Blue Jays' Chad Dallas Works Backward To Move Forward
Chad Dallas credits a different mentality for helping him get off to a strong start this season to eventually earn an early promotion to Double-A New Hampshire.
The 22-year-old righthander, drafted in the fourth in 2021 out of Tennessee, feels last year he “maybe worried about stuff I couldn't control” and was determined to not let that happen again.
So far, so good.
Dallas debuted at Double-A with nine strikeouts over seven shutout innings after striking out 37 in 26.2 frames over five starts at High-A Vancouver.
He was challenged by Vancouver in his first pro season last year, when he posted a 4.60 ERA in 88 innings over 21 starts while sometimes focusing on the wrong things.
“Seeing your buddies, your teammates moving on, going up, getting promotions throughout the season, maybe last year I struggled a bit worrying about how to move up instead of just how to pitch better and letting the promotions happen when they're supposed to,” Dallas said.
“Controlling the stuff you can control, like filling up the zone, working on the things you need to work on instead of only focusing on how to crawl up the ladder—let it happen on its own.”
Throwing more strikes has been paramount in his quest, and he had reduced his walk rate from 5.2 per nine innings a year ago to 3.7 this season.
Dallas feels “giving the hitters too much credit can even shy you away from filling up the zone,” which is why his approach now is to “go with your strengths and not to their weaknesses.”
His repertoire certainly makes that a possibility.
Dallas’ mindset is “spin to win.” He relies on a slider/curveball mix to get ahead in the count and uses a fastball that sits around 93-94 mph and touches 96 “as an offspeed pitch.”
“The main thing we've talked about since I've been up here is playing the same game I have all season, because it's just a different stadium,” added Dallas. “That's the plan.”