Andy Schindling: Third Time is a Charm

Andy Schindling struggled through his first two professional seasons, but made significant progress in 2006. Now starting for the Aberdeen Ironbirds, he hopes to continue progressing through the Orioles' system. ITW recently caught up with Schindling to discuss his progress with his arsenal, working on a pitch count, and much more.

Andrew Schindling, a local talent from St. Johns College High School in Washington, DC, was drafted in the 16th round of the 2004 amateur draft. Last season, his third in the Orioles system, proved to be his most successful yet as a professional. In 2006, Schindling compiled a 2.18 ERA and 45 strikeouts in 17 appearances (5 starts) with Bluefield and Aberdeen. Now 20 years old, the right-hander has learned to trust his entire arsenal.

"[My] fastball, curveball and changeup; I was able to throw them all for strikes and stay ahead of the batters."

Though he is not a flame-thrower, Schindling generates plenty of movement on each of his pitches and induces more than his share of groundballs. After getting to work with Aberdeen Pitching Coach Calvin Maduro for the second year in a row, Schindling has seemingly made adjustments in each start this season.

"Mainly my changeup, getting out in front, and having the same arm speed," Schindling told Inside The Warehouse after his most recent start against Lowell . "Also, with my curveball, I kind of slow my arm down with it, and [coach Maduro] has been helping me out a lot with it, and it showed tonight against [Michael] Jones when I was able to get that curveball over, and then got him to swing at one in the dirt, and then groundout on the next one."

Occasionally, Schindling has made opponents look like many of the foes Bugs Bunny has fanned. Coach Maduro spoke unequivocally about exactly how the 6-2 starter has been able to accomplish this.

"So far, from extended to now, the changeup is what he has improved on the most. He has perfect arm action on his changeup; it looks like a fastball but it's his change."

"He has a really good change up, really good arm action on his changeup," Maduro added. "So, when his fastball is not there, he will go to his changeup."

Despite having to deal with a strict pitch count, Schindling often worked backwards to get through five innings in his most recent start.

"Right now, they had me at 70 [pitches] tonight, but I felt like I could have gone more. But, Etch is the manager and I respect his decisions," Schindling said, but then added, "Hopefully, next time I can throw more strikes, so, even with that 70 pitches, I can go more innings."

Schindling won't have to worry about his pitch count being as limited as it has been.

"His pitch count is going to be up to 95, so it will be up next time," Maduro told ITW.

Being a right-hander without dominating stuff, Schindling has to be smarter than your average pitcher to get noticed.

"I'm going to improve on getting outs quicker. I'm kind of using up my pitches, overthrowing and throwing too many balls. I just have to work ahead. I've behind a lot of batters and, basically, attack more and use my pitches wisely."

Maduro also discussed on what he expects to see from Schindling the rest of the season.

"Keeping his mind focused in the whole game. We're going to be working on getting his arm stronger, going deeper into games, and being more consistent."

Through 22.1 innings pitched, Schindling is sporting a 4.03 ERA, largely inflated due to one bad outing on July 14th. If he is able to avoid any more outings like that, he has a good chance of being fast-tracked to low-A Delmarva. Now in his fourth professional season, the young pitcher knows what it will take to accomplish his goals.

"Repetition. Just go out there and get my innings, and keep battling, throwing strikes."

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