Main overpowering AZL opposition

First round pick Michael Main is off to an outstanding start to his professional career, as he has yet to allow a run in 9 2/3 innings with the AZL Rangers. Lone Star Dugout caught up with the righty after his most recent start, where he struck out five batters in four scoreless innings against the AZL Giants.

Arizona Rangers pitcher Michael Main made his fourth start of the season last Tuesday, tossing four scoreless innings. He allowed two hits, walked two batters, and struck out five.

"I thought I threw the ball pretty well," said Main of his outing. "I was just trying to stay down in the zone and get outs. I was trying to throw a lot of strikes and really pound the zone."

Main routinely blew his fastball – which sat at 94 miles per hour – by the AZL Giants hitters. While he believed the heater was his most reliable pitch during the game, he thought his curveball could have been better.

"I struggled with my curveball early on," he said, "but I was able to throw it when I needed to throw strikes with it. Early on I was having trouble finding a release point for it."

Some of the right-hander's curveballs came out at a big 11-to-5 spin while some broke more sharply, like a slider. Main says that was part of his problem.

"I think those eleven-to-fives were when I dropped down a little bit and wasn't really getting on top of the ball," said the 18-year-old. "When I did get on top of it, those were the ones I was throwing for strikes. I had a little trouble finding the release point last night."

Main also mixed in a few changeups in the game's early innings. Because he only used the pitch sparingly in high school, the righty is currently working to develop it in his first professional season.

"I think [my changeup] has come along well," said Main. "It is definitely a necessity in the higher levels of baseball. It keeps guys off-balance and it has helped me get out of a couple of jams."

Before he appeared in a game on the mound, the Florida native played in eight games as the team's designated hitter. Main has not hit in a game since, and he may not in the future.

"For now it's pretty much on hold," said Main of his hitting. ‘They said they might bring it back in instructional ball, but the main focus is pretty much on pitching."

Main has been extremely successful in four starts this season, as he has yet to surrender a run in 9 2/3 innings. He has given up just four hits while walking five and striking out 13.

However, when asked how he feels about his season, Main prefers to keep the focus on his team's success.

"We started out playing real well," said Main. "Then we kind of hit a little skid, we were on a seven game skid. It looks like we're starting to play a little better."

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