Friday, May 13, 2016

Fightins Quotables: Reading pitching coach Steve Schrenk talks about his staff

Steve Schrenk, image- Jay Floyd
Following a terrific outing in which Ricardo Pinto flirted with a no-hitter into the 7th inning in Trenton on Thursday, I spoke with his Reading Fightins pitching coach Steve Schrenk, who offered thoughts on the young hurler's effort and several other pitchers on his staff as well...

-Talking about Pinto's seven shut out inning performance...

You know, he gets his first win this year. He's been fighting to get one his last four outings but it's just nice to get him a win tonight. He had his good change up working for him and I like the way he pitched against a good hitting Trenton team.

-Sharing more thoughts on the potential for a historic game...

Obviously, you'd like to see a no-hitter. I would have loved to have seen one last night. But they hit the ball and they got their hits. I think the most important thing for me is to make sure he got that first win under his belt. I think that's important for a kid at this level to get his first win here. But he threw well. They didn't hit the ball hard for their two hits, but they're still hits.

-Speaking on if Pinto would have been permitted to go the distance with a no-no on the line...

You know what, Dusty (Wathan) and I were talking about it during the game and we'd have liked to see him do it, just depends on how hard it was and if he was able to do it without a whole lot more pitches. But it's hard to tell when you're at that time. We'd have given him every opportunity to do it, it's just a matter of not putting his arm in jeopardy. But it was good.

-Offering feedback on his starting rotation aside from Pinto, like Anthony Vasquez, Nick Pivetta, Ben Lively and John Richy...

They've been doing a good job. They've been throwing well. The biggest thing for me right now is we've been throwing a lot of strikes and they've been learning who they are as pitchers and they've been taking that out to the game. That's what you have to do at the level. There's not a lot of mechanics things that we work on, it's mostly what do I do best and what kind of pitches can I make and how can I get guys out, studying hitters. That kind of stuff. They're starting to do that. They're growing up and doing that. But I like the way they're doing it.

Vasquez kind of leads that pack. He's an older guy and they watch how he works and he's a leader on the club. And I think those guys are seeing how he works and they're taking right after him.

Pivetta, you know, he's coming a long ways from last year and he's doing a good job at it too.

I think it's just a growing up process for everybody. And, of course, Ben (Lively) has been great for us too. He's 5-0 and he's been throwing the ball well. He's been commanding the strike zone and mixing in his off-speed pitches and he's learned how to use his change up now, so- to keep him a little deeper in games.

Richy's here now with us. You know, it's a little bit up and down. He had a hard time getting out of spring training- he got hit by a pitch- but he's been better. He'll be better. Just gotta get him out there and get his stamina up, I think is the biggest thing right now. I noticed in the fifth inning he's running out a little bit. But, that's just part of pitching and we need to get him in pitching shape for the season.

-Talking about lefty reliever Hoby Milner improving after changing his arm angle last year...

Yeah, definitely. We dropped his arm action down in Puerto Rico last off-season and he's making a name for himself right now, as far as I'm concerned. He can get left-handed hitters out with where he's at and his breaking ball's been better, so it's been good for him. You know, he's pitching out of the bullpen and we'll see what happens. It would be a great story. But with the way he's throwing right now, I'm very happy and that stuff he's doing right now, he could do that in the big leagues. It's just a matter of getting the opportunity.

-Discussing who might get late-inning opportunities following the recent promotion of Edubray Ramos...

I think with right now, with what we have and (Gregory) Infante is here, he took Ramos' spot and he's done it before in this league and Nunez also will probably be in the late innings and Hoby did it tonight. So, I mean, yeah have some options, which is nice for Dusty. But, I think those three guys later in the ball game you'll see a lot of.

-Some thoughts on another lefty reliever, Tom Windle...

Tom's been a little up and down. Before his last outing where he gave up four or five runs in an inning, he had been throwing very well. He had, I think six strike outs in a couple of innings of work, or three innings of work. So, he was throwing well. He's still is- he's throwing strikes and that's the big thing for him. He just has to learn what his stuff's doing and what his cut fastball's doing and work off of it. But, he's matured a lot. I like where he's at and he shows good stuff and it's all going to come down to what he can do and understanding what his pitches can do and the mental part of the game for him.
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