Colorado Rockies: Kyle Freeland on Coors Field, Bud Black
On Friday morning, Colorado Rockies ace starting pitcher Kyle Freeland was on MLB Network’s Hot Stove and he fielded some interesting questions from Matt Vasgersian and Harold Reynolds about Coors Field, himself, and Bud Black.
Kyle Freeland appeared on MLB Network’s Hot Stove on Friday morning prior to making some appearances around the Denver metro area today and this weekend to meet some Rockies fans, including the University of Denver this morning, Johnson Elementary School, Metro State University, and UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital today and at Coors Field to meet with season ticket holders tomorrow and the Pepsi Center tomorrow.
Harold Reynolds asked Freeland about whether or not growing up in altitude, since he was born and raised in Denver, has helped him pitch at Coors Field when some other pitchers may not have that advantage. Freeland first showed his good memory because he said that Reynolds asked him if he thought that would be the case all the way back in 2014, when he was drafted 8th overall by the Rockies in 2014.
Now that he has experienced it at the major league level, he said “I think there is some advantage to it, being here and…growing up pitching in this altitude but for me, I don’t change any mentality with it. It’s [still] baseball, to me. There’s another man standing in that box trying to do damage off of me [and] I’m going to do whatever I can to make sure he doesn’t do any damage or limit his damage.”
Matt Vasgersian then asked him if there’s any disparities between pitching on the road after just pitching at home, like it has often been discussed about how there is a little bit of a transition with position players. Freeland said “I think there are some ballpark adjustments for it where you feel comfortable pitching, [like] maybe some visuals that you see.” He used the example of San Francisco where it’s a “pretty large park and the ball’s not going to fly there so, as a pitcher, you’re going in there feeling a little more comfortable. But, again, I go back to the point where we’re playing the game of baseball where it’s you versus the other guy and one of you is going to come out on top. You can’t read too much into whether you’re at high altitude or on the road…”
Vasgersian followed up by asking if there was one specific place that it was most difficult to go following a home stand. Freeland said that there isn’t really one specific place but he said that, for him, the hardest transition is when the Rockies go out on the road to a place that is hot and muggy in the middle of summer because of the thinner air in Denver and going to thicker, more humid air in places like Texas or Atlanta.
Vasgersian later asked about how long it took him personally to reflect on the Rockies not being able to advance past the NLDS. Freeland said that he took about a month after the season where he stayed in Denver and spent time with family and friends and that was his reflection period, where he looked at his, and the team’s positives and negatives. After that month or so, he said that he headed to Scottsdale, where the Rockies spring training facility is and he diverted his focus to 2019.
Reynolds followed up that question by asking Freeland how it is having Bud Black, a fellow left-handed starting pitcher, as a manager, which is not something that is common. Freeland said that is has been great having him because he can connect to him in multiple ways. He can connect in the human aspect as well as baseball aspect but also the player aspect and, more specifically, from a left-handed starting pitcher standpoint. He also said that he really likes that he isn’t afraid to be open with players and he’s very approachable to ask him anything about anything.
You can watch the full interview here.
Stay tuned for more this weekend as our own Kevin Henry will be at the events and will have a chance to talk to some Rockies players and coaches at the events.