McGuire Needs To Stay On Top

Manchester, N.H- Deck McGuire has only pitched in two games this season for New Hampshire, but this Wednesday night's start needs to be a turning point for the young right-hander. With an 0-2 record and an ERA soaring at 9.90, McGuire has to start performing at a higher level if he wants to prove to the Blue Jays that he is worth the 11th overall draft pick they spent on him in 2010.

Coming into his first season beginning as a Fisher Cat, 6-foot-6, 220 pound McGuire has high expectations. Last year, he recovered from an injury in his oblique and ended up starting in New Hampshire's Eastern league Championship clinching victory last year.

Riding high on the emotion of pitching in a championship game in front of his hometown of Richmond, VA, he entered the offseason excited to start his second full year of minor league baseball with the Fisher Cats.

But since taking his place as the number three starter behind ace Drew Hutchison and valued prospect Chad Jenkins, McGuire has struggled to make it past the first few innings without giving up a handful of runs.

In his first start against the Trenton Thunder, he gave up eight earned runs and eleven hits through five innings. His following start wasn't much better. Three doubles and two wild pitches added up to three quick runs in the first inning for the New Britain Rock Cats last Friday. He left after five innings, seven hits, three earned runs and an ERA of 9.90.

"[It was] really just fastball location," McGuire said. "I mean, I've gotten beat with just not executing the fastball down and letting it creep up at times, and guys made me pay for it."

McGuire felt that he "made great strides" with his fastball after the first inning on Friday, and he feels confident in the work he's done in the past week with pitching coach Tom Signore.

Signore said that his ability to control his fastball has a lot to do with his posture on the mound. McGuire tends to throw underneath the ball when he collapses on his backside. It is something he needs to stay on top of in future performances.

The Fisher Cats pitching staff had their cage rattled all through their opening home series by the Rock Cats. Jenkins had given up three home runs on Thursday. Even Hutchison gave up two earned runs in five and two-thirds innings, though Hutch's outing was a breeze compared to the shellings McGuire has faced.

McGuire showed the Major League team some of his best stuff in Spring Training, getting one win in relief and striking out five batters in three appearances. McGuire said he felt comfortable in the Big League camp's environment, working alongside some of the best pitchers in the Majors, including Toronto's Ricky Romero and Brandon Morrow.

"This year at big league camp I got a chance to be way more relaxed," said McGuire. "I asked a lot more questions, didn't feel quite as awkward around some of those guys, and so it was just a great experience."

However, McGuire hasn't been able to carry that relaxed feeling into his first two regular season starts. Fisher Cats catcher A.J. Jimenez said that he's seen McGuire get frustrated during his rougher innings this year, having to tell him to keep his head in the game.

Tuesday night was a hard loss for Jenkins, who gave up eight runs before being pulled in the third inning. If ever there was a time for McGuire to pitch well for his team, it is now.

"We need [McGuire] to go deep in the game," said Signore after Jenkins' performance Tuesday evening, a night in which three pitchers from the bullpen were called to the mound.

"if you see his ball on a downward plane, he's going have a good game, and you'll see it early," said Signore. "If it's on the same plane early and it's a fastball, it could be a long night."

No one judges a starting pitcher on two performances, no matter how high his ERA is. If McGuire wants to impress his superiors in Toronto, though, then he better turn his game on soon. Wednesday night would be a perfect time.


Future Jays Top Stories

\r\n \r\n\r\nComing into his first season beginning as a Fisher Cat, 6-foot-6, 220 pound McGuire has high expectations. Last year, he recovered from an injury in his oblique and ended up starting in New Hampshire's Eastern league Championship clinching victory last year.
\r\n
\r\nRiding high on the emotion of pitching in a championship game in front of his hometown of Richmond, VA, he entered the offseason excited to start his second full year of minor league baseball with the Fisher Cats.
\r\n
\r\nBut since taking his place as the number three starter behind ace Drew Hutchison and valued prospect Chad Jenkins, McGuire has struggled to make it past the first few innings without giving up a handful of runs.
\r\n
\r\nIn his first start against the Trenton Thunder, he gave up eight earned runs and eleven hits through five innings. His following start wasn't much better. Three doubles and two wild pitches added up to three quick runs in the first inning for the New Britain Rock Cats last Friday. He left after five innings, seven hits, three earned runs and an ERA of 9.90.
\r\n
\r\n\"[It was] really just fastball location,\" McGuire said. \"I mean, I've gotten beat with just not executing the fastball down and letting it creep up at times, and guys made me pay for it.\"
\r\n
\r\nMcGuire felt that he \"made great strides\" with his fastball after the first inning on Friday, and he feels confident in the work he's done in the past week with pitching coach Tom Signore.
\r\n
\r\nSignore said that his ability to control his fastball has a lot to do with his posture on the mound. McGuire tends to throw underneath the ball when he collapses on his backside. It is something he needs to stay on top of in future performances.
\r\n
\r\nThe Fisher Cats pitching staff had their cage rattled all through their opening home series by the Rock Cats. Jenkins had given up three home runs on Thursday. Even Hutchison gave up two earned runs in five and two-thirds innings, though Hutch's outing was a breeze compared to the shellings McGuire has faced.
\r\n
\r\nMcGuire showed the Major League team some of his best stuff in Spring Training, getting one win in relief and striking out five batters in three appearances. McGuire said he felt comfortable in the Big League camp's environment, working alongside some of the best pitchers in the Majors, including Toronto's Ricky Romero and Brandon Morrow.
\r\n
\r\n\"This year at big league camp I got a chance to be way more relaxed,\" said McGuire. \"I asked a lot more questions, didn't feel quite as awkward around some of those guys, and so it was just a great experience.\"
\r\n
\r\nHowever, McGuire hasn't been able to carry that relaxed feeling into his first two regular season starts. Fisher Cats catcher A.J. Jimenez said that he's seen McGuire get frustrated during his rougher innings this year, having to tell him to keep his head in the game.
\r\n
\r\nTuesday night was a hard loss for Jenkins, who gave up eight runs before being pulled in the third inning. If ever there was a time for McGuire to pitch well for his team, it is now.
\r\n
\r\n\"We need [McGuire] to go deep in the game,\" said Signore after Jenkins' performance Tuesday evening, a night in which three pitchers from the bullpen were called to the mound.
\r\n
\r\n\"if you see his ball on a downward plane, he's going have a good game, and you'll see it early,\" said Signore. \"If it's on the same plane early and it's a fastball, it could be a long night.\"
\r\n
\r\nNo one judges a starting pitcher on two performances, no matter how high his ERA is. If McGuire wants to impress his superiors in Toronto, though, then he better turn his game on soon. Wednesday night would be a perfect time.
\r\n
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