SEATTLE -- Blake Beavan has been a different pitcher since he spent a month with Triple-A Tacoma earlier this season. If that wasn't evident in his four straight wins when he rejoined the big league squad in mid-July, the big right-hander has proven it in his last couple of outings.
Beavan has put together back-to-back gems against his hometown Rangers, allowing two runs in seven innings in Texas a week ago and then spinning seven shutout frames Saturday against the American League West leaders. After a 3-7 start, Beavan has evened his record at 10-10 and lowered his ERA from 6.06 to 4.64.
His recent run of success, says pitching coach Carl Willis, comes from a couple of minor mechanical tweaks. Beavan has incorporated a pause into his windup, which Willis calls a mental reminder. He also has maintained a more consistent arm slot.
"The hugest thing he has improved upon is maintaining his arm slot and maintaining the same delivery, no matter whether he's throwing a fastball or throwing a curveball or throwing a slider," Willis said. "Earlier in the year, we worked on trying to do that, maintain that. It's difficult to do things here sometimes when you're trying to go out there and win and compete and give 100 percent."
When Beavan was changing his arm slot with different pitches, it allowed savvy big league hitters to pick up on what was coming.
"If they have a good idea what's coming, it makes it really difficult for the guy on the mound," Willis said. "Also, maintaining that same arm slot, that does allow you to have the spin you're looking for. If you have to manipulate or change slots with each individual pitch, it's going to be a lot more difficult to be consistent with those pitches."