How is Los Angeles Angels reliever Ty Buttrey keeping busy during the coronavirus shutdown? He is working to improve his mechanics.
Ty Buttrey is the LA Angels representative in the MLB The Show league that debuted last week. Off to a slow start in the video game world, he has been focusing on ways to improve his pitching mechanics in a garage while under quarantine.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Buttrey has relocated to Tampa, Florida to work with a trainer and physical therapist on body alignment deficiencies. In a bullpen session on Monday, he already felt positive results.
The 27-year-old right-hander is coming off a promising first full season in the majors. In 72 appearances, he pitched to a 3.98 ERA, striking out over ten batters per nine innings while keeping his walk rate relatively low. However, his statistics would have looked a lot better if not for a dreadful second half to the season. His ERA ballooned to 5.93 over his final 31 appearances, something that he thinks was a result of his lower half mechanics.
“I’m just feeling more connected and like my body’s working with itself,” Buttrey told Maria Torres of the LA Times. “Sometimes I feel like my body kind of works against me when I’m trying to throw.”
Buttrey’s fastball velocity (97.1 MPH last season) ranks near the top of the league, but sometimes the harder you throw, the harder you get hit. Opposing batters had an exit velocity of 90 MPH vs Buttrey offerings in 2019, making him one of the hardest hit pitchers in baseball.
Buttrey battled with back pain early in spring, before delivering a scoreless inning in his lone Cactus League appearance before the league shutdown. The right-hander plays an important role for manager Joe Maddon as the set-up man to closer Hansel Robles.
Last season, he pitched in 35 high leverage situations, entering the game most often in the 8th inning when the Angels had a lead. For a starting pitching staff that has been anything but reliable, it is extremely important for the Halos to lockdown the final six outs in games when they are able to build a late inning lead on opponents.