Change for Hensley

Right-hander Clay Hensley served up a solo homer to Milwaukee’s J.J. Hardy but otherwise pitched a gem on Wednesday. Among other things, Hensley walked none over six innings at Peoria — always a good sign. Quoth skipper Bud Black: “His mound presence was great. He was in control. He moved the ball in and out and changed speeds.”

The bit about changing speeds is interesting. Apparently Greg Maddux has been working with Hensley on his grip. More accurately, Maddux has been teaching Hensley how to help himself with his grip. The trick? Throw a bad change-up:

By intentionally throwing a poor change-up in his practice sessions, Hensley was forced to fix the problem immediately, a teaching tool that Hensley soon appreciated.

This is a fascinating approach. Can you imagine the confidence required to intentionally throw a bad pitch as a diagnostic tool? Funny what 330 wins under your belt will do.

The proof is in the proverbial pudding, of course, and we can’t know what impact Maddux will have on the rest of the staff. This could be something, or it could be nothing. That said, it’s hard not to be encouraged by these kinds of stories.

Elsewhere

I am in several places at once today. It’s like that Michael Keaton movie, only without the delicious Andie MacDowell:

Okay, time to pack for Peoria. I’m heading out to the desert first thing Friday morning. Assuming I can figure out how to do the wireless thing, I’ll be transmitting from points hotter and drier than here. Wish me luck…

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