Andrew Brackman has a disappointing record of 1-11 with an earned run average of 6.72. In 85.2 innings pitched, he has surrendered 89 hits, 64 walks, 22 wild pitches and struck out 79 batters.
He believes that when things aren't going right, the game really speeds up. He doesn't have time to step back and think what he's going to do next.
RiverDogs pitching coach Jeff Ware believes that Brackman has dealt admirably with the mental and physical aspects of the game.
"We were working so hard on getting his mechanics back that maybe he started to think a little too much about it, instead of getting back to the old point ‘don't think, just throw,'" said Ware. "And now he's getting over the issues of thinking about everything so much and he's been able to relax a little more."
Even though his current stats aren't as encouraging as everyone would like, he has shown significant improvement in his previous two outings. In those starts he pitched five innings in both and walked only three. Earlier in the season, it was rare for him to get through four innings.
"Over the last couple of starts he is defiently getting back on track," Ware said before Thursday's start. "He's been able to throw a lot of strikes and repeat his delivery, and we're still working with his changeup.
"The most important thing for him right now is that is he throwing quality strikes down in the zone, especially with his fastball and curve," he continued. "His changeup is coming along, but being able to repeat his delivery was his problem. Now he is building the muscle memory back up and I think that is why he is having a little bit of success right now."
Brackman has been working with Ware on his mechanics over the past few months and feels that isn't the issue. The hurler's main concern is his velocity, and admits that he needs to improve his arm strength and endurance.
"My arm feels great and I've shown that I can get my velocity up to where it used to be," he said. "I'm not walking as many people as before and that had to do with my mechanics. As long as I can keep the walk totals down, getting my control back and the velocity will come."
"I think the biggest thing is that his misses are now around the zone and it's not balls going towards the backstop," said Manger Torre Tyson. "His misses are like a typical pitcher that's trying to find out how to command, so hopefully he's fixing things and starting to bring his sidework and penwork in between the lines and I think that's the big thing for him."
Brackman is used to experiencing success and this is one of the first seasons where he's faced adversity. He realizes that this is just another chapter in his hopefully long career and the only way to get back on track is to come out every day, work hard and it will eventually come back.
"You got to give a guy like him so much time just because the possibilities you have with him are tremendous, and numerous teams have seen that," said Tyson. "So we've got to be patient if and when he gets it, which will be at some point and I'm sure it will be very special."
This is not the season that Brackman imagined but he knew that this was going to be a difficult process.
But more importantly, he is making progress every day in order to get himself back to where he once was.
Not All Bad For Brackman
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