Revitalized Talbot eager for big league start

Revitalized Talbot eager for big league start

Revitalized Talbot eager for big league start
CLEVELAND -- A new Mitch Talbot will take the mound for the Indians on Saturday. Talbot, who was demoted to Triple-A Columbus after a rocky first half of the season, said he changed "a lot" with his pitching mechanics.

"I wouldn't say my whole front side is different," Talbot said. "I've still got that leg kick. It's a little bit less, but it's more just keeping my hips closed. My lead arm is a lot shorter. It's not a big flail."

Talbot landed on the 15-day disabled list with a lower back strain during the All-Star break. When he was ready to return from injury, the club optioned him to Triple-A. In five starts before he joined the Clippers, he went 0-3 with a 9.49 ERA.

"My ball was really flat when I was here," Talbot said. "I just worked on getting it downhill again, getting sink instead of run."

Clippers manager Mike Sarbaugh said Talbot reinvented himself with his fastball.

"He gained confidence with his fastball," Sarbaugh said. "He has plus movement on it, and I think pitching off of that, Mitch found out that it's a good pitch and gets the hitters to be a little more aggressive, so his secondary pitches became more effective."

Now, Talbot is back with the Indians and eager to return to form with the big league club.

"It was a demotion," Talbot said. "It's kind of something to get you going. You realize you have some stuff to work on, and you kind of get humbled a little bit and get going on fixing things."

Talbot is scheduled to start one of the games in Saturday's doubleheader against the Twins. It will likely be his last outing before the offseason, though Talbot does not think the impression he leaves will influence his candidacy for a spot in the 2012 rotation.

"I'll try not to put too much pressure on myself," Talbot said. "I don't think that if I go out and have a great one, I don't think that's going to guarantee me a spot for next year. And I don't think if I have a bad one it's going to not give me a chance to have a spot next year."