Pomeranz hopes to cash in on new life with A's
PHOENIX -- Drew Pomeranz is finally feeling like himself again, confident that his battle with mechanical issues has come to an end.
For too long, he says, they slowed his career, and what better way to show off his new plan of attack than with a new organization?
The A's took a big chance on Pomeranz this winter in acquiring his services from the Rockies at the expense of trading Brett Anderson, and the southpaw is eager to battle for a job on the pitching staff, likely as a long reliever, with a more consistent delivery in tow.
Pomeranz, who was selected fifth overall by Cleveland in the 2010 Draft, was a highly touted prospect when he was traded to Colorado for Ubaldo Jimenez in July 2011. The lefty never got on his feet with the Rockies, though, posting a 5.20 ERA in 34 big league appearances from 2011-13.
"I think if I would've come into camp like I did last year, there'd be a lot more to change," Pomeranz said. "I don't expect to change much this year. I actually feel better this year than I have in a long, long time. Probably better than I did the whole time with Colorado, which is a good thing, because I was struggling to find myself there.
"I have a better plan with my mechanics. I feel like I know what I'm doing a lot more now. I was just searching last year to feel right. Repeating my mechanics was difficult. I was always trying to do something different to make it click."
Pomeranz has already had seven bullpen sessions this Spring Training, but his eighth -- and first in front of the A's brass -- has been delayed a few days, after an infected ingrown leg hair had to be lanced on Saturday.
"Not what I was hoping for the first day," he said, smiling. "The day before I got here, it was bothering me a little bit, and I thought it was something that was going to go away. When I went in for my physical, they said it was something that needed a look at. It was miserable."
Pomeranz was limping badly and even became ill and got a fever from the infection. On Monday, he felt better and said, "It's healing like it's supposed to." In the meantime, he's been playing long toss, hopeful that he can get on the mound as soon as Tuesday.
The A's are eager to see him do so, knowing full well just how much of an asset he has the potential to become.
"He has a lot of upside still," said manager Bob Melvin. "He's only 25. The ability is there. Refining it is our job. Giving him confidence is also our job."
"I'm already feeling more confident," said Pomeranz. "That helps a lot, because you know you are yourself and you don't have to think about what you're doing wrong all the time. If you don't feel right, you're going to try to tweak every pitch, every little thing, things that probably don't even need tweaking."