By Jack Etkin/Forbes.com
Rockies pitcher Kyle Freeland and bullpen coach Darryl Scott spoke last week at Salt River Fields about a modification to Freeland’s delivery that will be an offseason emphasis.
They will launch the process soon with the start of dry work, as drills without a ball are called, and ramp it up when throwing begins.
“We’re going to try to get rid of that pause at the top and just create a little more rhythm with his delivery,” Scott said, “which should, in turn, get him working down his line (to the plate) a little better.”
The dynamics are different now for the left-handed Freeland, a Denver native, who went 3-11 with a 6.73 ERA and yielded 25 home runs in 104 1/3 innings. Freeland’s 2019 season began as a seamless extension of 2018 when he went 17-7 with a 2.85 ERA. What followed was a prolonged slide that resulted in a demotion to Triple-A Albuquerque, a nightmarish tumble from 2018 when he finished fourth in voting for the National League Cy Young Award and the painful realization that his teammates, supremely confident in him in 2018 when he went 17-4 with a 2.52 ERA in his final 29 starts, 22 of which the Rockies won, a year later weren’t sure if they could depend on him.
“That was probably the worst part, feeling every five days that I’m letting my team down,” Freeland said. “My teammates are losing confidence in me. They don’t know what they’re going to get. I know they back me 100 percent...But all the thoughts going through your mind like, ‘My teammates think I (stink). They probably don’t want me on the mound.’ Things like that, it’s bothering.”
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