Artz Ready To Take On The Sally League Again

After putting up some impressive numbers in Charleston a year ago, reliever Stephen Artz couldn't find the same level of domination in Tampa this season. Now back in Charleston, he's looking to get back to that same successful level.

Riverdogs reliever Stephen Artz started the year with the Tampa Yankees before coming back to Charleston this season. In thirteen games with Tampa he posted a 3.05 ERA but allowed twenty-three hits in twenty innings.

He began the 2007 season with the San Angelo Colts of the United League before the Yankees purchased his contract and sent him to the Riverdogs. Back with Charleston for a second stint, Artz is hopeful to have a successful season after being unhappy with his performance in Tampa.

"I didn't get many innings in Tampa and so far being here this year I haven't made a great impression yet here," said Artz, "but I'm learning more from my mistakes this year."

One of the lessons Artz seems to have learned is to keep his pitches down and Tampa coaches added a sinker to his fastball-slider arsenal to aid in that goal.

"I learned the sinker in Tampa and I've been getting a lot of ground balls," he said. "My success has come when I'm keeping the ball down in the zone. And it has really been a pitch I can go to so it's something important I've picked up this year."

Riverdogs pitching coach Jeff Ware echoes Artz's sentiments regarding his lack of work in Tampa and the young pitcher's need to shore up the mistakes of the past.

"He's got a little bit of work to do and he didn't get too much work in Tampa so the Yankees sent him here hoping to get him more innings and we're trying to get him out there as much as we can," said Ware.

"Right now we're trying to figure out the best role for him here. But he throws a lot of strikes and is starting to keep the ball down in the zone and get ground balls."

Last year, Artz's numbers were impressive as he chalked up twenty-seven strikeouts in twenty innings while walking just six. Artz feels more comfortable in his second go-round in Charleston, but the lack of a constant role may be frustrating twenty-four year old.

"I feel like I'm a little more settled down mentally this year as opposed to the transition from Indy ball to here in 2007," Artz revealed. "Last year I had a lot more adrenaline going and this year I've been more collected. But its not the same. I don't know why I haven't had the same results as last year."

As the year progresses, the righty from Georgia will be working on pounding the strike zone, something he has never had problems doing, but he has learned that he does not always need to be throwing the ball right over the plate.

"I don't walk a lot of guys but I've learned that its okay to walk guys here and there instead of throwing the ball straight down the middle, so instead of just throwing strikes, I need to throw quality strikes."

Coach Ware notes that sinking pitches can make up for a player who doesn't go out there to blow the ball past hitters and someone who can induce a lot of ground balls can be just as effective as a fastball hurler.

"When guys don't have above average fastballs, sinkers are great pitches," said Ware. "And when you can get the ball down in the zone you'll be amazed at how many ground balls they can get, so that's what we're going to be working on with him."

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\r\n \r\n\r\nRiverdogs reliever Stephen Artz started the year with the Tampa Yankees before coming back to Charleston this season. In thirteen games with Tampa he posted a 3.05 ERA but allowed twenty-three hits in twenty innings.
\r\n
\r\nHe began the 2007 season with the San Angelo Colts of the United League before the Yankees purchased his contract and sent him to the Riverdogs. Back with Charleston for a second stint, Artz is hopeful to have a successful season after being unhappy with his performance in Tampa.
\r\n
\r\n\"I didn't get many innings in Tampa and so far being here this year I haven't made a great impression yet here,\" said Artz, \"but I'm learning more from my mistakes this year.\"
\r\n
\r\nOne of the lessons Artz seems to have learned is to keep his pitches down and Tampa coaches added a sinker to his fastball-slider arsenal to aid in that goal.
\r\n
\r\n\"I learned the sinker in Tampa and I've been getting a lot of ground balls,\" he said. \"My success has come when I'm keeping the ball down in the zone. And it has really been a pitch I can go to so it's something important I've picked up this year.\"
\r\n
\r\nRiverdogs pitching coach Jeff Ware echoes Artz's sentiments regarding his lack of work in Tampa and the young pitcher's need to shore up the mistakes of the past.
\r\n
\r\n\"He's got a little bit of work to do and he didn't get too much work in Tampa so the Yankees sent him here hoping to get him more innings and we're trying to get him out there as much as we can,\" said Ware.
\r\n
\r\n\"Right now we're trying to figure out the best role for him here. But he throws a lot of strikes and is starting to keep the ball down in the zone and get ground balls.\"
\r\n
\r\nLast year, Artz's numbers were impressive as he chalked up twenty-seven strikeouts in twenty innings while walking just six. Artz feels more comfortable in his second go-round in Charleston, but the lack of a constant role may be frustrating twenty-four year old.
\r\n
\r\n\"I feel like I'm a little more settled down mentally this year as opposed to the transition from Indy ball to here in 2007,\" Artz revealed. \"Last year I had a lot more adrenaline going and this year I've been more collected. But its not the same. I don't know why I haven't had the same results as last year.\"
\r\n
\r\nAs the year progresses, the righty from Georgia will be working on pounding the strike zone, something he has never had problems doing, but he has learned that he does not always need to be throwing the ball right over the plate.
\r\n
\r\n\"I don't walk a lot of guys but I've learned that its okay to walk guys here and there instead of throwing the ball straight down the middle, so instead of just throwing strikes, I need to throw quality strikes.\"
\r\n
\r\nCoach Ware notes that sinking pitches can make up for a player who doesn't go out there to blow the ball past hitters and someone who can induce a lot of ground balls can be just as effective as a fastball hurler.
\r\n
\r\n\"When guys don't have above average fastballs, sinkers are great pitches,\" said Ware. \"And when you can get the ball down in the zone you'll be amazed at how many ground balls they can get, so that's what we're going to be working on with him.\"
\r\n
\r\n

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

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\r\n

\r\n

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