Single-A Potomac Nationals right-handed starter Cameron Selik has already been through a lot in his career, and he is only a 23-year-old. He underwent Tommy John surgery before he earned a scholarship to the University of Kansas.
So, you can see how Selik has already had his resiliency tested, and has shown how determined he is to keep pushing towards his goal.
Selik started the year at low Single-A Hagerstown and rolled through the South Atlantic League. He went 3-0 in five starts with a ridiculous 0.31 ERA. But at Potomac, he is searching for his first win, going 0-3 in three starts.
Although he wanted to begin the season in Potomac, Selik says he was still excited to get the call.
“It was a goal of mine to start the season here and when it didn’t happen, I was little disappointed in spring training,” Selik said. “But I understood the whole move.
“My personal goal was to get here as soon as possible by earning my spot. Everything worked out pretty good. I threw pretty good in Hagerstown. When I got the call to come up, it was to get to this level. Now, I am just trying to find my spot on this team and prove that I belong here.”
Last week, he walked the first two batters and then surrendered a three-run shot. But after that rough beginning, Selik settled in nicely.
“It had been awhile since I had been off the mound because I missed a start,” Selik said. “The first inning didn’t go as I wanted but I was able to settle down. The next four innings were the best I have thrown since I got here. I felt like that got me rolling.”
Selik believes he found something that will help him in his next start.
“From now on, it is going to be like that,” Selik said. “I am going to keep my team in the game and give us chance to win every start. Because that was my goal down in Hagerstown and that is my goal here. Give the team a chance to win every time I pitch.”
Selik said he likes to set the tone with his fastball, which is working from 89 to 93 mph.
“As of right now, (my goal) is get ahead with the fastball,” Selik said. “I make them put the fastball in play. When you get ahead, then make your pitch, lately it has been the hard slider as my out pitch.
“I have been working on getting ahead with the fastball and work the changeup. The pitching coaches, Chris Michalik and Paul Menhart, have been mainly concentrating on the change. I am working on getting the changeup into a plus-pitch along with my fastball, slider and curveball.”
As Menhart has said before, if he can get pitchers like Selik to command their changeup, it can be the difference between a good pitcher and a major league pitcher.
“Once (my changeup) finally comes along that will make me that much better a pitcher,” Selik said. “I will have that extra pitch when I am behind in the count. I can throw it over the plate and get back to even.”
Selik starts today for the Potomac Nationals in game one of a doubleheader against the Lynchburg Hillcats at 12:05 p.m. in Woodbridge, Va.