Pitching coach Roger McDowell’s camp these next two weeks gives newcomers like reliever George Sherrill a chance to get to know his new teammates and coaches and get comfortable in his new surroundings.
He has more than that on his mind. Sherrill is looking to rebound from an off 2010, which saw his ERA balloon to 6.69 and right-handers hit .427 off him.
Sherrill held left-handers to a .192 batting average but that wasn’t much consolation to the 33-year-old veteran left-hander.
“Just deception-wise was why I was able to get lefties out, but pretty much the whole year I had no clue where it was going,” Sherrill said. “Walks were up a little bit. It was just a constant battle of trying to fix whatever was wrong.”
He walked 24 batters in 36 1/3 innings for the Dodgers, while striking out 25.
Sherrill said he probably tried 10 different arm slots and 20 different sets of mechanics throughout the year. Heading into this year, he hopes to simplify. McDowell has a head start on the plan after watching video comparing his mechanics in LA to when he was with the Orioles, in his better days of 2008 and 2009.
“That’s something that I need because I’m not a video guy,” Sherrill said. “I don’t know what I’m looking at; I don’t know what I’m looking for.”
When he makes adjustments on his own, it’s more by feel, Sherrill said. Either way, he thinks he was at his best with a higher arm slot and a better downward angle.
“I must have gotten away from it last year and couldn’t figure out where the arm slot was supposed to be,” Sherrill said. “Hopefully we can get back to that this year.”