McAllister Re-Inventing Himself

McAllister lost weight and added pitches

Zach McAllister, known for his plus changeup and great sinking two-seam fastball, has re-invented himself on the mound in some ways by reporting to Spring Training in better shape and armed with two new pitches in an effort to be a more complete pitcher as he gets ready for his first full year of professional baseball.

"Just eating healthy, a lot of running, and working out," Zach McAllister said of losing twenty pounds in the offseason. "It was one thing I really wanted to do, to get in better shape. I felt I came in [to camp] in great shape and hopefully I'll continue it throughout the season."

"I feel like my whole body and my arm are in better shape," he continued. "I feel like I can handle all the running and lifting a lot better than I could last season."

Often physically compared to Phil Hughes, it should be pointed out that Hughes reported to his first Spring Training losing a lot of weight as well back in 2005.

And just like Hughes, the Yankees have McAllister focused on adding a good breaking ball to his arsenal for his first full season.

"Pretty much my curveball has been the biggest thing and adding a four-seamer too," he said of the pitches he is working on the most in Spring Training. "I'll always have my two-seamer so I'm working on the four-seam and the curveball."

"I'm always going to go out there and try to get people out but trying to throw that [the curveball] as much as I could and see what comes along with it."

The early results with his curveball have been nothing short of fantastic. Focused primarily on developing it this spring, the late-breaking action he has been getting with it has been one of the more pleasant surprises in camp.

"I'm really pleased with how my curveball is coming along and the four-seam is coming along great too," McAllister admitted. "I'm just really working hard on the curveball. Those are my big keys this season and just trying to get better mentally and physically too."

While his four-seam fastball hasn't developed as quickly as his curveball, the fact that his breaking ball has come so far in a short period of time should give him another weapon in his arsenal and make him a more complete pitcher as he gets ready to tackle the long-season leagues.

"That's what I'm hoping for," he said of breaking camp with Charleston, "but I'm not sure of anything right now. If I stay back in Extended I'll have to work just as hard so maybe I can go to Charleston. If I go to Charleston, I've got to work hard to stay there. Either way I've got to work hard to go where I want to go."

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