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Notes: Wilson adding to pitching menu
Rangers left-hander will experiment with Japan's 'gyro'
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The "gyro," a pitch made famous by Japanese star Daisuke Matsuzaka, may be coming to Ameriquest Field in Arlington.
Left-handed reliever C.J. Wilson, a relentless student of pitching and all things baseball, may be the guy who brings it.
Kazu Tezuka, the Japanese baseball trainer who came up with the pitch, is in camp working with reliever Akinori Otsuka and Wilson talked to him about the gyro for an hour.
"I'm going to give it a shot," Wilson said Wednesday. "He gave me a little device to practice with. I'm going to do it on my own so I don't alter my mechanics."
The gyro is supposed to be a fastball with extra hop that, when thrown by a left-hander, moves in on a right-handed hitter. The idea is that when thrown properly, it moves like a bullet or a football and actually rises on a hitter as it breaks.
"I thought it was a slider, but it's a fastball with hop that allegedly rises," Wilson said. "It's like a sailing, cut fastball. The spin created is what makes it lift and you do that by having your hand on the side of the ball more than a fastball. The key is generating more power with your hips than normal."
Wilson is constantly in search of information that will make him better. He spent much time with Kenny Rogers when they were together two years ago and has studied the philosophy of former Cy Young Award winner Mike Marshall, a doctor in kinesiology whose theories in pitching have generally been shunned or disputed by Major League pitching instructors.
Wilson came up with a new pitch last year that he calls "The Cork." It's basically a combination of a split-fingered fastball and a cut fastball. The splitter tumbles downward and a cut fastball moves in on a right-handed hitter. The Cork tumbled down and in for Wilson.
"I'm not afraid to try new things," Wilson said. "I'm never satisfied. I'm always trying to make myself a better pitcher."
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