Catcher works on throws to mound

Updated: May 14, 2010, 6:03 PM ET
By Richard Durrett | ESPNDallas.com

Texas Rangers catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia is having difficulty throwing the ball to the mound consistently. It's the main reason he's still at Triple-A Oklahoma City and not in the majors.

"He's working very hard to get over it," said Scott Servais, Rangers director of player personnel. "He's healthy, but he has to get used to throwing after surgery. Pitchers go through the same thing. He has to fight through that mental block, too."

A report on the Oklahoma RedHawks website noted that Saltalamacchia caught last Tuesday's game and that "12 throws back to the pitcher landed either short of the mound or in center field."

The story said five of those throws came in the first inning.

"He's frustrated, but he is focused on getting through it," Servais said. "And I know he will. I don't know when, but he'll get through it. You have to fight every day, and he's doing that."

Servais said he's seen other players, mainly pitchers, deal with a similar problem following surgeries and after time they figured out the proper mechanics to make a consistent throw.

"Everything feels good," Saltalamacchia told okcredhawks.com. "My throws have been good down to second. We've been working on different arm angles, getting on top of the ball more rather than getting on the side. So everything's going smoothly and we'll see where it goes."

Hitting the ball hasn't been a problem at Oklahoma City. Saltalamacchia is batting .343 with three homers and nine RBIs with five doubles. He has a .952 OPS.

Richard Durrett covers the Rangers for ESPNDallas.com. You can follow him on Twitter or leave a question for his weekly mailbag.

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