Colorado Rockies pitcher Eddie Butler worked hard during the off-season trying to regain the pitching mechanics that made him successful in the minors. After studying film of his performances last year, Butler realized that the arm slot he pitched out of had changed yielding unwanted results. Being the competitor he is, Eddie set out to fix the problem by reaching out to his old pitching coach for help.
Born in Chesapeake, VA, right-handed pitcher Eddie Butler was drafted by the Rockies in 2012 during the first round (46th overall). During his journey through the Rockies minor league system, Butler posted a 3.08 ERA over 72 games giving up 26 home runs and a 1.17 WHIP. Eddie Butler was called up to the Colorado Rockies on June 6, 2014 and almost immediately began his big league career on the Disabled List with right rotator cuff inflammation.
Butler was able to make a couple of starts in September of 2014 but finished the year with a 6.75 ERA and a 1.88 WHIP. The next season, Eddie made the Opening Day roster with Colorado as the fifth man in the Rockies rotation. However, his walks began to outnumber his strike-outs and Butler was demoted to AAA in May. He was called back up later in the season and posted a 5.90 ERA during that time and pitched the first complete game of his career.
While reviewing film during the off-season Butler noticed his arm slot angle was off. Butler worked during the winter with his former pitching coach Gary Lavelle on regaining his old form. Besides being focused on the mechanical issues, Butler worked on his mental game as well. After losing confidence last year in his best pitch, the slider, Eddie realized that talent can only carry you so far in the big leagues and began addressing the psychological side of baseball. Dealing with failure early in their career can be very difficult for young pitchers, even for gifted athletes like Butler.
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Eddie Butler’s chances of making Colorado’s rotation out of spring training are becoming slimmer by the day. So far this spring he’s pitched 7.2 innings with a 7.04 ERA and a 1.83 WHIP. Butler seems to have a real problem finding consistency at the major league level with his strike-out pitch the slider. Closing out innings has been a lingering issue for Butler during his time in the majors, hopefully he can work through if before the season begins. Eddie has the stuff to pitch in the major’s, it just seems as though he’s struggling facing batters the second time through the lineup. If Butler cannot find his consistency and change his pitch selection the second time through a lineup, he might be suited better for the Rockies pitching out of the bullpen.