May 11, 2007

Lo Duca's New Groove

Marty Noble at, writes about Paul Lo Duca and his new mechanics:

Lo Duca had changed the course of the game almost before a course had been charted. With his newly refurbished weapon, he had denied a stolen base for the eighth and ninth times this season. Runners have been successful against him merely six times in 15 attempts. Lo Duca has thwarted 60 percent of attempts; that's Yadier Molina territory -- and beyond.

It's a percentage no catcher is likely to maintain -- unless Andy Pettitte or Tippy Martinez are the pitchers every day. No matter, Lo Duca is in the throws of a renaissance. He threw out 27 of 111 would-be base stealers last season -- 24 percent. Mike Piazza territory.

"Ramon, Tommy and I worked on it a lot in Spring Training," Lo Duca said, referring to his understudy, Ramon Castro, and catching instructor Tom Nieto. "I feel comfortable, my arm feels healthy and the pitchers are doing a good job holding on the runners. I don't think it's arm strength. I'm just trying to be more consistent.

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