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Jarrod Saltalamacchia is having trouble throwing the ball back to the pitcher

May 13, 2010, 4:47 PM EDT

Jarrod Saltalamacchia has had all kinds of problems stemming from Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, which is a condition that causes arm and hand numbness. He underwent surgery to correct the problem, which involved the removal of a rib, and the Rangers demoted him to the minors after he struggled to come back.
Saltalamacchia has hit exceptionally well at Triple-A, batting .343 with a .952 OPS in 18 games, but his throwing issues have snowballed to the point that he’s now having trouble simply getting the ball back to the pitcher. Here’s more from Bob Hersom of

In Salty’s last game, Tuesday night at AT&T Bricktown Ballpark, 12 of his throws back to the pitcher landed either short of the mound or in center field. He had five errant throws in the first inning alone.

“He’s just got to keep playing until he gets it right,” RedHawks manager Bobby Jones said. “I don’t know what else to do. It’s a shame. It’s definitely what’s keeping him here. He’s blocking the ball well and swinging the bat well. He’s just got to figure it out. It’s a shame.”

Saltalamacchia has repeatedly said that the latest throwing problems are unrelated to his initial injury and his throws to second base on steal attempts have apparently been just fine, which seems to indicate that this is a mental issue rather than a physical one. Whatever the case hopefully he can get past it, because the one-time top prospect has already had enough roadblocks laid in front of him.

  1. Rohan Sadagopal - May 13, 2010 at 5:12 PM

    Obviously the coaches haven’t seen Major League 2

  2. McKludge - May 13, 2010 at 5:15 PM

    Maybe he should take some pointers from Rube Baker.

  3. YANKEES1996 - May 13, 2010 at 5:16 PM

    I believe the proper course of action for this type of problem is for him to read, memorize and recite the Victoria’s Secret catalog.

  4. CG - May 13, 2010 at 9:20 PM

    I used to catch, never at this level obviously, but I went through a similar phase for a few weeks. For me, it was 100% mental. It started as a lapse in attention. With no men on I would get lazy and not pay much attention and throw the ball into the dirt or over the pitchers head. After a while, it stopped being laziness and it seemed like I just couldn’t always get the right release point for such a simple throw. It got in my head and it kept happening. My throws to second, or occasionally third were fine, but not to the pitcher. “He’s just got to keep playing until he gets it right,” That is exactly what worked for me.

  5. Art Vandeley - May 14, 2010 at 2:18 AM

    The ghost of Mackey Sasser has finally returned. Good luck Salty.

  6. BC - May 14, 2010 at 9:01 AM

    He should try what cured Mackey Sasser – fire the ball back to the pitcher at full speed. It took seemingly forever for Sasser to figure things out, once he started doing that it worked.

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