Scahill Makes His Pitch For Rockies

DENVER—Overall statistics don't reveal the growth by high Class A Modesto righthander Rob Scahill this season. Mechanical adjustments enabled Scahill's command to improve as the season went on, and he effectively incorporated a curveball into what basically had been a fastball-slider repertoire.

The Rockies eighth-round pick in 2009 out of Bradley, Scahill went 10-7, 4.73 and tied for fourth in the California League in both innings pitched (156) and strikeouts (140). But in 13 first-half starts, Scahill went 3-4, 6.51 with an average of 4.2 walks and 7.5 strikeouts per nine innings compared to 7-3, 3.41 in 14 second-half starts with an average of 2.8 walks and 8.5 strikeouts per nine.

In his lone playoff appearance, Scahill threw a complete-game five-hitter with no walks and 11 strikeouts in Modesto's 3-1 win in the first game of a best-of-three series with Stockton.

Modesto pitching coach Darryl Scott said the key improvement in Scahill's mechanics "was just creating a little better line to the plate. He had a tendency to get around his pitches a little bit."

Toward the end of the season, Scahill sat at 93-94 mph with his fastball and typically touched 96. Better mechanics, Scahill said, improved the bite on his slider, a pitch he was able to throw for strikes or bury in the dirt. Due to the mechanical adjustments, Scott said Scahill's "curveball really came a lot more naturally to him as the season went along."

Scahill's focus in instructional league was to work on his changeup. He used a grip he picked up just before the playoffs. Throwing it in a very consequential game in the postseason would have been unwise, unlike instructional league where the results were promising.

"It had a lot better action than any other changeup I've thrown," Scahill said. Asked whether he had confidence for the first time in his changeup, Scahill said, "Starting to,  it's in its beginning stages."


• Triple-A Colorado Springs outfielder Cole Garner, who can be a minor league free agent, planned to play winter ball in Mexico for Obregon from the third week in November through the end of the year.

• Shortstop Rosell Herrera, 18, was the only instructional league participant from the Dominican Summer League, where he hit .237/.323/.284 in 67 games but had the same number of walks and strikeouts (24) in 232 at-bats.