He is a 22-year-old left-hander that has worked his way into prospect status thanks to a fastball that has touched 100 mph. What comes along with that is the challenge to control and command that pitch along with his slider and throw it consistently for strikes.
It has been a bit of a battle for young Tanner Scott, but he remains upbeat about the challenge - and how can you not be intrigued by a kid that touches triple digits? The process of developing a young pitcher here is ongoing.
Along those lines, the Orioles decided to provide more structure to his schedule this year by starting him and pitching him three innings every five days rather than make more inconsistent and unscheduled relief appearances.
He is not changing roles, just changing how they are using him this season at Double-A Bowie.
In his first start on Monday at Erie, Scott gave up two hits and one run over three innings. He walked three and fanned three, throwing 53 pitches.
“We are kind of considering it more that he’s a reliever that is starting every fifth day,” Bowie pitching coach Kennie Steenstra said. “The biggest thing we wanted to do is give him an opportunity to work on his slider more. Have a chance to have a designated bullpen time in between starts to get in extra work. Really it is just a way for him to get more controlled work in.”
The Orioles can envision a future late-inning bullpen arm if Scott can begin throwing more consistent strikes. Over his career, he has averaged 11.3 strikeouts per nine innings but also 6.9 walks.
How can Scott improve his control and command?
“I think the big thing is delivery-wise we are trying to get him to stay taller,” Steenstra said. “He had a tendency to drop down on his back leg which resulted in him missing arm-side a lot, arm-side and high. Which this spring, he’s looked better.”
Orioles manager Buck Showalter got one look at Scott in a spring training game back on Feb. 27. He pitched a scoreless eighth inning with two strikeouts against the Yankees, flashing a fastball that touched the upper 90s.
“It was good for Tanner to get in there,” Showalter said after that game. “He threw some good breaking balls. He’s not just a one-way Harry with the fastball.
“I was talking to Roger (McDowell) today. Roger’s got a couple things he’d like to see him do with his hands and close him off a little more. His presentation is a little open. That’s why he misses up and away a lot.
“You know the guys are going to have to cheat a little bit to get the fastball and it makes them really susceptible to the breaking ball, because the recognition is so late,” Showalter said. “If he can get a breaking ball like he threw today, it gives him a chance to really take it to another level. And a lot of it is because of velocity.”
Scott’s fastball often sits in the 94-98 mph range and his slider works between 88 and 92 mph. He was ranked by Baseball America as the club’s No. 11 prospect at the of both the 2015 and 2016 seasons.
Birds bash in Boston: The Orioles hit five homers in the first three innings - two by Trey Mancini - in last night’s 12-5 win over Boston. They are 5-2 and leading the AL East as they head to Toronto to start a four-game series there tonight. Mancini became the first Oriole to hit five home runs in his first 10 games with the team.
Some notes on the win:
* The Orioles’ five homers matched their season total through the first six games. They had hit five in their first three games and none in the previous three before the breakout at Fenway.
* The Orioles produced season highs with 12 runs and 17 hits. Their previous bests this year were six runs and 10 hits. They had scored four runs in their last two games.
* They snapped a five-game losing streak versus Boston and had been outscored 28-9 during that span.
* Since the 2012 season, the Orioles are 55-41 (.573) against Boston and 30-19 (.612) at Fenway Park.
* Boston starter Steven Wright began the night with a record of 2-0 and ERA of 2.45 in four career games against the Orioles. Then he allowed six runs and two homers in the top of the first. He lasted just 1 1/3 innings, allowing eight hits and eight runs and a career-high four home runs.
* When Mancini homered in the third inning, he had homered five times in 10 career games and 29 plate appearances as an Oriole. That homer, which had an exit velocity of 116 mph, tied for the fifth-hardest hit ball in the majors this year and hardest-hit homer according to this Statcast list.
* Click here to find the first Yard Work podcast of the year, recorded this week, with myself and Brian Eller.