Carlos Silva is slimmer, stronger and in a better mood than when Seattle Mariners fans last saw him, but what about his sinker?
"My first bullpens down here, my focus is just keeping the ball at the knees or lower," Silva said. "Until you face the first hitters, you don't see as much movement. You throw differently when someone is standing at the plate."
It's a philosophy you hear from all pitchers in camp: Bullpen sessions help you focus on control and mechanics and strengthening your arm. Games, with real hitters, get the adrenaline flowing – and that's when you see what your stuff is doing.
"Every spring, the sinker comes around, but it's never the same time," Silva said. "Right now, my focus is throwing fastballs and changeups. I'll start throwing my breaking ball a little later.
"I'm trying things a little differently this year. I'm trying to stay calm in my mechanics, hit my spots with pitches. You have to get a feel for everything all over again in the spring. It comes together for every pitcher at a different pace, but once you start facing hitters and see how they react to your pitches, it's just about getting stronger and working on control."
Oh, and there's one more thing. Silva is having fun, joking with teammates and coaches even during tough work outs.