Coultas Moves Into the Rotation

Ryan Coultas spent the first four years of his professional career as a utility infielder, but when it became evident a position switch would save his career, the right-hander went to the mound. Now in his second season of pitching, Coultas has returned to Double-A with a spot in the rotation after spending last season in the bullpen.

Following the 2007 season, Binghamton pitcher Ryan Coultas had a decision to make—remain a utility infielder and face an unknown future or take his strong arm to the mound and see what he can make out of the opportunity. He chose the latter and has not looked back.

Coultas spent the 2008 season in the St. Lucie bullpen and led the team with 47 appearances, registering a 1-5 record and 4.17 ERA. He showed off a hard fastball and nascent secondary pitches, but the year of experience and dedicated work in the off-season has landed him in the B-Mets rotation—a move he takes with great appreciation for his development.

"I took it as a huge compliment to move to the rotation. I think it's been big for my development because I learn a lot more pitching five or six innings than I do throwing one inning," he said.

"Pitching in relief, I could come in, throw 15 fastballs in one inning and be done, but the learning curve is not as sharp like going in and having to face the lineup three or four times," he continued.

Yet the move to the rotation comes with greater demands and attention to detail, and that was the focus of his spring. He worked with new B-Mets pitching coach Hector Berrios on refining the nuances of starting.

"For me, it's been mostly a mental adjustment to pitching. I'm going on my fifth full year in professional baseball, so now it's just about learning how to pitch. I've got pretty much my whole repertoire, but now it's a matter of putting it all together and picking something up every day," he said.

"Hector worked with me on building solid routines and keeping my focus throughout the game. Being a starter, going five or six innings per game, maintaining that focus is not only critical but it takes a lot of mental toughness to hang on to it throughout the game. That's been the main objective."

The move to the rotation also means Coultas will have to use all of his pitches in greater frequency unlike last season when he could pump his low to mid-90s fastball one after the other. He already boasts a very solid changeup and a sneaky curveball with overhand break, but sequencing those pitches is a daily focus.

"I'm learning to use all my pitches and my fastball is my number one, but I'm learning how to use the breaking ball in a variety of counts like a get-ahead pitch, an out-pitch and that's the same with my changeup. I'm learning when and how to use my pitches and day to day I'm working to make everything a little sharper," he detailed.

For Coultas, becoming a starting pitcher is a process that requires maximum effort in every workout, every meeting, every inning. That dedication has brought him back to Binghamton 16 months after concluding the 2007 uncertain about his future.

After spending the 2008 season as a vital piece of the St. Lucie bullpen, where he used his time watching younger pitchers Dillon Gee, Dylan Owen, Tobi Stoner and Michael Antonini perfect their craft, Coultas continues to persevere and recognizes a spot in the rotation opens yet another window of opportunity.

"I've taken a lot of pride in myself that I've taken up pitching as fast as I have. I knew I had to actively try to pick something up every single day and I have to try and get better because I can't afford to just run out there and sling some pitches up there and hope it works out. I need to get better and do it as fast as I can. I've done that since day one and I've been very fortunate" he explained.

\r\n \r\n\r\nFollowing the 2007 season, Binghamton pitcher Ryan Coultas had a decision to make—remain a utility infielder and face an unknown future or take his strong arm to the mound and see what he can make out of the opportunity. He chose the latter and has not looked back.
\r\n
\r\nCoultas spent the 2008 season in the St. Lucie bullpen and led the team with 47 appearances, registering a 1-5 record and 4.17 ERA. He showed off a hard fastball and nascent secondary pitches, but the year of experience and dedicated work in the off-season has landed him in the B-Mets rotation—a move he takes with great appreciation for his development.
\r\n
\r\n\"I took it as a huge compliment to move to the rotation. I think it's been big for my development because I learn a lot more pitching five or six innings than I do throwing one inning,\" he said.
\r\n
\r\n\"Pitching in relief, I could come in, throw 15 fastballs in one inning and be done, but the learning curve is not as sharp like going in and having to face the lineup three or four times,\" he continued.
\r\n
\r\nYet the move to the rotation comes with greater demands and attention to detail, and that was the focus of his spring. He worked with new B-Mets pitching coach Hector Berrios on refining the nuances of starting.
\r\n
\r\n\"For me, it's been mostly a mental adjustment to pitching. I'm going on my fifth full year in professional baseball, so now it's just about learning how to pitch. I've got pretty much my whole repertoire, but now it's a matter of putting it all together and picking something up every day,\" he said.
\r\n
\r\n\"Hector worked with me on building solid routines and keeping my focus throughout the game. Being a starter, going five or six innings per game, maintaining that focus is not only critical but it takes a lot of mental toughness to hang on to it throughout the game. That's been the main objective.\"
\r\n
\r\nThe move to the rotation also means Coultas will have to use all of his pitches in greater frequency unlike last season when he could pump his low to mid-90s fastball one after the other. He already boasts a very solid changeup and a sneaky curveball with overhand break, but sequencing those pitches is a daily focus.
\r\n
\r\n\"I'm learning to use all my pitches and my fastball is my number one, but I'm learning how to use the breaking ball in a variety of counts like a get-ahead pitch, an out-pitch and that's the same with my changeup. I'm learning when and how to use my pitches and day to day I'm working to make everything a little sharper,\" he detailed.
\r\n
\r\nFor Coultas, becoming a starting pitcher is a process that requires maximum effort in every workout, every meeting, every inning. That dedication has brought him back to Binghamton 16 months after concluding the 2007 uncertain about his future.
\r\n
\r\nAfter spending the 2008 season as a vital piece of the St. Lucie bullpen, where he used his time watching younger pitchers Dillon Gee, Dylan Owen, Tobi Stoner and Michael Antonini perfect their craft, Coultas continues to persevere and recognizes a spot in the rotation opens yet another window of opportunity.
\r\n
\r\n\"I've taken a lot of pride in myself that I've taken up pitching as fast as I have. I knew I had to actively try to pick something up every single day and I have to try and get better because I can't afford to just run out there and sling some pitches up there and hope it works out. I need to get better and do it as fast as I can. I've done that since day one and I've been very fortunate\" he explained.
\r\n
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