Connor Sadzek Rediscovers Joy Of Airing Out His Arm
As much as righthander Connor Sadzeck would like to move on from the outing he had on Opening Day for Double-A Frisco, he has embraced his less-than-stellar debut and is carrying it with him this season.
Sadzeck faced five batters on April 6, retiring none of them and walking four. Just 12 of 30 pitches he threw were strikes.
But from that mediocrity came the realization that Sadzeck needed to return to his hard-throwing ways. Rather than guide the ball to the catcher, he has set out to throw the ball through the catcher.
It was hard to argue with the initial results, which reinforced that going forward, the 25-year-old Sadzeck could be a big-bodied power starter in the majors rather than a hard-throwing reliever.
"I like being the guy on the mound who needs to be depended on every fifth day,” said the 6-foot-7 Sadzeck, an 11th-round pick in 2011 from Howard (Texas) JC. "I like hearing, ‘Hey, we’ve got Sadzeck on the mound,’ and having that confidence built around you as a starter.
"There’s a different mentality when certain guys are pitching, and I want to be the guy who has that positive aspect when I’m taking the bump.”
Sadzeck closed out April by recording a 2.82 ERA with 29 strikeouts in 22.1 innings. He struck out nine in his second start and 10 in his fourth, when he allowed one hit in 7.2 innings.
His fastball sits at 96 mph and has touched 100 on a few occasions. Most importantly, he is throwing strikes again with his fastball and curveball.
"Opening Day, I put a lot of focus on throwing strikes, and putting that stress on is not a good way to pitch,” Sadzeck said. "Since then, I’ve just been doing back to throwing as hard as I can (while) under control. That’s been the key to my success.”
Connor Sadzeck Learns To Escape Trouble
In his first season working exclusively as a reliever, the hard-throwing Sadzeck learned how to escape jams.
— Jeff Wilson covers the Rangers for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram