Dr. Mike Marshall's Pitching Coach Services

February 19, 1999 Clevelend Plain Dealer (Mike Walker)

Cleveland Plain Dealer
February 27, 1999

There is an iron man in Chain Of Lakes Park.

It isn't Cal Ripken.  But Indians fans might remember Mike Walker, the team's second-round draft pick in 1986.

Last year, Walker set an International League record by making 78 appearances for Class AAA Indianapolis.  He says he was able to do it because of the work he did with Mike Marshall, pitching's version of iron man.

Marshall holds the major-league record for appearances in one season with 106 for Los Angeles in 1972.

Walker, 32, worked with Marshall during the 1995 and 1996 off-seasons.

"He had me throwing all my pitches with 6- to 8-pound shot puts," said Walker.  "Then, I'd go through my pitching motion holding 20-pound weights.  If you can do that, there's no way you're going to break down throwing a 5-ounce baseball.

"I saw my games pitched go from 55 in 1997 to 78 last year.  That was in a Class AAA season that ends about a month earlier than the big leagues.  There has to be a reason."

Walker made his big-league debut with the Indians in 1986.  He hasn't been in the organization since 1991.

"I'm approaching this like it's my last six weeks in baseball," said Walker.  "Not getting called up to Cincinnati the last two years was tough - especially at my age."

Walker and Marshall live in Florida.

"I've wondered why some team doesn't give him a chance to be a pitching coach," said Walker.  "But he has to do it his way.  I can see why teams might be reluctant to give a kid $2.5 million and then give him to a guy who's going to make him throw 8-pound shot puts."

Happy Pitching Everybody

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