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Andrew Miller is leaving the windup behind (for now)

03.20.12 at 2:53 pm ET
By

Andrew Miller

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Andrew Miller will be entering a whole new world Tuesday night at JetBlue Park. For the first time in his pitching life, he will be solely pitching out of the stretch.

Miller, who was scheduled to come in against the Blue Jays some time after starter Daniel Bard, said the decision to put the windup in the rear-view mirror came after talking to Red Sox pitching coach Bob McClure and manager Bobby Valentine.

“It’s something Bobby believes in. I’m certainly find to go along with it,” Miller said. “Philosophically, I’m not against it. Why do we have the windup. I think my stuff is plenty good out of the stretch, and I’ve had success out of the stretch.

“We talked it after my bullpen the other day. Mac and I did, and then Bobby came in. It’s something they were watching and they felt was something that could help me. … I certainly never started a game and used only the stretch. It makes sense. I can see why it makes sense. It’s one of those things everybody does, so it’s going against the grain a little bit.”

Earlier in camp, Valentine explained his stance on the windup, noting that Hideo Nomo threw a no-hitter while pitching exclusively out of the stretch.

“I’m not a believer in the windup, period. I don’t get it,” said Valentine. “You throw your most important pitches of the game out of the stretch so you have to be more effective out of the stretch. Men are on base when you’re pitching out of the stretch so if that’s where you can throw your best pitches, why are you teaching yourself to throw twice, two different ways?

“It’s a crazy thought but I think if we were just starting the game right now, we wouldn’t teach anybody a windup. You could break a hitters’ rhythm with your stretch if there’s no one on base. You could quick pitch, quick step, you could have a big step. You’re always in the same cadence out of the windup. It’s the easiest thing for a hitter to time. And it’s difficult.”

A day after Valentine’s analysis, McClure explained to WEEI.com’s Alex Speier why pitchers do throw out of the windup.

“Generating power. It’s why guys do it,” said McClure, who noted that the windup allows pitchers to generate power from parts of their body other than their arms, thus reducing stress. “There’s more fluidity, more rhythm, it’s less mechanical. Normally, the windup is so you can get all your body parts moving.”

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