GLENDALE, Ariz. -- There was a short period during this extended Spring Training that concluded Wednesday when White Sox starting catcher Tyler Flowers lost his desired form for throwing out basestealers.
"I got it back," said a smiling Flowers, who had a 30 percent accuracy rate last season (12-for-40) in nailing runners.
Ask Flowers the key for getting the ball to second and he responds with the idea of simply throwing it hard. But as much as getting the ball away quickly also is an issue, accuracy on the throw is an even more important factor.
"A 2.2 [seconds] and accurate is better than a 1.8," said Flowers on the timing/accuracy combination. "You get [a throw] from the waist down, obviously that's much easier to make a quick tag than if it's at their head or above their head.
"It's accuracy in conjunction with being quick. But accuracy is more important than trying to throw 1.8 or something."
White Sox bench coach Mark Parent, who works with the catchers on controlling the running game, said that when Flowers has been right mechanically, he's been really good. There have been other days when his mechanics were a little less than perfect.
Take Sunday's intrasquad Minor League game, where Flowers caught John Danks. He had three chances to throw out would-be stealers and had bad mechanics on the first one but corrected his issue and was pretty good on the next two.
"All you've got to do is tell him," Parent said. "It's about getting his turn, being aggressive and anticipating the guy running more.
"If you are a big guy and you are a little bit open, you end up a lot more open. He has to stay turned and get his shoulder lined up. He's got more than enough arm. He just has to anticipate the situations and not get caught being late."
As for time to second, Parent's desired number is very basic.
"Out," said Parent with a broad smile. "Tyler is like 1.95, if he could stay there, and that's easy for him. It has to be accurate and so his mechanics have to stay right. It's tougher for a big guy because you have more moving parts."
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. Tyler Emerick is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less