DeSalvo Working On Recapturing Control

DeSalvo has a 1.96 ERA this month

Matt DeSalvo has been one of the most reliable starters for the Scranton Yankees in 2007, and his consistency has made him the top candidate to make emergency starts for the Yankees this season, warranting three promotions to the majors. But with every call-up, DeSalvo's control and overall effectiveness has diminished.

With only a few starts left in the season, DeSalvo is focusing on polishing his command in order to ensure that he gets a long look next year in Spring Training.

"I've been up to the big leagues three times this season," said Matthew DeSalvo. "Every time I go up, I've thrown better I think. I've slowly adjusted and learned more things each time up; I think I pitched better games the last two starts specifically."

DeSalvo's most recent start with the New York Yankees yielded four earned runs, but for the first time in his seven major league starts, DeSalvo struck out more batters than he walked.

His start was promising, but because he was only promoted to start one of the games in a weekend double-header, DeSalvo was optioned back to Triple-A Scranton where he struggled in his next two starts, giving up nine runs and 12 hits in a combined 10 and two-thirds innings pitched.

"My control is coming along, but during my last start in New York, I kind of lost it in that last inning. It kind of followed, or carried over with me during my first two starts here."

"Coming back to the minors after a call-up, you start to think to yourself, that you may not get another opportunity. You have to try to put that in hindsight and just play because if you think about that to much, you may not get that chance," said DeSalvo.

"So, my first two starts back were a little rocky. I just had to get my bearings straight, and gather my thoughts with what I still want to accomplish this year. I want to reevaluate myself and improve going forward," he added.

When asked what the key was to recapturing his success at the Triple-A level, DeSalvo instantly answered: "I have to work on keeping the ball down."

DeSalvo's immense repertoire and above average control of his offspeed pitchers are typically his strengths as a starting pitcher, so when his command falters, he is an inefficient pitcher.

"Out of one to ten, my control on my pitches right now feels like an eight. I've been better, but I'm not throwing garbage. My control, and my changeup, has kept me in games. I've thrown worse, but something feels sort of off."

The comfort and confidence are there, so perhaps DeSalvo' control problems may very well be an issue of mechanics.

"I feel comfortable, but the control is not all there yet. It's like a slump for a hitter. Your mechanics feel awkward or foreign to you, or your form feels wrong."

"Instead of working at the knees, you work a few inches up, and that little bit of elevation will hurt you. Guys will start hitting you harder instead of beating the pitch into the ground."

"I just have to get myself calibrated; keeping throwing at the knees and get my offspeed stuff working better and I'll be fine," he added.

DeSalvo seems to have recaptured his command. In his last three starts, DeSalvo has thrown a combined eighteen and one-third innings, while only allowing four earned runs and seven walks. He struck out 14 during that span.

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