BRADENTON, Fla. -- Jeff Karstens is on a path to open the season on the active roster. If he experiences no setbacks, he will avoid the disabled list.
He took another step toward that goal Wednesday when he pitched in a minor league game. Afterward, he mentioned that he and special assistant to the GM Jim Benedict were working on his mechanics, with the idea that some tweaks may help keep his shoulder and biceps (the two culprits of his injuries in the past two seasons) healthy.
"Mine is more staying back so I don’t drift across my body and have to hurry my arm up," he said. "I need to allow myself time to get really long because I’m kind of a lanky guy. That’s something we were working on [Wednesday]. He likes what he’s seeing and I like the way it’s feeling."
Karstens' mechanics have come a long way since he broke into the majors.
“As I’ve kind of gotten better, I’ve messed around with it. It’s come a long way since my first year in the major leagues. I used to be on the first base side and off the third base side. I used to be really drastic off my body and thinking my mechanics were all nice and good and then I met major league coaches and they were like, you’ve got pretty bad mechanics.
"It’s a part of the game. If you’re able to be your own pitching coach and feel what you’re doing and why your pitches are doing that, keep Ray [Searage] from coming out and talking to me, bothering me, and keep [Clint] Hurdle from coming out and getting the ball, which I don’t want.”
Right now, Karstens is playing it by ear with his rehab.
"I’m just listening to my body," he said. "If I need a day of no catch, then no catch. If I feel like I need some long toss, go do long toss."
In today's Post-Gazette: Jameson Taillon among first round of roster moves.
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