Petricka adjusting mechanics on fly after missing spring
White Sox reliever made 2015 debut Wednesday vs. Indians
CHICAGO -- Jake Petricka has some mechanics issues to clean up that were noticeable during his 2015 debut in the ninth inning of Wednesday's victory over the Indians.
Those issues most certainly would have been fixed during Spring Training if not for the fact that Petricka was hampered by a right forearm strain, which meant a trip to the disabled list to start the season.
"I pretty much look at it after every game. Make sure everything looks smooth," said Petricka of studying his pitching mechanics. "There was a little pause yesterday. Take away the pause and it will probably fix everything else. Little things like that.
"It's always that balance because we are never happy with what level we are playing at. We always want to get better. When you are out there competing, you are trying to win no matter what."
Petricka worked a scoreless ninth and felt nothing more than normal soreness on Thursday. He noticed last year that his arm was a little too high on delivery and thought he might have slid back to that Wednesday.
These are nothing more than small fixes for Petricka, who already made some in-game adjustments.
"Whatever it was, the cold weather or just getting a little too amped up again and trying to overthrow, it didn't look smooth to me," Petricka said. "It's just a few things that normally you work out in bullpens in spring that I have to do on the fly."
"You saw the first couple of pitches and what he was doing and he made some adjustments," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "At the end you saw some of the swings that guys had, especially the lefty off the end, he had some sink to it. It was more like what you're used to seeing with him so it was a good adjustment."
• Former Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche had to think a minute before deciding whether facing new pitching in the American League was a bigger transition than adjusting to the designated hitter's role for the first time in his career.
"DH is different but I'm getting comfortable there. The more I do it, the more comfortable it gets, start to get a routine down and figure out what works for me," LaRoche said. "But seeing pitchers that I haven't seen -- there's a lot that I have seen.
"The more guys are getting bounced around to the teams, I'm constantly facing guys that have been in the National League for a long time. But there's still quite a few out there that I lean on these guys that have faced them quite a bit, pick their brain, watch some video and figure out what they're doing."
• Since the start of the 2014 season, Jose Abreu has hit seven home runs off five different former Cy Young Award winners, the highest total in the Major Leagues, per Elias Sports Bureau.
Abreu has homered twice each off R.A. Dickey (2012) and Justin Verlander (2011) and once each off Clayton Kershaw (2011, '13-'14), Corey Kluber (2014) and David Price (2012). Abreu's solo home run Wednesday off Kluber marked his fifth Cy Young victim, which ties him with Milwaukee's Carlos Gomez for the Major League lead since 2014. Abreu homered last May off of Kluber, before he won the Cy Young.