Former Giants Ace Schmidt Struggles In Return

By: AP Email
By: AP Email

PHOENIX (AP) - Jason Schmidt had a wild time on the mound Friday.

Trying to secure a spot in the Los Angeles Dodgers rotation after missing 1½ seasons due to shoulder operations, Schmidt threw only 10 of 21 pitches for strikes Friday in a morning "B" game against the Chicago White Sox.

He left after a four-pitch walk to Jermaine Dye, his second walk of the outing. He got just two outs, one a strikeout of Jim Thome.

"It was not that good, obviously," Schmidt said. "I don't want to say I expected that, but it's kind of been that way playing catch all spring. I'm having a hard time finding the command I'm looking for. It's just arm speed right now. I have to get to a point where I can find a comfortable position and the right arm slot to get my arm out a little bit quicker. That's not happening right now."

Schmidt said the soreness he felt a day after his first 11-pitch outing on Monday went away quickly in the following days.

"Everything I'm doing is still old mechanics from when I was throwing hard," he said. "When the ball isn't coming out like it used to, you have to find another way. I'm going to start digging some (film) out. I don't think it should be a huge adjustment. It's either going to work, or it's not."

At least Schmidt is focusing on mechanics instead of medical issues. Since signing a $47 million, three-year contract with the Dodgers, he has gone 1-4 in six starts - and none at all since June 16, 2007.

"It's nice to be able to go out there be pain-free and now I can go home and sleep at night," he said.

Manager Joe Torre said Schmidt looked a little unsure on the mound.

"He's thinking about mechanics, and sometimes you over-think that stuff," Torre said. "The last thing you want to do, whether you're a pitcher or a hitter, is think about your mechanics when you're out there."

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