{}
CLOSE

Now Commenting On:

Hendrickson adds slider to arsenal

|

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Orioles lefty Mark Hendrickson isn't just adopting a new delivery this spring, he's also adding a pitch. Hendrickson, a non-roster invitee who is trying to reinvent himself as a sidearmer, has been throwing a slider for the first time in his career.

"To be honest, I'm a completely different pitcher than anybody's ever seen, because I never threw the slider," Hendrickson said. "I always threw the curveball, but down [in the strike zone], you can kind of mess with some grips and see how it comes out -- slower, firmer. [I'll] talk to Darren [O'Day] and see how he throws stuff down there. I like what I got for feedback as far as the spin today with the couple that I did throw, so that was good."

Hendrickson threw his seventh bullpen session on Thursday since adopting the new approach, and he said his delivery feels very natural despite the short amount of time.

"Obviously there's going to be times I need to kind of incorporate some of the things they're trying, but if you talk to [pitching coach] Rick [Adair], in the first two days I threw in Baltimore, it was exciting to see how quickly I picked up some of the stuff we talked about on Wednesday, and then when I came back and threw on Friday," Hendrickson said. "But the key for me, too, is getting some games where it's just time to compete."

Hendrickson threw to some college hitters over the weekend before reporting to Sarasota and it's possible he might stay at the Spring Training complex when the season starts to continue working on his delivery. Hendrickson could also be assigned to one of the Orioles' affiliates.

"There's probably not a person more excited being here than Mark," manager Buck Showalter said of Hendrickson, who contacted him this winter. "It's not that he missed it, but you can tell that he enjoys it. It's like he's got a new toy. It's kind of like R.A. Dickey. You've got to have failure. It's got to be, 'I can no longer do it.' He knew after a year away that it was over, conventionally the way he was doing it, but he knows that this isn't a one- or two-week tryout. This is something that takes time, and he's willing to do whatever it takes, and we're willing to do what it takes if we think at the end of camp that it's something we want to proceed with.

"I'm not going to say never, but this is a work in progress. You can't just all of a sudden change your arm angle and think you're going to get Major League hitters out consistently."

{}
{}
Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español