PITTSBURGH– The Pittsburgh Pirates had themselves an extremely sloppy game on Sunday against the Arizona Diamondbacks. As a result, the Pirates dropped game three and the series with a score of 8-3.
On top of the wild pitches and errors that happened in Sunday’s game, there was another factor that has been creeping up and is now starting to get extremely concerning.
Roansy Contreras, when he came up through the Pirates system after being traded from the Yankees, was a man on fire with his four-seam and a wipeout slider.
As time went on and Contreras had some time in the majors, some issues started to appear more and more often, and that is his command.
It seemed like most of the game, Contreras was battling the Diamondbacks and himself on the mound.
He would either get ahead of hitters and then lose the at-bat and get it to a full count, or he’d fall behind and then have to use his unreliable four-seam to try and battle back into the count.
“His fastball command was erratic again,” said Pirates manager, Derek Shelton after the conclusion of Sunday’s game. “We’ve got to get the fastball back on the plate. When you’re not throwing the fastball where you want to, it’s hard to catch. We have got to get the fastball back on the plate.”
Shelton discussed how Contreras could correct the fastball.
“You have to make sure when you’re working off of the mound that your delivery is in sync, because when it’s not, you get rotational, and then your arm ends up trailing behind a little. When your arm isn’t in the same slot all of the time, then it’s hard to execute. Sometimes, throwing the breaking ball can get you in a position where you can get out there and get extended to get back to it. That’s something that Ro has to get back to on a consistent basis.”
Contreras then gave his thoughts on his outing.
“I basically didn’t have good command on my fastball today, and that’s what got me in trouble. I’ve got to trust my fastball and continue to work on what I’ve been working on lately and emphasize things that have helped me before. I just want to go out there and execute my pitches and try to [limit] traffic.”
Contreras has the talent in his arsenal, but one can wonder if a new pitch would do the trick for Contreras. In my opinion, I think a sinker or a cutter would do wonders for his slider and allow him to have more freedom to use the slider in pitcher’s counts and get more swings and misses.
Shelton’s response to the new pitch question, but it seems like there isn’t anything in the works as of yet. He mentioned that that’s more of a question for Pittsburgh Pirates pitching coach, Oscar Marin.