He entered camp a front-runner to make the Opening Day bullpen, but he let 23 runners to reach base in just 9 1/3 innings.
"I didn't see it coming, but I also couldn't expect anything different really because what I did was struggle all spring," Black said (ESPN, Mar. 26). "I know they were disappointed, as am I, which is part of it. But I'll be back."
Black, 25, was acquired with infielder Dilson Hererra from the Pirates for Marlon Byrd and John Buck toward the end of last summer.
The roster spot was his to lose, especially since there weren’t (and still aren’t) inspiring options behind him. But, he was horrible this spring and looked completely different than he did during his time with the team last September. He was all over the place, he didn't throw quality strikes and he got absolutely tattooed as a result.
Black has a quirky delivery and uses a double-clutch prior to his leg kick as a timing mechanism, and I wonder if he’s just been off with his motion, which has caused an inconsistent arm slot. If that’s the case, I expect he’ll be able to work that problem out and find himself back in Queens before too long.