A question was later asked about what the key for the starting pitching staff, specifically Kyle Freeland and Jon Gray, making the leap forward and reaching their full potential. Black said that the main thing that the Rockies have to prevent is the “sophomore slump” on their young pitchers, like Freeland, Antonio Senzatela, German Marquez, and Jeff Hoffman, and make them even more serviceable than they were last season.
Black also said that he thinks that Gray, Tyler Anderson, and Chad Bettis can also show some growth this upcoming season because he doesn’t think that they have reached their potential but they are more seasoned that the other starters. He specifically mentioned that solving “delivery issues”, aka repeating their delivery, is key for Gray and Freeland in 2018. “Secondary pitch consistency” is also key for Gray and the “variance in velocity” for Freeland is key to his success. Also, for the pitching staff in general, control of the fastball is something that is needed.
Next, Black fielded a question about MLB trying to limit mound visits so that they improve the pace of play. “I think there are some mound visits that without a doubt are strategically based,” Black said. “I don’t have a problem with cutting down visits per se, whether maybe it’s an infielder visit or a catcher visit. I think those can be slowed for sure. But I think some of the pitching coach visits, the manager visits, those are integral to strategy. I really do.”