"The last few games, by trying to get on top of the ball, he's been changing his arm slot," said pitching coach Rick Honeycutt. "We looked at video from '08 and '09 and he was more [in a three-quarters slot]. Lately he's been higher and he hasn't been comfortable doing it. For me, right now, we've got to get him back to feeling what's natural for him."
Billingsley is coming off his shortest outing of the season Wednesday, when he went only 2 2/3 innings and couldn't protect a four-run lead. He's allowed eight runs (six earned) on 19 hits over his last 10 innings. He's gone six starts without a win.
"At least today, he felt the ball coming out better, could feel it with his fingertips," said Honeycutt. "He hasn't been feeling it coming out of his hand right and that puts uncertainty in your mind. Without that confidence, you're just guessing. You see the target, but you're not feeling good about the results before you even start. Subconsciously, you're doubting yourself."
Honeycutt said Billingsley plans a similar side session Monday in preparation for his next start Tuesday night.
"He usually throws twice between starts and we had backed off that a little, trying to find the right mixture," he said. "We're searching."