Nuding Making Progress Behind The Numbers

TRENTON, NJ - For a guy who has a 5-10 record this season, Zach Nuding is very positive about how his season has panned out with the Trenton Thunder. That's because those who have watched him pitch know that his record doesn't do him justice for how much progress he's made since the start of the season.

In addition, for Trenton pitchers who have started ten games or more, Nuding is second in earned run average with a sub-four ERA; 3.98 to be exact. He has not gotten the decisions that he deserves for a majority of the season.

"Zach has pitched himself in some tough luck this year," Trenton manager Tony Franklin said. "We haven't scored him a lot of runs and we didn't play well for him earlier in the year.

"I've been telling him that I like his ability to just go out there and compete no matter what's going on in the game. It doesn't seem to bother him. I think the guy is going to be a pretty good pitcher, I think he has made a lot of progress this year, and he's only going to get better."

He started a game with the Triple-A Scranton Wilkes-Barre RailRiders on June 21 where he went five and two-thirds innings, gave up three earned runs, and was on pace to earn a win before a blown save led to a 5-4 loss.

Though his time last month in Scranton was brief, Nuding did learn about what it means to inch closer to the Major Leagues.

"The higher up you go, the more of a living and breathing for baseball [it becomes]," Nuding said. "This is what you've got to want to do every day. That is what it is in order for you to make it.

Next level above Triple-A is the Major Leagues and even in Triple-A you can tell it's a difference. It was just brief, I was only up there for a start, [but] it gives you an idea of what to expect when I have the chance to go out there again."

Since the all-star break, he has pitched three games, is 3-0, and possesses a 2.12 ERA. The execution of his offspeed pitches is a huge reason why. It has been his biggest improvement throughout the year.

"No doubt offspeed has been the biggest improvement," pitching coach Tommy Phelps said. "The biggest thing is that he's getting confident in it and he sees the shape. He's putting in a lot of work in between his outings. He understands what he's looking for and he sees it now. So now he's able to execute well because he knows his expectation for it."

In addition, pitching down in the strike zone has been something that Franklin has admired of Nuding throughout the year. It's a crucial skill for any young pitcher to develop, and it has made a difference between Nuding winning or losing throughout the year.

"I like his ability to throw the ball down in the zone, and like most pitchers, when he throws it up, he's not good," Franklin said. "When he's down and he's sinking the baseball, he can get you out.

"He's got a slider with swing-and-miss capabilities, and that's always a good thing. You're going to get strikeouts like that. You've got to have these guys swing and miss and get some strikeouts and that's what Zach's done."

A key factor in Nuding's development as a pitcher is the mechanics of his delivery. Now that he has played a majority of his season in Double-A, he feels that has been a major improvement in his progress towards the big leagues.

"I think my mechanics have gotten a lot more natural," Nuding said. "You want everything to be off the same arm angle so that we don't have them differently for different pitches because it makes it easier for the hitters to pick up your pitches.

I feel like that throughout the year they have gotten better and well-rounded to being the same mechanics regardless of the pitch. So they have grown and improved."

With a season where he hasn't seen a lot of luck in the wins column, his biggest goal for the rest of the year is to finish strong, and feel more mature as a pitcher.

"I just want to finish the year strong," Nuding said. "I want to go out and be better than when I started the year. That's always the goal.

"I never want to be on the same level as how I started. I don't want to be a tick below or a tick better than how I started; I want to know that I've ended the year better than I started. So that's the overall goal."

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\r\n \r\n\r\nIn addition, for Trenton pitchers who have started ten games or more, Nuding is second in earned run average with a sub-four ERA; 3.98 to be exact. He has not gotten the decisions that he deserves for a majority of the season.
\r\n
\r\n\"Zach has pitched himself in some tough luck this year,\" Trenton manager Tony Franklin said. \"We haven't scored him a lot of runs and we didn't play well for him earlier in the year.
\r\n
\r\n\"I've been telling him that I like his ability to just go out there and compete no matter what's going on in the game. It doesn't seem to bother him. I think the guy is going to be a pretty good pitcher, I think he has made a lot of progress this year, and he's only going to get better.\"
\r\n
\r\nHe started a game with the Triple-A Scranton Wilkes-Barre RailRiders on June 21 where he went five and two-thirds innings, gave up three earned runs, and was on pace to earn a win before a blown save led to a 5-4 loss.
\r\n
\r\nThough his time last month in Scranton was brief, Nuding did learn about what it means to inch closer to the Major Leagues.
\r\n
\r\n\"The higher up you go, the more of a living and breathing for baseball [it becomes],\" Nuding said. \"This is what you've got to want to do every day. That is what it is in order for you to make it.
\r\n
\r\nNext level above Triple-A is the Major Leagues and even in Triple-A you can tell it's a difference. It was just brief, I was only up there for a start, [but] it gives you an idea of what to expect when I have the chance to go out there again.\"
\r\n
\r\nSince the all-star break, he has pitched three games, is 3-0, and possesses a 2.12 ERA. The execution of his offspeed pitches is a huge reason why. It has been his biggest improvement throughout the year.
\r\n
\r\n\"No doubt offspeed has been the biggest improvement,\" pitching coach Tommy Phelps said. \"The biggest thing is that he's getting confident in it and he sees the shape. He's putting in a lot of work in between his outings. He understands what he's looking for and he sees it now. So now he's able to execute well because he knows his expectation for it.\"
\r\n
\r\nIn addition, pitching down in the strike zone has been something that Franklin has admired of Nuding throughout the year. It's a crucial skill for any young pitcher to develop, and it has made a difference between Nuding winning or losing throughout the year.
\r\n
\r\n\"I like his ability to throw the ball down in the zone, and like most pitchers, when he throws it up, he's not good,\" Franklin said. \"When he's down and he's sinking the baseball, he can get you out.
\r\n
\r\n\"He's got a slider with swing-and-miss capabilities, and that's always a good thing. You're going to get strikeouts like that. You've got to have these guys swing and miss and get some strikeouts and that's what Zach's done.\"
\r\n
\r\nA key factor in Nuding's development as a pitcher is the mechanics of his delivery. Now that he has played a majority of his season in Double-A, he feels that has been a major improvement in his progress towards the big leagues.
\r\n
\r\n\"I think my mechanics have gotten a lot more natural,\" Nuding said. \"You want everything to be off the same arm angle so that we don't have them differently for different pitches because it makes it easier for the hitters to pick up your pitches.
\r\n
\r\nI feel like that throughout the year they have gotten better and well-rounded to being the same mechanics regardless of the pitch. So they have grown and improved.\"
\r\n
\r\nWith a season where he hasn't seen a lot of luck in the wins column, his biggest goal for the rest of the year is to finish strong, and feel more mature as a pitcher.
\r\n
\r\n\"I just want to finish the year strong,\" Nuding said. \"I want to go out and be better than when I started the year. That's always the goal.
\r\n
\r\n\"I never want to be on the same level as how I started. I don't want to be a tick below or a tick better than how I started; I want to know that I've ended the year better than I started. So that's the overall goal.\"
\r\n
\r\n

\r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n\r\n
\r\n

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