Sed­lock returns to pitch for Frederick in pig­gy­back role

Baltimore Sun Sunday - - ORI­OLES -

Sed­lock, 24, and Frederick man­ager Ryan Mi­nor cred­ited the in­creased us­age of an­a­lyt­ics and slow-mo­tion video through­out the organizati­on for Sed­lock’s strong per­for­mance.

“He al­ways had good stuff,” Mi­nor said. “It’s just been im­ple­ment­ing it in the game and uti­liz­ing what he wants to do prior to the game, and this year, he’s been re­ally ef­fec­tive.”

Said Sed­lock: “It’s helped me have a lot more con­fi­dence in the pitches that I throw, know­ing that the per­cent­ages are on my side when I throw those pitches in those lo­ca­tions and every­thing’s gonna play out. It’s just know­ing every sin­gle pitch, what I need to do to be able to make that pitch bet­ter and play at the best.”

Do­ing that earned him a Carolina League All-Star nod, though he was held out of the game as part of the organizati­on’s ef­fort to limit his in­nings. Mi­nor and Sed­lock both said his lay­off for the past month had noth­ing to do with health, though Sed­lock said he has spent part of that time “just get­ting my body right.”

Mi­nor said Sed­lock’s sched­ul­ing also re­lated to the oc­ca­sional rain­out and the Keys’ ef­forts to sub­se­quently keep him in a rou­tine. The in­nings man­age­ment is an im­por­tant part of the bal­ance, too.

“The main thing is just get­ting in­nings be­cause he hadn’t pitched hardly at all in the last year or so,” Mi­nor said. “For him to be able to pace the season out, we have to be able to back him off from some starts.”

The pig­gy­back­ing method he par­took in Thurs­day, where a usual start­ing pitcher fol­lows the game’s starter in re­lief, is one the Keys have used reg­u­larly thanks to the Ori­oles’ depth of low-mi­nors pitch­ing tal­ent. Sed­lock, who threw 45 pitches Thurs­day, said he hopes to throw about 15 more pitches each sub­se­quent out­ing and quickly return to the ro­ta­tion.

He spent the past month pitch­ing live bat­ting prac­tice and do­ing flat-ground work. He said that time af­forded him the op­por­tu­nity to bet­ter re­fine his changeup, among the pitches that have led to his early-season suc­cess.

Sed­lock said his in­creased com­fort throw­ing off-speed pitches when behind in the count of­ten caused bat­ters to get them­selves out, and when he’s ahead, he’s bet­ter able to use his off-speed as put-away pitches. He was able to do that as a col­lege pitcher at Illi­nois, but los­ing time and, tem­po­rar­ily, his fast­ball to injury al­lowed him to re­fine those of­fer­ings.

“Bat­tling through the in­juries, I came out on the other side with a lot more knowl­edge,” said Sed­lock, who fin­ished with a 5.11 ERA in 37 in­nings at three mi­nor league lev­els last season. “Men­tally, [an injury] is a lot worse than phys­i­cally, for sure. Pain’s one thing, but not be able to put on your uni­form and pitch, and when you are, it’s not to the best of your abil­ity, it’s a re­ally tough thing.”

So, for Sed­lock to re­cently have the game taken away not be­cause he’s injured but in pur­suit of manag­ing his work­load so he doesn’t get se­verely hurt again was frus­trat­ing in a dif­fer­ent way. Rather than pout, he tried to use that time to im­prove.

“I could’ve taken it one way where I just sat around, took it as a break, or I could’ve amped up my work a lit­tle bit since I didn’t have to be on the mound com­pet­ing, and that’s what I did,” Sed­lock said. “So, it re­ally wasn’t that much of a break to be hon­est. Every day, I had a goal in mind, and I ac­com­plished those goals, but over­all, it was a good ex­pe­ri­ence.

“I’m go­ing to come out the other side bet­ter.”

PATRICK CAVEY/FREDERICK KEYS

Ori­oles prospect Cody Sed­lock, pitch­ing with the High-A Frederick Keys, is bat­tling back from in­juries and med­i­cal scares.

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