Leo’s Busy

Leo Mazzone isn’t wasting any time getting to work in Baltimore

“I think he’s starting to buy into some of the things Leo [Mazzone] has been telling him,” Manager Sam Perlozzo said.

Before Wednesday, Benson had allowed five earned runs in five innings.

“Today was a big step in moving closer to where I need to be,” Benson said.

Benson said he began to think about eliminating his curveball several days ago. After throwing in the bullpen, catcher Brandon Marsters suggested that perhaps Benson focus more on the other two pitches.

“It give me less to worry about,” Benson said.

Benson said he had previously thrown a cutter, but this winter he decided to change his grip on the pitch. When he came to spring training, Mazzone noticed the new grip was similar to that of a former pupil, Chicago Cubs pitcher Greg Maddux, whom Mazzone coached when both were with the Atlanta Braves. Mazzone made a few adjustments and now Benson has the same grip on the cutter as Maddux, a four-time Cy Young Award winner.

“If it works for him, then hopefully it works for me,” Benson said.

And if you have been impressed with Korea’s pitching performance in the WBC, check out this nugget.

Count South Korea as another team that has benefited from Mazzone’s teachings. In early January, Mazzone spent 10 days in Hawaii working with 18 pitchers from South Korea’s team. Now, South Korea’s 1.40 ERA is the lowest among teams in the Classic.

“They’ve got a lot of talent,” Mazzone said.

Mazzone needed the help of several interpreters, saying he never learned how to say “down and away” in Korean.

2 Responses “Leo’s Busy”

  1. Cliff Harpe says:

    Leo will continue to be successful. Let’s hope that the grumbling around the Braves is solely trying to take credit and not a rejection of past practices.

    The South Koreans were obviously able to “get the kinks out” by starting so early. Also, the Sain-Mazzone system works. It takes a dufus not to understand it.

  2. John says:

    Does the Mazzone study control for the pattern of how league-switching pichers enjoy improved performance initially? (The pattern is outlined in this NY Times story– http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/26/sports/baseball/26chass.html ) Thanks. BTW, I like this blog quite a bit.