Rowland making transition with Power

After being selected in the third round of the 2010 draft by the Arizona Diamondbacks, Robby Rowland has made his way to the Pittsburgh Pirates organization.

The 20-year old right-handed starting pitcher was traded to the Pirates for Brett Lorin in March of 2011.

He spent most of the early part of this season in Extended Spring Training, but has recently been making his presence known with the West Virginia Power.

The well-traveled Rowland has been taking it all in.

"It's a grind," Rowland said. "Especially with a new organization where I'm trying to figure out what the differences are between the Diamondbacks and the Pirates. But everyone has been really, really helpful."

The Power coaching staff has been very pleased with what Rowland has to offer on the mound.

"The feedback from the coaches has been pretty positive. They like my stuff and what I can do," Rowland said. "They like a groundball pitcher. They like a guy that can save the bullpen a little bit."

As far as his performance on the mound, Rowland is yet to allow more than four runs in a start this season. He is 5-3 in 12 starts with the Power and has posted a 3.46 ERA.

Despite the success, Rowland is always looking to improve.

"I call myself a perfectionist so I'm never really satisfied with what I'm doing," he said. "I just have to build off every outing, whether it's good or bad. You have to take the negatives and just learn what you can do better every outing. Take it into your five days off and do what needs to be done and keep working."

Rowland has recorded at least six innings pitched in six of his last 11 starts. The sinker-ball pitcher wants to stay consistent in this category.

"Logging innings is very important," he said. "I feel like sinker-ball pitchers get a lot of innings and get early contact. That's the kind of pitcher I want to be. That guy the team can count on to go deep into a ballgame. Just doing that and knowing I can go late in a game and keep the pitch count down."

Recent success for Rowland, though, has enabled him to be more confident on the mound. He's been keeping his sinker ball down in the zone and his defense has been strong behind him.

"That's the biggest thing. It's all about your confidence. Just trusting your stuff and not having those big innings," he said. "You have to trust your ability and constantly keep the ball down in the zone. You can't lose that confidence."

Rowland has had a lot of success with his sinker ball. However, a back-up pitch is something he is still trying to find.

"The biggest negative for me is just trying to find a secondary pitch I can throw for strikes to accompany my sinker. I'm going in and hitters are starting to see me a little bit and starting to cheat a little bit."

Rowland admits the transition from the Diamondback to the Pirate organization has been a difficult one. But support from his teammates and coaches are allowing him to find his comfort zone.

There was one huge difference between the two organizations that took some getting used to, though.

"There are always the little things that are different. Honestly, the biggest change I'd have to say is the weight lifting," Rowland said. "I wouldn't say harsher, just more intense with the Pirates. As you can see, I'm not the biggest guy on the team, so I'm sure I can use the extra focus in that area."


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