After the Colorado Rockies season ticket holder hot stove event on Saturday morning, a few of the Rockies players and staff spoke to the media, including our own Kevin Henry. One of the players was Rockies ace starting pitcher Kyle Freeland and he had some interesting comments on his Cy Young placement and pitch development
Kyle Freeland spoke to the media yesterday, during one of the few times where players are available to the media during the offseason.
This was the first press meeting since the individual player awards were announced and as a part of those announcements, Freeland came in 4th in the NL Cy Young voting. He was asked if he would be striving for them in the future.
As you might expect, he said that it would be nice to receive those honors but he also said that “it won’t be a number that I’ll try to chase…[because] once you start trying to chase a number like that, when you start playing to a number, pitching to a number, you lose sight of what you are actually playing for and you should be playing for your team. You should be out there trying to win every single time you take the ball and I don’t plan on losing sight of that. There’s no reason for me to pitch to a 2.50 ERA. If that happens, it happens and [if it does], it’s because I went about things the correct way and I was playing for my team…”
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Our own Kevin Henry asked Freeland the next question and he asked him it is true that he is developing a new pitch. Freeland did confirm that he is working on a new pitch of sorts and it is with developing his sinker, which he has tinkered with before, but now, he is “exploring with the different locations we can go with it now.” Freeland added that once he got his new mechanics consistently last year, he started talking with Chris Iannetta and Tony Wolters about throwing “more left-on-left changeups [and] throwing that front-hip sinker to righties” so that he could add more to his arsenal in different locations and counts.
He said that the hardest part about adding these two new “pitches”, or current pitches but differing locations, is “communication with yourself, your catcher, and anyone that you’ll kind of want to lean on about it.” One of those players is Ryan McMahon, who Freeland said that he has been using as his left handed hitter for his changeups.
So, essentially, he will still have his current mix of pitches but with working the pitches in new places, he will have different looks to hitters.
The Rockies ace will look to keep developing those pitches for a few more weeks before Spring Training games start in less than a month and he can, Freeland may maintain or even develop into a better pitcher than the one who broke out as the Rockies ace last season.