Colorado Rockies: Bud Black on offseason, MLB’s pace of play initiatives

DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 17: Bud Black #10 of the Colorado Rockies during a regular season MLB game between the Colorado Rockies and the visiting San Diego Padres at Coors Field on September 17, 2017 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Russell Lansford/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 17: Bud Black #10 of the Colorado Rockies during a regular season MLB game between the Colorado Rockies and the visiting San Diego Padres at Coors Field on September 17, 2017 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Russell Lansford/Getty Images) /
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PHOENIX, AZ – OCTOBER 04: Starting pitcher Jon Gray #55 of the Colorado Rockies pitches during the bottom of the first inning of the National League Wild Card game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on October 4, 2017 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, AZ – OCTOBER 04: Starting pitcher Jon Gray #55 of the Colorado Rockies pitches during the bottom of the first inning of the National League Wild Card game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on October 4, 2017 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) /

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.”

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