SCRANTON, PA. — Five copies of the Scranton Yankees roster sat on manager Dave Miley’s desk as he prepared to address the media following his team’s 7-5 loss to the Buffalo Bisons on Wednesday night. Given the incredible amount of turnaround on the roster over the past several days, it wouldn’t be surprising if they were all different.
But of the names that have been printed on that roster all season long, starting pitcher Adam Warren has been one of Miley’s most consistent. Not tonight, however, as the 23-year-old righty scuffled through a season-high 107 pitches over five innings of work en route to a no decision. He allowed three runs on nine hits, striking out three and walking none. But he was pounding the strike zone all night, throwing 68 of those 107 pitches for strikes.
It wasn’t that Warren was inconsistent, Miley said, as it was that Bisons hitters were taking him deep into the count.
“It wasn’t by any means Warren’s best or worst outing, but he had a lot of two strike counts and didn’t have his put away pitch,” he said.
“But I have to give their hitters credit, they spoiled a lot of two strike pitches for him, put the ball in play and good things happened for them. That’s the difference between what they did tonight and what we didn’t do offensively.”
Warren relied heavily on his fastball tonight, saying after the game that his curveball and slider simply weren’t there from the get go.
“I felt like I was getting ahead of hitters for the most part, I just had trouble putting away guys tonight,” he said.
“I didn’t have a feel for my curveball or slider. It’s tough, you can’t live off your fastball all night…I was trying to find it all game, I kept trying to throw it. You’ve got to keep trying to find it, maybe shorten the arm a little bit or try certain things. I just never found that rhythm with it. I can’t just be a one or two pitch pitcher…my curveball wasn’t as good in the bullpen, I was leaving a few of them up. And my slider felt good, but when I got in the game, it got a little big.”
Before the game, I asked pitching coach Scott Aldred about the progress Warren had made since making the Scranton rotation out of camp, and Aldred stressed the importance of Warren needing to command all of his pitches.
“Adam’s a four pitch guy,” Aldred said.
“His slider’s improved tremendously this year. He’s put in a lot of time with his breaking balls, and that maybe took away from his changeup a little bit. He’s got a real good changeup, but he’s not throwing it with the confidence I’d like to see him throwing it with. Not on a consistent basis anyway, I see it some games. The slider’s coming, and that was one of the things that we set out to do, is make sure he has a Major League-quality breaking ball. He can command his fastball and he’s pitched some real nice games for us. He was a little inconsistent early in the year with it being his first time in Triple-A. But he’s on track, he’s doing a nice job.”
Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com