Saltalamacchia trying to overcome 'yips'

May, 14, 2010
5/14/10
4:38
PM CT
Rangers catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia is having difficulty throwing the ball to the mound consistently. It's a big reason he's still at Triple-A Oklahoma City and not in the majors with the Rangers.

"He's working very hard to get over it," said Scott Servais, Rangers director of player personnel. "He's healthy, but he has to get used to throwing after surgery. Pitchers go through the same thing. He has to fight through that mental block too."

A report on the Oklahoma RedHawks web site noted that Saltalamacchia caught last Tuesday's game and that "12 throws back to the pitcher landed either short of the mound or in center field."

The story said five of those throws came in the first inning.

"He's frustrated, but he is focused on getting through it," Servais said. "And I know he will. I don't know when, but he'll get through it. You have to fight every day and he's doing that."

Servais said he's seen other players, mainly pitchers, deal with a similar problem following surgeries and after time they figured out the proper mechanics to make a consistent throw.

"Everything feels good," Saltalamacchia told okcredhawks.com. "My throws have been good down to second. We've been working on different arm angles, getting on top of the ball more rather than getting on the side. So everything's going smoothly and we'll see where it goes."

Hitting the ball hasn't been a problem. Saltalamacchia is batting .343 with three homers and nine RBIs with five doubles. He has a .952 OPS.
Richard Durrett joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He writes about colleges, the Dallas Stars and the Texas Rangers. Richard spent nine years at The Dallas Morning News covering the Rangers, Stars, colleges, motorsports and high schools.

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Leonys Martin
BA HR RBI R
.315 1 9 4
OTHER LEADERS
HRR. Chirinos 2
RBIL. Martin 9
RE. Andrus 11
OPSS. Choo .827
WM. Perez 3
ERAY. Darvish 0.82
SOY. Darvish 23