Luis Settling In

For Yankees prospect and Cuban native Omar Luis, who signed last season for $4 million, the 2013 season has had plenty of ups and downs. The 20-year-old left-hander came in with high expectations, but has mostly been a disappointment in his first professional season. Despite his lackluster numbers, Luis feels that things are finally starting to turn around.

"My first few outings I've been dealing with a lot of control issues," Luis said through the help of a translator. "But I've been working hard between starts and I've done a much better job with my fastball command since then."

The hard work seems to be paying off somewhat. After posting a 6.08 ERA and over a.300 opponent batting average in his first fourteen outings, Luis hasn't allowed an earned run in three of his last four outings and opponents are hitting an anemic .184 against the International free agent.

Adjusting to baseball in the United States might have had a lot to do with Luis' early season struggles, but if his August outings are any indication, he may be finally starting to settle in.

"My throwing program was all over the place," Luis said of his first couple months of minor league experience. "Now I can just focus on going out there and pitching. I'm happy where I'm at."

The control issues are still evident, however. Luis has more walks [28] than innings pitched [26.2] this season, including twelve free passes over his last thirteen innings. GCL Yankees pitching coach Jose Rosado thinks the pressure of living up to gaudy expectations might have a lot to do with the erratic command.

Luis signed an International contract upwards of four million dollars last summer.

"When you come to a new place you're trying to show everybody why you're here," Rosado said. "He knows he has huge expectations. Once he improves the 'I'm going to strike everyone out on the first pitch' mentality, he'll be fine. He's got great stuff."

No one said the transition to the U.S. was going to be easy. Luis understands that.

"Hitters are a lot more disciplined here," Luis said. "They're making adjustments and I just have to make my adjustments as well."

Although his four pitches [fastball, curveball, slider, changeup] have been mostly out of the zone this year, his quality stuff has still led to a lot of swings and misses. The 6-foot, 210 pound starter has 35 strikeouts so far this season.

However, being effectively wild can only take you so far. Both Luis and coach Rosado are well aware of that.

"I need to improve the command on my fastball," Luis said. "That's going to lead to a lot more success."

"Baseball is a game of adjustments, there's always something to work on," Rosado said. "He's already made a great adjustment on his changeup, and I'm sure the fastball will follow."

Rosado also believes that Luis could benefit from an improved mound presence, something he's tried to instill in the young pitching prospect on a regular basis this GCL season.

"Sometimes he just tries to do too much and his mechanics get thrown off," Rosado said. "Then it takes him a little bit to get back on track."

The growing pains are evident for Luis in his first professional season, but hey, aren't they for just about everybody? Rosado has no doubts he'll right the ship and fulfill his lofty expectations.

"He'll be good," Rosado said with a smile. "He's a left-hander with great stuff, after all."

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\r\n \r\n\r\n\"My first few outings I've been dealing with a lot of control issues,\" Luis said through the help of a translator. \"But I've been working hard between starts and I've done a much better job with my fastball command since then.\"
\r\n
\r\nThe hard work seems to be paying off somewhat. After posting a 6.08 ERA and over a.300 opponent batting average in his first fourteen outings, Luis hasn't allowed an earned run in three of his last four outings and opponents are hitting an anemic .184 against the International free agent.
\r\n
\r\nAdjusting to baseball in the United States might have had a lot to do with Luis' early season struggles, but if his August outings are any indication, he may be finally starting to settle in.
\r\n
\r\n\"My throwing program was all over the place,\" Luis said of his first couple months of minor league experience. \"Now I can just focus on going out there and pitching. I'm happy where I'm at.\"
\r\n
\r\nThe control issues are still evident, however. Luis has more walks [28] than innings pitched [26.2] this season, including twelve free passes over his last thirteen innings. GCL Yankees pitching coach Jose Rosado thinks the pressure of living up to gaudy expectations might have a lot to do with the erratic command.
\r\n
\r\nLuis signed an International contract upwards of four million dollars last summer.
\r\n
\r\n\"When you come to a new place you're trying to show everybody why you're here,\" Rosado said. \"He knows he has huge expectations. Once he improves the 'I'm going to strike everyone out on the first pitch' mentality, he'll be fine. He's got great stuff.\"
\r\n
\r\nNo one said the transition to the U.S. was going to be easy. Luis understands that.
\r\n
\r\n\"Hitters are a lot more disciplined here,\" Luis said. \"They're making adjustments and I just have to make my adjustments as well.\"
\r\n
\r\nAlthough his four pitches [fastball, curveball, slider, changeup] have been mostly out of the zone this year, his quality stuff has still led to a lot of swings and misses. The 6-foot, 210 pound starter has 35 strikeouts so far this season.
\r\n
\r\nHowever, being effectively wild can only take you so far. Both Luis and coach Rosado are well aware of that.
\r\n
\r\n\"I need to improve the command on my fastball,\" Luis said. \"That's going to lead to a lot more success.\"
\r\n
\r\n\"Baseball is a game of adjustments, there's always something to work on,\" Rosado said. \"He's already made a great adjustment on his changeup, and I'm sure the fastball will follow.\"
\r\n
\r\nRosado also believes that Luis could benefit from an improved mound presence, something he's tried to instill in the young pitching prospect on a regular basis this GCL season.
\r\n
\r\n\"Sometimes he just tries to do too much and his mechanics get thrown off,\" Rosado said. \"Then it takes him a little bit to get back on track.\"
\r\n
\r\nThe growing pains are evident for Luis in his first professional season, but hey, aren't they for just about everybody? Rosado has no doubts he'll right the ship and fulfill his lofty expectations.
\r\n
\r\n\"He'll be good,\" Rosado said with a smile. \"He's a left-hander with great stuff, after all.\"
\r\n
\r\n

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

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\r\n

\r\n

Become an annual subscriber today!

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