Tucker Davidson improves control with new delivery, but Angels lose to Rangers – Press Telegram

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ARLINGTON, Texas – Tucker Davidson returned to the mound with a new look, and the results were encouraging.

The Angels gave the 26-year-old left-hander a few extra days between starts because they wanted to rework his pitch to improve his control.

Davidson was hitless through five innings for the first time in 16 major league games. Davidson left with the Angels trailing by one run, but the Angels’ bullpen faltered late Wednesday night in a 7-2 loss to the Texas Rangers.

Davidson, 26, is among a handful of pitchers the Angels are evaluating for a role next year, either as rotation depth or in the bullpen. While there is certainly evidence that he has what it takes to be a big league pitcher, one of the main concerns has been his control.

Davidson has struck out 6.3 batters per nine innings this season, contributing to his 6.96 ERA. He only struck out on 60% of his pitches, below the major league average of around 63%.

With his old delivery, Davidson started with his shoulders square to the plate. When he started winding, he turned his body 90 degrees and then went home.

The Angels got Davidson to start with his lead shoulder already pointed toward home plate as if he were pitching from a stretch. He did take a small step back during the windup, but overall there was much less movement in his new delivery.

“My shoulders turn so much to first base, then I’m throwing behind the left fielder and I have to cross over,” Davidson said. “It’s just not easy to replicate the mechanism of this. I feel like it’s a little lighter, holds my direction a little better.”

In his first outing with the new mechanics, he threw 69% of his pitches for strikes. He’s also seen slight increases in velocity with both his fastball and slider, which is his primary pitch.

“I think the walks and the strikeout percentage showed (the new delivery worked),” Davidson said. “It’s something we’re going to continue to build, but we’re making great progress. A new supply will be profitable for me. It kind of simplifies things.”

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