Shreve Moving On Up

On a Lynchburg staff already filled with solid pitching, reliever Chasen Shreve had emerged as one of the toughest arms for Carolina league hitters to face until his recent promotion to Double-A Mississippi. Whether they needed a big stop late in the game or multiple innings, the left-hander had become the go-to man for the Hillcats and now he's looking to do the same in Mississippi.

"He's been pitching great lately," Lynchburg manager Luis Salazar said prior to Shreve's promotion. "He's the one guy we count on in the bullpen in a tough situation for an inning or two, and he gives us a chance to win the game. He keeps the games close. He's got a good chance to pitch in the big leagues someday."

Shreve already features a sidearm delivery that creates extra movement on his pitches, and he's always working on creating more movement. One of his goals for the rest of the year is to develop his secondary pitches.

"Coach Botelho and I have been working on my slider the most, getting it more consistent and getting a sharper break to it," Shreve said. "Working on getting lefties out is a big one too, but that will come with my slider, when I get more control with it."

One of Shreve's strengths, also one of the reasons he's often the first pitcher out of the bullpen, is his ability to get both right-handed and left-handed hitters out. Most left-handed relievers like Shreve are specialists used only to get left-handed hitters out, but Shreve's arsenal of fastballs, sliders and changeups allows him to attack hitters from both sides of the plate.

"His equalizer and his greatest asset against right-handed hitting is his changeup," pitching coach Derek Botelho said. "It has a split, forkball kind of action. He uses that against right-handers, and he's been very successful."

Although Shreve and his coaches know that developing all of his pitches will be an important hurdle on the way to the higher levels of the Braves system, Botelho still thinks it's important for Shreve to establish his fastball on the mound.

"We've really concentrated on getting lefties out and using the slider, sharpening up the slider," Botelho said. "We've been working on that a whole lot, and it's improved.

"He's done a lot better job at that. Sometimes he gets a little bit caught up in using his slider too much. He's got a sneaky fastball that's 90-91 mph. That's good. That's major league average."

Sometimes it's hard to tell what role a pitcher could fill at the higher levels of baseball, but both Salazar and Botelho see Shreve making a career out of his relief pitching prowess.

"He's going to be a relief pitcher, a guy out of the bullpen," Salazar said. "He's got a good sinkerball. He's pitched very consistently down here, and he's got a good chance."

Shreve spent the offseason working at his home in Las Vegas, Nevada. He and his brother even took yoga classes in order to improve his flexibility and prevent injury. Yoga might be considered unorthodox by some people, but nobody can question the results. Shreve posted a 1.85 ERA in 30 appearances this season for Lynchburg before his promotion to Double-A this week.

"It's going good," Shreve said. "I'm just trying to work on stuff and stay focused. I'm trying to have a solid year and stay healthy."

Another thing on Shreve's to-do list is to improve his command when pitching inside to hitters, especially left-handed hitters. If he's able to perfect the art of pitching inside, that will set up more opportunities to use his slider against left-handed hitters.

It's not just the physical part of his game on the mound that coaches have noticed. The mental part of his game is on par as well.

"He's really under control, and he knows what he wants to do out there," Botelho said. "He has a lot of self-confidence. He exudes a lot of confidence, which is good. He's had a great start, and he's continued it throughout the year."

Salazar also has been impressed by Shreve's intangibles.

"He has all the ingredients," Salazar said. "He just has to keep the ball down, throw strikes and compete. He's very knowledgeable and very coachable. He's a great kid to have on the club."

Not many pitchers have what it takes to come out of the bullpen and get outs at the major league level like Chasen Shreve has for the Hillcats in 2012, but coaches are optimistic about their young lefty.

"I think he's got a very good chance of pitching in the big leagues," Botelho said. "I can't say that for sure right now, but he's got the stuff. If he continues to improve and continues his development he's got a very good chance of pitching in the big leagues."


Atlanta Dugout Top Stories

\r\n \r\n\r\n\"He's been pitching great lately,\" Lynchburg manager Luis Salazar said prior to Shreve's promotion. \"He's the one guy we count on in the bullpen in a tough situation for an inning or two, and he gives us a chance to win the game. He keeps the games close. He's got a good chance to pitch in the big leagues someday.\"
\r\n
\r\nShreve already features a sidearm delivery that creates extra movement on his pitches, and he's always working on creating more movement. One of his goals for the rest of the year is to develop his secondary pitches.
\r\n
\r\n\"Coach Botelho and I have been working on my slider the most, getting it more consistent and getting a sharper break to it,\" Shreve said. \"Working on getting lefties out is a big one too, but that will come with my slider, when I get more control with it.\"
\r\n
\r\nOne of Shreve's strengths, also one of the reasons he's often the first pitcher out of the bullpen, is his ability to get both right-handed and left-handed hitters out. Most left-handed relievers like Shreve are specialists used only to get left-handed hitters out, but Shreve's arsenal of fastballs, sliders and changeups allows him to attack hitters from both sides of the plate.
\r\n
\r\n\"His equalizer and his greatest asset against right-handed hitting is his changeup,\" pitching coach Derek Botelho said. \"It has a split, forkball kind of action. He uses that against right-handers, and he's been very successful.\"
\r\n
\r\nAlthough Shreve and his coaches know that developing all of his pitches will be an important hurdle on the way to the higher levels of the Braves system, Botelho still thinks it's important for Shreve to establish his fastball on the mound.
\r\n
\r\n\"We've really concentrated on getting lefties out and using the slider, sharpening up the slider,\" Botelho said. \"We've been working on that a whole lot, and it's improved.
\r\n
\r\n\"He's done a lot better job at that. Sometimes he gets a little bit caught up in using his slider too much. He's got a sneaky fastball that's 90-91 mph. That's good. That's major league average.\"
\r\n
\r\nSometimes it's hard to tell what role a pitcher could fill at the higher levels of baseball, but both Salazar and Botelho see Shreve making a career out of his relief pitching prowess.
\r\n
\r\n\"He's going to be a relief pitcher, a guy out of the bullpen,\" Salazar said. \"He's got a good sinkerball. He's pitched very consistently down here, and he's got a good chance.\"
\r\n
\r\nShreve spent the offseason working at his home in Las Vegas, Nevada. He and his brother even took yoga classes in order to improve his flexibility and prevent injury. Yoga might be considered unorthodox by some people, but nobody can question the results. Shreve posted a 1.85 ERA in 30 appearances this season for Lynchburg before his promotion to Double-A this week.
\r\n
\r\n\"It's going good,\" Shreve said. \"I'm just trying to work on stuff and stay focused. I'm trying to have a solid year and stay healthy.\"
\r\n
\r\nAnother thing on Shreve's to-do list is to improve his command when pitching inside to hitters, especially left-handed hitters. If he's able to perfect the art of pitching inside, that will set up more opportunities to use his slider against left-handed hitters.
\r\n
\r\nIt's not just the physical part of his game on the mound that coaches have noticed. The mental part of his game is on par as well.
\r\n
\r\n\"He's really under control, and he knows what he wants to do out there,\" Botelho said. \"He has a lot of self-confidence. He exudes a lot of confidence, which is good. He's had a great start, and he's continued it throughout the year.\"
\r\n
\r\nSalazar also has been impressed by Shreve's intangibles.
\r\n
\r\n\"He has all the ingredients,\" Salazar said. \"He just has to keep the ball down, throw strikes and compete. He's very knowledgeable and very coachable. He's a great kid to have on the club.\"
\r\n
\r\nNot many pitchers have what it takes to come out of the bullpen and get outs at the major league level like Chasen Shreve has for the Hillcats in 2012, but coaches are optimistic about their young lefty.
\r\n
\r\n\"I think he's got a very good chance of pitching in the big leagues,\" Botelho said. \"I can't say that for sure right now, but he's got the stuff. If he continues to improve and continues his development he's got a very good chance of pitching in the big leagues.\"
\r\n
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