Carley’s Rollercoaster Ride Speeding Up

CHARLESTON, SC - When asked about this season as a whole, Sean Carley said one thing: "a learning experience". And he’s not wrong. Last year's 14th round pick has pitched to a combined 3.46 ERA in his first full season. The numbers seem good -- and they are, but it wasn’t smooth sailing this season for him.

He began his first full season this year in Charleston and pitched quite well, posting a 3.09 ERA in his first seven appearances and striking out 14 batters in 11.2 innings.

However, as the calendar turned to May his productivity began to slip too as he allowed 16 runs [twelve earned] in his next eight appearances. Opposing batters were hitting a robust .379 off of him during that stretch too.

In fact, things had spiraled downward so quickly that he was sent back to Extended Spring Training to get his game back on-track.

“I started out really well in the first month or so and then as the season went on, I started to lose a little bit mechanically, so I went back down to Extended training in Tampa and worked with the coaches down there and we got my mechanics back in sync,” Carley said.

He went back to Tampa for a couple of weeks before the short-season leagues opened up and he was then sent back to Staten Island. He knew he had his work cut out for him but he wasn’t going to give up easily.

He found himself mechanically once again in Tampa and it was proven in a short stint in Staten Island as he posted a solid 1.74 ERA in five New York Penn League appearances before finally getting a chance to move back up on July 9th.

Now he’s back in Charleston and he’s been a good asset for the team, posting a tiny 1.23 ERA over his last ten appearances since returning to the South Atlantic League. Pitching coach Tim Norton says his game has improved tremendously this season since he first started.

“He did a lot of work on his arm strength and building up muscle down in Tampa," Norton said. "He gained his confidence back and started using his lower half a little more.

"He really got on track. He’s got more life in his arm now. He’s getting there in the low 90s. His slider has been hard and tight lately. He’s got the tools.”

It's been a bit of a roller-coaster ride for Carley this season thus far, a ride that hasn't been easy for him, but he knew he had what took to be a valuable player once again.

“I knew I had the stuff to have success at each level, and obviously whenever you get sent down, you just have to find it within yourself to stay positive and trust the process," Carley said. "Going back there [to Tampa], I set a good goal for myself and worked my way back up and I’ve had success.”

That positive attitude worked in his favor and he’s worked hard to get where he is. There’s no doubt that all those steps back only propelled him forward and that’s all you can ask of yourself as a player. The goal is to get better every day and Carley is doing just that.

“The biggest thing I learned was that there are a lot of games," he added. "You can’t worry too much about every little thing. If you have a bad outing, you know that the next one is just around the corner and dwelling on your bad outing is not a good thing.

"You have to wash it and continue to move forward, the ability to play every game hard and at the end of the day focusing on something else other than baseball has really helped me.”

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