Former Marlin Leiter offers advice to Conley

Former Marlin Leiter offers advice to Conley

NEW YORK -- From one left-hander to another, former big leaguer Al Leiter spent some time over the past two days talking approach and mindset with Marlins southpaw Adam Conley.

Leiter knows a few things about pitching, having won a World Series and tossing a no-hitter in his tenure with the Marlins. Conley is an upstart 25-year-old, who will start Wednesday's finale at Citi Field against the Mets, trying to learn the ropes.

"There is a demeanor that I believe should correlate with your stuff," Leiter said.

The mentality Leiter would like to see more from Conley is a cockiness to trust his stuff and attack hitters.

"I didn't know much about this guy, and then I started to watch a little bit of him, off and on," Leiter said.

The more Leiter looked, the more he saw some similarities to one of the American League's top pitchers, Chris Sale of the White Sox.

"I told him, 'Look, you're not this guy, but when I see your delivery and stuff, you're like Chris Sale-lite,'" Leiter said. "'Let it flow. Don't be so careful and think you have to hit every spot. You power through the zone. Have an attitude.'

"'Hitters are insecure just like we're insecure. Don't think every single 2-0 fastball you miss is going to get hit out of the park. It's not. Before you know it, you're trying to be cute, you're in bad counts.'"

Leiter is handling television analyst duties for FOX Sports Florida during Miami's series with the Mets at Citi Field.

Conley strikes out eight

"He just came up, he introduced himself," Conley said. "He had a lot of good things to say about my stuff and what he thought of my ability. We talked for about 10 minutes. But what he talked a lot about was the process of pitching.

"He was saying, with my stuff, you don't have to be so perfect out there. Just go out there and pitch your game, and make it one pitch at a time and focus on the process. To come from a guy like that just meant a lot to me."

Left-handed pitchers are known for being quirky, and they tend to gravitate to each other, almost like a brotherhood.

"I think it's because righties think we're so weird, they don't want to have anything to do with us," Conley joked. "From a practical standpoint, another righty in the rotation, he can talk to me about process and getting hitters out, but a righty's slider is not the same as my slider."

Conley possesses a mid-90s fastball, and he has front-of-the-rotation potential.

"I like him," Leiter said.

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.