Zink Working On Finishing His Pitches

The start to right-hander Ryan Zink's professional career has been a successful one as the 17th round draft pick has put together a 4-1 record in Staten Island, pitching both in the rotation and out of the pen. But Zink, who features an arsenal of a fastball, slider and changeup, admits that he has to work on cutting down on extra motion with Yankee pitching coach Jeff Ware.

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"We've been working on some staying on line stuff with me, just trying to stay consistent to the plate," said Ryan Zink. "A lot of glove-side arm action, a lot of weight distribution stuff to work on; we do it pretty much during regular everyday throwing during the week."

The Yankees hold a 30-day period at the beginning of each player's career in which they wait to make dramatic mechanical changes for the player's first month in uniform. Ware said he thinks Zink is going to go through the most adjustments among Staten Island pitchers despite his success early on.

"Zink has got a few things going on that we're trying to fix up," Ware said. "And you can't change everything at once. You've got to take it one step at a time and gradually fix everything."

"[He needs to work] mainly on staying on line to the plate and not flying his front side open, and really getting his chest over over his front leg, because that's going to help him keep the ball down and get more movement on his pitches."

"The whole reason we do this is to keep arms healthy and their bodies healthy," Ware added. "The philosophy of our organization is that we look at Major League pitchers who have pitched for a long period of time and who have good mechanics. Then we take those mechanics, break them down, and teach them to the kids here."

Zink said he has enjoyed the opportunity to make changes in his mechanics after pitching to a 4.24 earned run average in his final season at University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC).

"It's nice, because it's stuff that I wasn't able to work on during school or anything like that," Zink admitted. "I've brought my leg kick down a little bit and my hands down a little bit."

"Everyday is a new day to learn, so I feel like if I'm able to be a little bit more comfortable day in and day out with it, that's all I can ask for. As far as how quickly it comes, I'm pretty sure that if I keep working on it, it'll come sooner or later," he said.

Since coming to terms with the Yankee organization, Zink said he has not changed much about his overall game plan on the mound, though he has noticed a large difference in the quality of the hitters since going pro.

"There's a lot of talent — that's the biggest difference from the college game, that you can't take anything for granted, you've got to make your pitch every pitch, and if you don't, you get hurt," Zink said.

"I rely on my fastball; my fastball sets everything else up," he said. "[I just try] to throw strikes and get the ball down in the zone. Other than that, just a lot of ground balls hopefully."

The 22-year-old has often been hurt by the free pass this season, allowing 16 walks along with 35 hits in 32.1 innings pitched this year, something Ware believes will be helped out by simplifying his delivery.

"He's shown that if he can finish his pitches and stay on line toward the plate that he's going to have some success here," Ware said.

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\r\n \r\n\r\n(FREE PREVIEW OF PREMIUM CONTENT)
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\r\n\"We've been working on some staying on line stuff with me, just trying to stay consistent to the plate,\" said Ryan Zink. \"A lot of glove-side arm action, a lot of weight distribution stuff to work on; we do it pretty much during regular everyday throwing during the week.\"
\r\n
\r\nThe Yankees hold a 30-day period at the beginning of each player's career in which they wait to make dramatic mechanical changes for the player's first month in uniform. Ware said he thinks Zink is going to go through the most adjustments among Staten Island pitchers despite his success early on.
\r\n
\r\n\"Zink has got a few things going on that we're trying to fix up,\" Ware said. \"And you can't change everything at once. You've got to take it one step at a time and gradually fix everything.\"
\r\n
\r\n\"[He needs to work] mainly on staying on line to the plate and not flying his front side open, and really getting his chest over over his front leg, because that's going to help him keep the ball down and get more movement on his pitches.\"
\r\n
\r\n\"The whole reason we do this is to keep arms healthy and their bodies healthy,\" Ware added. \"The philosophy of our organization is that we look at Major League pitchers who have pitched for a long period of time and who have good mechanics. Then we take those mechanics, break them down, and teach them to the kids here.\"
\r\n
\r\nZink said he has enjoyed the opportunity to make changes in his mechanics after pitching to a 4.24 earned run average in his final season at University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC).
\r\n
\r\n\"It's nice, because it's stuff that I wasn't able to work on during school or anything like that,\" Zink admitted. \"I've brought my leg kick down a little bit and my hands down a little bit.\"
\r\n
\r\n\"Everyday is a new day to learn, so I feel like if I'm able to be a little bit more comfortable day in and day out with it, that's all I can ask for. As far as how quickly it comes, I'm pretty sure that if I keep working on it, it'll come sooner or later,\" he said.
\r\n
\r\nSince coming to terms with the Yankee organization, Zink said he has not changed much about his overall game plan on the mound, though he has noticed a large difference in the quality of the hitters since going pro.
\r\n
\r\n\"There's a lot of talent — that's the biggest difference from the college game, that you can't take anything for granted, you've got to make your pitch every pitch, and if you don't, you get hurt,\" Zink said.
\r\n
\r\n\"I rely on my fastball; my fastball sets everything else up,\" he said. \"[I just try] to throw strikes and get the ball down in the zone. Other than that, just a lot of ground balls hopefully.\"
\r\n
\r\nThe 22-year-old has often been hurt by the free pass this season, allowing 16 walks along with 35 hits in 32.1 innings pitched this year, something Ware believes will be helped out by simplifying his delivery.
\r\n
\r\n\"He's shown that if he can finish his pitches and stay on line toward the plate that he's going to have some success here,\" Ware said.
\r\n
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