This past weekend I spoke with the coaching staff in Lehigh Valley about several players on the Triple-A IronPigs roster. Check out what skipper Dave Brundage and pitching coach Ray Burris had to say about several hurlers on their team’s roster.
-Brundage on the game plan going forward for RHP Jason Marquis, who has allowed one earned run in 11 innings over two starts in the minors since the Phillies signed him this month.
I don’t know. You’re talking to the wrong guy. If I was the G.M., or if I was the big league manager, maybe I’d have a different answer. We’re gonna run him out there every 5th day and we’ll see what we have. I’m sure (the Phillies) were watching and have a pretty good idea of what they got to see. His stuff was a little bit better than what I thought (it would be). Then again, he’s just been pitching down in extended spring. (Friday) he gets to come up, in front of a bigger crowd and with some adrenaline and he certainly showed he was pretty sharp.
-Burris commented on RHP Ethan Martin, who was recently demoted back to Lehigh Valley after allowing two earned runs in four innings with the big league club this season.
He just wants to pitch. And now, you’ve got to go out there and pitch and get your confidence back, get your rhythm back, get your consistency back. It’s all part of process. And with him, it’s understanding what he has to do to control the strike zone. Not command it, but control it. Down in the strike zone. And that’s what we’ve been working on.
-Burris spoke about righty reliever Phillippe Aumont, who had two weak outings for the Phillies earlier this month, but has been reliable with the IronPigs for the most part, posting a 2-1 record with a 3.74 ERA and a 10.42 K/9 in 23 games.
Phillippe has been very consistent this year repeating his delivery. That was the one thing we worked on at the beginning of the year- finding a formula he could use to repeat his delivery. And if he can do that, and throw strikes, that’s the name of the game. Now, the results, you’re gonna get hit. And, as a pitcher, you have to understand that. I’m out there to put the ball in play and trust my defense. So, it’s just a matter of being consistent and putting the ball in the strike zone and using the bottom of the strike zone to get you the outs and put the ball in play. And with that, it’s a matter of knowing that that’s my job. Trust it and go out there and have fun with it.
-Burris shared thoughts on what Aumont focuses on to keep the walks in check, after struggling with control throughout his career.
That comes with knowing I can throw the ball in the strike zone. My strikes are in my delivery. If I understand how to execute my delivery and repeat it on a consistent basis, I don’t have to worry about throwing the ball in the strike zone.
-Burris spoke about Brad Lincoln, who began the season on the big league roster and was a 1st round draft pick by Pittsburgh in 2006. Lincoln is 3-3 with a 3.96 ERA in 11 starts for the IronPigs.
Brad is coming along very well. He’s made some adjustments in his approach to his game. And that’s what we brought to his attention early, when he came down. But he’s gravitated to that. He’s a pitcher now. He understands that and now he’s having fun even more so than he’s realized. And the fact that he was a maximum effort guy and he’s worked on taking something off. Learn how to back off, add, back off, add. And he’s gravitated to that very well.
-Lastly, I asked Burris which pitchers on the roster that haven’t been in the majors this year could help the big club.
In my opinion, all of them could be at the big league level. I don’t make that decision when they go or if they go, but that’s just the way I approach my job.