Is Frieri an injury concern? …
Many a scout will tell you Ernesto Frieri‘s delivery — the same one that causes so much deception and late life on his fastball — is the type that could cause problems with a pitcher’s arm.
Frieri has heard that his whole life — and doesn’t think much of it.
“I’ve been in baseball 10 years. Ten years I’ve been throwing baseballs – as a starter, as a reliever – and I’ve never been hurt,” Frieri said in Spanish. “Look it up.”
And so I did. His only stint on a Major League disabled list came in August of last year, when being uncomfortable on a long flight caused him to hurt his back. In Spring Training 2010, he strained his groin because Padres manager (and former Angels pitching coach) Bud Black practically begged him to try delivering pitches the traditional way — with his left toe pointing forward and his arm going through a more natural motion.
Frieri tried it, hurt himself, and then kept doing what he’s done since he learned to throw a baseball — stepping across his body, a la Jered Weaver, and tucking the ball behind his right side before his delivery.
Frieri, 26,admits he’d never teach kids to throw that way. But it works for him, so he isn’t stopping.
“My arm never hurts,” he said. “It gets tired. But it never hurts.”
The reason, he believes: All those years grinding corn for his grandmother’s tamale stand in Colombia.
*** Here’s more on Frieri, and what makes his fastball so darn unhittable.