Alex Colome In Motion | The Process Report

Alex Colome In Motion

Alex Colome was originally slated to work out of the bullpen in his first call-up to the Major Leagues; however, Alex Cobb‘s injured finger pressed him into starting duty against the Marlins on Thursday night. Prior to the game, R.J. Anderson predicted the night would go something like “Colome pitching up in the zone, making mistakes over the plate, working an inefficient five innings, yet exiting with a tidy ERA and a chance to earn his first big league win.”

As it turns out, Colome pitched mostly up in the zone. He had some mistakes over the heart of the plate while throwing 96 pitches in 5 2/3 innings. He struck out seven batters and walked two. Despite some early trouble he allowed just one unearned run. Oh, he left in line to earn his first big-league win.

Anderson’s prediction was not the only thing that was pretty much spot on.True to most scouting reports, Colome featured a lively mid-90s fastball. He routinely hit 95 mph on the gun and topped out a few ticks higher. He threw nearly 50 fastballs with a strike-rate hovering around the same number.

Colome’s heater had a lot of arm-side run, leading to command issues up and over toward the right-handed batter’s box.  Because of this, he showed little ability to throw the fastball glove-side or inside to left-handed batters. Process Report contributor and former Major-League pitcher, Eric Knott said the inability to throw to this area consistently enough may lend to left-handed batters become comfortable at the plate if they know he does not pitch inside enough.

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Following the fastball, Colome threw a changeup and slider/cutter half-breed. Thrown a little bit slower than the fastball, he had more command and control of what he calls his cutter. Unlike the fastball, he showed the ability to work this pitch glove-side. Meanwhile, according to Knott, he got underneath at times causing him to miss in the middle of the plate.

By his own account, Colome has been throwing more changeups this year at the suggestion of Joel Peralta. Sure enough, the off-speed pitch was a safety net for the 24-year-old as he navigated through choppy waters in the early stages of the game.

Thrown mostly in pitcher’s counts to entice batters to chase out of the zone, Colome used his the mid-80s changeup a handful of times when behind on balls and strikes. You wonder if this was the working of another veteran, Jose Molina, who was behind the plate for the right-hander’s debut. In addition to having a good feel for the pitch, Colome was also able to coax a fair number of swings-and-misses with the off-speed stuff. Of his 20 whiffs, 14 came off the changeup.

Missing from Colome’s arsenal tonight was an upper-70s breaking ball. As the lineup flipped over in the middle innings, I wondered if he was saving the curveball for later in the game. However, there would be none thrown on the evening.

In terms of mechanics and delivery, Colome pitched from a stretch/wind up hybrid that was introduced to him by Durham Bulls’ pitching coach Neil Allen. Knott agrees this is an attempt to simplify what is still a bit complex delivery that involves multiple moving parts. He also said the Colome had a tendency to fly open and off line which may factor in with arm-side command issues.

Questions about his ability to repeat his delivery only fuel talks about Colome moving to the bullpen; something Knott and others thinks he can do very well. That said, he will continue to work as a starter in the interim. Though his long-term role is to be determined, it is pretty evident that Colome’s future home is a major-league mound.

Data and visuals courtesy of ESPN Stats & Info.



3 Comments

  1. ericknott74 wrote:

    Reblogged this on Florida Baseball Report and commented:

    Contributed to this article on Alex colome- check it out.

  2. […] There are two very good PITCHf/x evaluations of Alex Colome’s outing last night, one over at DRaysBay.com and another at The Process Report. […]

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