Daniel Corcino has struggled so far in 2013 for the Louisville Bats. His stats will point out just how much as he has a 10.29 ERA in 14 innings with 10 walks and 14 strikeouts. On the surface, the strikeout rate looks good, but given the amount of walks and hits allowed, his strikeout rate isn’t as high as it seems. In his last start in particular, the results were ugly as he allowed 7 earned runs on 8 hits and a walk with 2 strikeouts in 2.1 innings pitched. The hits were hard hit balls with several extra-base hits. So, what is the problem? Well, it has been two fold so far. First, his mechanics are a mess. During the season he has changed where he toes the rubber (something he worked on with the pitching coach, not something he chose to do on his own). But, aside from that he is having a lot of trouble repeating his mechanics and his release point is all over the place on the horizontal plane which is leading to absolutely no command at all and poor control most of the time as well. He has no consistency within the zone and when he is missing within the zone, he is often missing up in the zone. The other side of things is that he isn’t at his full velocity right now. Corcino has been in the high 80′s to begin the year in the past and is there again this season so far in April. When you couple a complete lack of control and a fastball at hitting speed, you are going to get poor results. Hopefully, like years in the past, he can bump up his velocity as the season goes on. Mechanically he has battled to repeat his release point throughout his career, but I can’t recall seeing it this bad either. Hopefully he and Ted Power (Louisville’s pitching coach) can get things working correctly and he can get on the right track.
I had a chance to see Sal Romano in person last week up in Dayton. His line was ho-hum: 4.1ip, 3r, 0er, 2bb and 1K. His defense was brutal behind him on the night as they had four errors. He induced 14 groundballs while allowing 6 fly balls and just 1 line drive during the game. It was a cold night with a breeze coming through the stadium, but he was sitting 88-92 with his fastball on the night that had good movement (see video below). He used his curveball as his go to pitch more often than not of his secondary offerings. It was 73-77 MPH and was a little inconsistent, but was a good pitch when it was right that had two plane break. His change up, a pitch that reports from last year clearly labeled it as a clear third pitch, was actually pretty good looking (see video below) in my opinion. He is the 6th youngest pitcher in the Midwest League so far in 2013 and that can’t be understated enough. He showed good poise on the mound during the game even when things weren’t going his way. I am a fan of his stuff and think that if he can make the normal progression over the next few years will be able to miss more bats as he matures.
Billy Hamilton is in a real slump to begin the year, hitting just .221/.293/.309 (I wrote this Thursday afternoon before the Bats game began). As a switch hitter there are always two sides to look at things from. From the right side of the plate, he is hitting better (.267), but his plate discipline hasn’t been strong with no walks and 6 strikeouts. The swing however looks good. He is balanced and the swing looks fluid like it always has. Of course, that is his natural side that he has been hitting from for his entire life. From the left side of the plate though, Hamilton is falling back to his old ways. He is not hitting (.184), but he has been more patient at the plate as he has drawn 7 walks and struck out just 7 times. With that said, he just looks bad at the plate from the left side right now. He is often off balance and out on his front foot just throwing the bat at the ball (like he would do in 2011) instead of staying back and trying to hit the ball with authority (like he was doing in 2012). He has slightly different mechanics at the plate from the left side this year and it could be something that he is still getting acclimated to. It is still early in the season and we have seen Hamilton work through these kinds of struggles in the past, so I don’t think there is much to be concerned about at this point. If he is still struggling from the left side of the plate to hit the ball with authority at the end of May perhaps we need to look deeper at his new batting stance and see if it could be a part of the problem.
While in Dayton to watch Sal Romano the Dragons used Diaz out of the bullpen. The plan is to use him as a starter, but he made his first appearance out of the bullpen and I will have another report on him next week as I plan to go see his next start with the Dragons. However in my first look in person of Diaz he was throwing 88-92 MPH on the chilly night and touched 93 once that I saw. He was throwing a slider in the 82-86 MPH range to go along with a change up at 78-81 MPH.