PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Early in his career, Mike Pelfrey used to keep his glove in front of his chest as he began his windup, allowing him to more easily throw his pitches on a downward plane. He abandoned that practice a few years ago with declining degrees of success, entering the windup with his hands no higher than his belt.
Now, Pelfrey is mimicking his old mechanics to a new extreme. Taking this week's bullpen experiment into Saturday's game against the Cardinals, Pelfrey began raising his glove all the way to the top of his head at the apex of his windup.
"It was easier to get on top of the sinker by doing that," Pelfrey said. "I thought it was great the other day in the 'pen, and it's something that we'll keep working on."
The practice is hardly unique, used by Roy Halladay, Mat Latos and many of the game's other tallest pitchers. Still others, such as CC Sabathia and Josh Johnson, at least hold their gloves up near their chests when pitching from the windup.
Though a few pitches up in the zone still victimized him in Saturday's 6-6 tie with the Cardinals, Pelfrey cited his new mechanics while speaking optimistically about that outing.
"The ball came out great," Pelfrey said. "I felt free and easy. I thought it was a huge step."