Spring Training Coverage

Hughes Learning to Pitch Inside More Efficiently

Hughes Learning to Pitch Inside More Efficiently

Hughes, 26, is battling for a spot in the pirates bullpen this spring.

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Jared Hughes took a huge step forward during the 2011 season after he changed his arm slot to a three-quarters release, and was moved into the bullpen. The hard throwing 6' 7" right-hander believed throwing over the top would be more deceiving for hitters, trying to use his height to get hitters out. But once Hughes moved his arm slot, he saw himself throwing more strikes. He also saw himself move quickly through the Pirates system.

"That was big," Hughes said on his arm slot change. "That, and going into the bullpen and being a little bit more aggressive. The three-quarter arm slot was huge. It really helped me throw more strikes. I got a little bit better movement on the ball, threw better strikes. And that’s the key. If you can get ahead in the count, you’re going to be a more successful pitcher."

After starting the 2011 season in Double-A Altoona, where he made 11 starts and appe...

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