Marshall Getting Comfortable And Producing

MOOSIC, PA – After getting off to a shaky start this season, Brett Marshall is starting to find a comfort zone. Marshall's first three starts with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre were anything but impressive. But he's turned it around in his last three and now looks to keep it going for the rest of the year.

"Every single year I've started off slow, and I don't know why," Marshall said. "I guess maybe just getting used to the new level and trying to get back to where I left off last season."

In his first season at the Triple-A level, Marshall is 2-2 with a 4.60 ERA in 31.1 innings pitched, decent numbers considering how the season began.

In his first three outings Marshall was 0-2 with a 9.69 ERA and gave up 20 hits, 14 earned runs and nine walks in only 13 innings pitched. Then, something seemed to click.

Marshall has since gone 2-0 with a 0.98 ERA with 17 strikeouts in 18.1 innings pitched. He's only allowed three runs, two of them earned, and 13 hits during that span.

"I feel like I'm starting to get back in a rhythm, kind of getting my consistency down better," Marshall said. "I'm starting to repeat my mechanics a lot more, throwing a lot more strikes and trusting my stuff."

Marshall knew he was going to have make adjustments if he wanted to be successful at the Triple-A level. He's now starting to see why making those adjustments is crucial to his success.

"These hitters here are a lot more consistent, they don't swing at bad stuff," Marshall said. "A lot of these guys have been in the big leagues, and they're just really good hitters. You just have to be able throw strikes and be able to put the ball where you want."

Marshall's best start of the season came May 2 at Gwinnett. He threw seven shutout innings while only giving up five hits in the RailRiders' 4-1 victory.

"It was one of those days where everything kind of clicks," he said. "I got into a good rhythm, started throwing a lot of strikes and was able to keep the ball down. I wasn't missing too many spots, got into a groove and just kept going from there."

Despite only having two strikeouts, Marshall still found a way to be effective to go along with stellar defense from his teammates.

"It was wet that day, so it's always tough when the ball and grass are wet," he said. "I was focusing on mainly just trying to throw strikes and not worrying about trying to throw it by anybody."

In Marshall's last start May 7 he picked up where he left off in Gwinnett. He threw six innings while allowing just four hits and one run and struck out eight.

"I thought my sinker and changeup were really working well," he said. "Just having those two pitches really gives me a good sense of where I'm at in the game and gives me confidence."

Before the season began Marshall was developing a curveball and a cutter. He still has some work to do with both but likes how they're developing.

"Right now, the curve still isn't an out pitch for me," Marshall said. "We've tried it as an out pitch a couple times, and I've gotten guys to roll over and got guys that I've left it up in the zone. Last night [May 7] was actually really good, I threw it for a lot of first-pitch strikes. So I think it's coming along really well.

"The cutter is really good in bullpens, and when I get in the game I kind of try to make it cut too much instead of just throwing it," he continued. "But I've been working with our new pitching coordinator Gil [Patterson], and he likes it a lot."

Marshall admits he has to cut down on issuing walks. He's given up 21 so far, but it's not something that worries him.

"We're working on that, it all goes back to the mechanics," he said. "Rhythm-wise, I was slow at first in my windup and stretch, and now I'm kind of going back to going through the motions pretty quick, which allows my arm to stay consistent. It'll get there, and the walks will go down as the year goes on."

Marshall knows it's easy to get caught up in the big picture of getting called up by the Yankees, but for now he just wants to take it slow and let everything fall into place.

"I'm just taking it a game at a time, and hopefully I'll get my chance," he concluded.

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