ABERDEEN, Md. - Known as a workhorse pitcher as a junior this season at the University of Illinois, Orioles first-round draft pick Cody Sedlock said the three-inning outings he is throwing now for short-season Single-A Aberdeen are taking some getting used to.
Before the Orioles selected Sedlock with the 27th-overall pick in June, he averaged over seven innings a start while going 5-3 with an ERA of 2.49 at Illinois. He was the Big 10 Pitcher of the Year. He threw nine innings or more in four of his last five starts, throwing 132 pitches in one 10 2/3 innings outing.
With 101 innings already under his belt during the college season, the Orioles want Sedlock to throw just three innings in each start for Aberdeen to finish the summer at around 130 innings with a few more available for fall instructional league.
“You know I’m the type of guy where, if I’m going to start a game, I want to finish it myself,” Sedlock said last night after his latest start. “I know that it’s the right thing to do, throwing three innings and getting my work in. At first it was hard to adjust, but I’m starting to get the hang of it.
“Right now they just want me to get my feet wet with everything and get used to pro ball. That’s it right now. I’m not straying away too much from my college routines. Just get my feet wet and hit the ground running next year.”
The latest outing for the 21-year-old right-hander was a solid one Wednesday night at Leidos Field at Ripken Stadium. Pounding the zone with a high percentage of fastballs, Sedlock pitched three scoreless innings as the IronBirds beat the Staten Island Yankees 7-3.
In a 52-pitch outing, Sedlock allowed just one hit (an infield single), while walking two and fanning four. He now has an ERA of 2.50 through six starts.
His fastball sat often between 93 and 95 mph and touched 96 and 97 mph. Sedlock needed 26 pitches to escape a bases-loaded jam in the first as a result of an error, an infield hit and a walk. Catcher Daniel Fajardo blocked a couple of pitches in the dirt to save a run on a wild pitch before Sedlock fanned the inning’s sixth hitter to end that threat.
He was more efficient throwing 13 pitches each in the second and third. He fanned the last two batters he faced, one on an 82 mph curveball, the other on a heater at 94 mph.
“Felt good,” Sedlock said “Fastball felt good and I felt like I got into a pretty good routine this week. Off-speed pitches could have been better. Mixed in a couple of changeups. We swung the bat well today and it was nice to get a big early lead and roll off that.”
In a play similar to one we saw in Wade Miley’s first Orioles start, Sedlock took a shot back to the mound off his calf in the first inning, but he is fine and the trainer didn’t even come out to take a look.
Sedlock, who signed with the Orioles for a slot bonus of $2,097,200, said he knows expectations are high for him as a first-round pick.
“Yeah, some of the guys on the other teams have a scouting report on me and they know how I pitch,” he said. “It’s one of those things where they are going to bring their A game every single time, so I have to bring my A game. You know it’s a lot of fun.”
Last night was Sedlock’s second scoreless outing. Three times he has allowed one run and one time he gave up two runs. Over 18 innings with the IronBirds, he has allowed 10 hits and five runs with 10 walks and 18 strikeouts. He has a 2.50 ERA.
He said he has a dream job that has lived up to the hype.
“Oh, yeah, absolutely. I’m getting paid to do what I’ve been loving to do since I was 5 years old. It’s been an unbelievable experience,” Sedlock said of his time with Aberdeen.
Check out “O’s Xtra” today at 3 p.m. on MASN as I’ll have more on Sedlock’s outing last night and how he is doing well in his first season in pro ball.
About last night in Oakland: The Orioles scored 10 runs in the first three innings of their game on Sunday at Chicago. In 33 innings since the fourth inning of that game, they have scored three total runs. The O’s pitchers have given up six runs total in Oakland, but the Orioles have scored just three. Pretty frustrating to lose 3-2 Monday, 2-1 Tuesday and 1-0 last night.
Oakland’s starters in this series - Kendall Graveman, Zach Neal and Ross Detwiler - have combined to pitch 20 1/3 innings allowing 14 hits and two runs with no walks and seven strikeouts. That is a series rotation ERA of 0.89 for Oakland.
Meanwhile, the O’s rotaton has produced six consecutive quality starts, pitching to an ERA of 3.00 in that span, but producing only a 2-4 record. The Orioles have not had a single winning road trip this year, and one more loss on this one and that mark will stay intact.
Three straight one-run losses is frustrating. So is falling into second place. The only thing that will change that is some wins, and some runs will be needed to get that done.