Pitching Adjustment Key For Rockies' Hollingsworth

DENVER—Upward has led to onward for righthander Ethan Hollingsworth at high Class A Modesto.

After going 8-9, 4.37 last season between low Class A Asheville and Modesto, Hollingsworth went to instructional league last fall with changing hitters' eye levels as his priority—in particular, working up in the zone.

Hollingsworth, 23, said he has always had the ability to pitch inside. But making an adjustment and doing it more often up in the strike zone has helped him go 5-1, 2.05 with five walks and 43 strikeouts in 44 innings in a return to Modesto.

"Last year, I would go in a lot," he said. "I thought I established my strike zone. But I wouldn't elevate in; I wouldn't throw it under the hands. This year, I've started to. I've never really had much of a problem throwing around the knees. But I've always had problems kind of working up. I didn't understand what up was."

In the past, Hollingsworth would throw the ball up, but too high to do any good. "I'd be scared to throw it over the middle of the plate up, so it would be basically a wasted pitch.

The Rockies drafted Hollingsworth in the fourth round in 2008 out of Western Michigan. He averaged 2.19 walks and 8.20 strikeouts per nine innings his first two professional seasons, averages this year that are 1.02 walks and 8.80 strikeouts.

"He has more confidence," Modesto manager Jerry Weinstein said. "He's not afraid of contact. He's not pitching to the edges of the strike zone so much. He's got an outstanding changeup, so that allows him to pitch over the middle of the plate more because he pitches front and back as opposed to in and out."


• Righthander Greg Reynolds moved up to Double-A Tulsa after going 1-0, 0.82 in two rehab starts at Modesto. His season started late because Reynolds was hit with a line drive just above the right elbow March 1.

• Modesto catcher Jordan Pacheco was hitting .408/.474/.600 with 16 walks and nine strikeouts.