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Run by The Trentonian's Nick Peruffo, this blog will provide daily multimedia coverage of the Trenton Thunder.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Some notes about Manny's mechanics and the mental side of Venditte's early-season struggles

After eight games on the road, there's obviously going to be a fair amount of ground to cover in the clubhouse. Today is no exception. Here's what various members of the Thunder had to say:

Pitching coach Tommy Phelps, on Manny Banuelos' mechanics, and how they've affected his control this season:

"He's just getting late with his separation and his rhythm's off. (We're) just trying to get his tempo a little quicker and get some rhythm in his delivery so he can be more natural and be like he used to be. Sometimes he gets real slow and deliberate, and it gets too mechanical and he can't let his natural ability take over."

On whether the problems mechanically are causing his command issues this season:

"I think so. ... Even last year, he didn't command the ball really well. He threw a lot of strikes, but there's a difference between commanding and throwing strikes. He's starting to get really good to the glove side of the plate, which is good for a pitcher. His arm side's getting better; a lot of times his ball will run off the plate, but he's getting better at commanding the fastball."

Phelps, on Pat Venditte's mental struggles and how a pitching coach deals with that side of the game:

"That's a part you deal with. It's not just mechanics, curveball, fastball; there's a lot of mental aspects that are a part of it. I think it's just him getting comfortable and realizing his stuff is good enough here to get hitters out, as it was at every other level."

"You support him and you give him positive feedback. Keep pushing him in the right direction, and when he starts having success, the confidence naturally comes right after that. It's just a matter of him getting out there and getting the opportunities and doing it over and over again. He's going to have success with his stuff, and he's a great competitor."

"Even when he was a struggling he was a hard worker. Now that he's having success, he's working hard or harder. His focus and his determination is second to none and he comes to work to get prepared every day to get himself better, and it shows in the way he's pitching."

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