Vinnie Pestano’s elbow troubles traced back to the World Baseball Classic

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Indians reliever Vinnie Pestano started out well enough last season, but by late April he had lingerng elbow soreness, hit the disabled list and never was truly right all season. He finished with an ERA of 4.08 and dramatically increased walk and hit rates while pitching in only 37 games.

Yesterday Indians pitching coach Mickey Callaway said Pestano’s troubles began when he suffered an injury to his elbow during last year’s World Baseball Classic. From Paul Hoynes of the Plain Dealer:

“I think some of that WBC injury really trained his arm to do something different than he’s done in the past,” said Callaway. “The reason Vinnie was so good in the past, is that he has unorthodox mechanics. When he had a little bit of an injury in the WBC, he started throwing like a normal person, which isn’t good. I told him at the end of the year, I’ve never told anybody to have bad mechanics.”

No one with the team had previously linked Pestano’s injury or troubles with the WBC before yesterday.