Moviel Adds To Arsenal

Moviel's last 3 starts were his best this season

Right-hander Scott Moviel missed a significant portion of the 2009 season to injury, but in the time since his return has added a valuable piece to his repertoire. After taking some bumps when he came off the disabled list, Moviel is turning it on as he nears his last starts of the summer and in large part to a new pitch.

"The knee is feeling really good right now. There is still some stiffness in there because of some scar tissue but it's feeling strong and I'm building the muscle back that I lost," said Scott Moviel.

A healthy knee was the all-important first step for the big right-hander who returned from the disabled list in early July after two surgeries to repair a torn meniscus. But the success did not come immediately as he suffered losses in five of his first eight starts back—a stretch in which he allowed 22 earned runs in 37 innings pitched.

The lack of success forced Moviel to reach a point where he had to put aside the stress that he might damage his knee again and return to his former, more victorious self that claimed 10 wins in his final 12 decisions in 2008.

"When I first came back, I was told that the hardest thing to do is forget about the injury and pitch without any worries, but it stuck with me for a while. I wasn't getting the push off I was used to which didn't allow me to finish pitches and I was leaving balls up in the zone," Moviel detailed.

I think one day after I had five straight losses, I told myself I had to get back to what I was doing last season before the injury when I had success. It was definitely hard at first, but [the injury] definitely out of sight, out of mind now."

Yet there was still another hurdle to clear. Moviel could not find the grip on his curveball which dramatically decreased the quality of his game. So, he went to work with St. Lucie pitching coach Phil Regan and pitching coordinator Rick Waits on adding a slider to his repertoire. The payoff was immediate.

"I had some trouble with my curveball. I've always had a real good curveball but for some reason when I came out of rehab, I couldn't throw it for a strike and really couldn't throw it at all," he said.

" Phil Regan and Rick Waits decided that I should start throwing a slider which I have for the past three or four starts and I can now throw it hard and for strikes, and I'm getting a lot of swings and misses with it," Moviel continued. "I'm actually striking guys out at a higher rate than I was in the Gulf Coast League and Savannah and it's because of the slider.

The success of the slider is evident in the right-hander's recent work. Since adding the pitch in the bullpen prior to his August 14th start, he has allowed only three earned runs on 12 hits in 16 innings. The emergence of the slider has also taken pressure off the curveball which he has since regained control of, giving him two breaking balls and adding needed depth to his game.

"I started throwing the slider and it got really nasty, really quickly and it's definitely something that will be in my repertoire for the rest of my career," he said.

"I've still been working on my curveball and in my last start I had both pitches working for the first time with my curve getting me ahead with strikes and the slider has a put away pitch. It's given me a lot of strikeouts and kept the hitters on their toes."

This stretch of high-quality pitching has been a boon to Moviel's confidence which was shaken after multiple setbacks in his rehab. Before the initial surgery, he anticipated working his way up to Double-A late this summer, but he has since reshaped his goals and looks forward to finishing the season on a high note.

"My goal this year was to pitch well in St. Lucie and then hopefully get a call up at the end of the season to Binghamton," he said. "When I was rehabbing, I was thinking about those goals and getting ahead of myself by thinking I had to get there."

"So I took a step back and told myself not to rush. I'm hoping to put together a few more good starts and see what happens and hope the right people like what I'm doing."

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