Roach sharpening arsenal of pitches

Roach sharpening arsenal of pitches

PEORIA, Ariz. -- It certainly won't hurt pitcher Donn Roach's chances of making the 25-man roster that he is coming off his best outing of spring Thursday against the Giants.

Roach, 24, allowed two hits over 2 1/3 scoreless innings with one walk and three strikeouts. He lowered his spring ERA to 3.75 in 12 innings in doing so.

"I thought Donn threw the ball fine," said Padres manager Bud Black. "He kept the ball down and got his grounders. His sinker was moving, which for a lot a sinker ballers here in Arizona, is not easy. But he had consistent movement. He whipped out a couple of good breaking balls."

Roach had been trying to diversify his pitch arsenal to give hitters more than his plus-sinker to look at. He's also been more aggressive early in the count, mixing in his curveball more as spring has rolled on.

Roach also benefited greatly from a conversation earlier in camp with former Padres Cy Young Award winning pitcher Randy Jones (1976), who was a depended greatly on the sinker in his career.

"Most of the conversations were of a less-is-more mentality," Roach said. "When I try to do too much [with the sinker] my arm doesn't get out front and [the ball] flattens out. It will still get movement but doesn't get that depth and sink that I need to succeed.

"I just need to have trust in my ability to throw the sinker and let it work."

One of Roach's strikeouts Thursday was the result of a curveball.

"I'm using my curveball more than I have in the past and I think it's been good for me. I have thrown several good ones and I'm comfortable using it," Roach said.

Corey Brock is a reporter for Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.