How an injury helped Orioles starter Spenser Watkins take control of his ‘mental loop

It all ran through Spenser Watkins’ mind, one thought leaping to the next in a spiral that did more harm than good. 

The count and what the batter did last time and the scouting report and the runners on base

and the runners on base and how a missed pitch here might mean he can’t pitch three innings from now 

“A lot of clouded thoughts,” Watkins said. For the Orioles right-hander to rediscover the form

he displayed in Triple-A and during the early part of his season with the big league club

Watkins first needed to tackle what he describes as his “mental loop.” When that loop

the pre-pitch thoughts that flow through his mind — grows too large, his attention shatters

And when his attention shatters, his performance often dips.