erbe didn't have much luck in his first outing, allowing three runs in one inning, but he'll have plenty of time to make up for it.
Erbe might be assigned to Bowie again, considering the logjam that figures to clog the Triple-A Norfolk rotation. He might have to wait for a promotion, but he certainly can force the issue—without using violence.
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• The Orioles summoned second baseman Ryan Adams from their minor league camp when they began running low on middle infielders. Besides losing Turner and Brian Roberts to a herniated disk, they also had to scratch shortstop Cesar Izturis from the lineup because of a sore throat.