{}
CLOSE

Now Commenting On:

Blanton emphasizes working quickly, efficiently

|

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Joe Blanton was scheduled to throw two innings in his spring debut against the Cubs on Sunday, but the Angels wanted him to get 35 to 40 pitches under his belt. Blanton only needed 20. He gave up a solo homer, struck out two batters and, true to his nature, worked fast and pounded the strike zone.

So Blanton's other 20 pitches had to come off the bullpen mound beyond the right-field fence.

"I've always felt like working quick is going to be to my benefit versus hitters and it's going to be to my team's benefit, fielders behind me, keep them on their toes," said Blanton, who didn't allow a baserunner besides the Brian Bogusevic homer. "If I give up a run or two in an inning or I don't, I want it to be a quick inning, get my hitters back in there, so they're not standing out on the field all day."

That approach helped Blanton rack up the 20th-most innings in baseball from 2005-12, at 1,426 2/3, and is a main reason the Angels signed him to a two-year, $15 million contract in the offseason.

During that eight-year span, Blanton has gone 83-75 with a 4.37 ERA and has walked 2.37 hitters per nine innings, tied for 21st in the Majors. And over each of the last four years, the 32-year-old right-hander's strikeout-to-walk rate has increased, to a career-high 4.88 mark in 2012.

A big reason is his aggressiveness.

"I try to make [hitters] aggressive and then I can gradually maybe try to nibble a little bit more," Blanton said. "If they know I'm throwing strikes, I feel like I'll get more strikes on the borderline pitches than if I'm all over the place, especially with umpires."

{}
{}
Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español