Black Turning It Around

Black has a 1.54 ERA in his last three games

Despite a promising 6-0 record and a 1.62 ERA with the Staten Island Yankees last season, pitcher Sean Black has gotten off to a slow start with the Charleston RiverDogs. Although Black's performance this season has been quite contradictory of last season's performance, he has maintained a tough mentality and is working hard to improve his game.

Black's mechanics have consistently been one of his strengths as a pitcher prior to 2010, however, he believes that his inability to get comfortable with those mechanics have been a leading contributor to his struggling season.

"What hasn't been working well this season is mechanically getting into new things that I've been doing since Instructs, so it's my first time really transferring them over into a game," Sean Black said. "But getting comfortable with those mechanical changes is something that I'm finally starting to feel is coming along."

Working closely with pitching coach Jeff Ware is something Black says has been helping him pinpoint exactly what his problems are.

"Jeff Ware has been real helpful with looking at me mechanically, going over video of games with me, and going over all of that every week and having him critique me has been really helping me," he said.

Early in the season, Ware felt that Black's biggest issue was his command; he wasn't able to throw strikes, he was walking a lot of hitters, and he was pitching behind in the count. As Black has improved his strikeout pitches, Ware is now working with Black on other problem areas.

"He's got great mechanics, he's able to do great things with his mechanics. His release point is just kind of what's been out of whack," Ware said. "Basically the biggest issues are working on his release point and cleaning up his delivery.

"His front shoulder was flying open, so to speak, and causing a lot of misses to go to his arm side. So we've got him staying closed more, finishing out over his front leg better, working more downhill, so he's creating a better downward angle with his fastball," Ware said.

Despite the poor performance Black has exhibited thus far, he believes that through working hard to improve his problem areas, he will be able to advance through the system. In his recent starts, he has felt a level of comfort that was not present during his first several starts.

"My mechanics have been coming along a lot better, the last two times out I've felt much better than I did in my first four or five starts," he said prior to Friday's victory.

Black noted that there is one thing needed in order to stop struggling and begin a successful second half of the season: consistency.

"Being consistent with everything and having more help in the bullpen sides and going out there and consistently bringing that to every outing, I think will definitely help me work my way up. And having that command to get in front of hitters to get that strikeout pitch is something that needs to happen," Black said.

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