PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Expect Marlins left-hander Adam Conley to pick up the pace with men on base. One noticeable change in his delivery is the increased use of the slide step out of the stretch.Conley tested out the quicker delivery in the second inning on Thursday in the
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Expect Marlins left-hander Adam Conley to pick up the pace with men on base. One noticeable change in his delivery is the increased use of the slide step out of the stretch.
Conley tested out the quicker delivery in the second inning on Thursday in the Marlins' 11-6 loss to the Mets at First Data Field.
The lefty threw two scoreless innings, and was entirely in the full windup until one out in the second when Neil Walker singled. For the next two batters, Conley used the slide step to keep Walker close.
"The biggest thing for me, is it eliminates the thought that I have to put into controlling the running game," Conley said. "That delivery is going to be so much faster that I don't have to worry necessarily about varying my times or anything."
In the past, Conley occasionally used the slide step out of the stretch. Often, it depended on the runner. Even from the stretch, he tended to use more of a leg kick, and occasionally teams would try to exploit that and steal.
"I'll be doing it all the time," Conley said of the slide step. "For me, it's a big adjustment, as far as pitching through that delivery every time, versus being a pitch or two."
With the slide step, Conley basically will set, and pitch with a much lower leg kick.
"We're talking about his whole delivery," manager Don Mattingly said. "It's big. We're just trying to keep him shorter. Last year, it was like he was trying to decide, when to go big, when to go short. We're just staying with that because his stuff didn't really change, so there is no reason not to do it."
Odrisamer Despaigne was lifted with one out in the seventh inning with a potential oblique ailment. The right-hander was showing signs of discomfort on his previous pitches before he was replaced. Despaigne is organizational starting-pitching depth, who is expected to open the season at Triple-A New Orleans.
Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.