Wright Where He Needs To Be

Wright is starting to keep the ball down more

The last memory many Yankees fans of Chase Wright isn't the most pleasing one for a fan as he gave up four home runs in a row to the Red Sox. Fans who have had the chance to watch him pitch in the minors, however, will tell you tales of success. Wright has posted a record of 4-1 in the minors this year, compiling a 3.27 ERA in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Wright came to Scranton after a brief stint in the majors. He enjoyed his experience at the Major League level and made sure to take something back to Scranton with him.

"It's nice to go up there and experience it myself," said Chase Wright. "To be able to get those hitters out adds to my confidence."

Following the stint in New York, he is aware it's back to work in the minors and is taking each day one step at a time.

"I feel as I prepare one start at a time," he said of his approach. "Every time I go out there I want to give my chance a team to win."

Prior to his start in the Majors, Wright spent the season in Double-A Trenton where he found success in 20 innings of work, only allowing two runs for a 0.90 ERA. Despite most of his time on the mound being in Double-A, Wright is confident he'll get the job done throughout the season in Triple-A.

"If I can pitch up there and get some guys out in the Majors, I should be able to get guys out down here in Double-A and Triple-A," a confident Wright told us. "I take that from it confidence-wise. It's good to be able to show that I'm able to do that."

A major reason for this confidence and success is Wright's recent improvement in his control mechanics, allowing him to locate his changeup lower in the zone. Early in Wright's Triple-A tenure, he had a tendency to leave more changeups up.

"I feel a lot better command-wise. I was able to work the changeup, low and away. With the team scoring runs, it allowed me to really work," he said making reference to his May 19th start at home against Richmond.

Manager Dave Miley has like what he's seen so far from his young lefty.

"He knows how to pitch," said Miley. "I think the key is, and Dave (Eiland) has alluded to it, he's got to finish off his pitches and keep the ball down."

With the changeup's importance to Wright's game, he make sure to continue improving on it. In recent weeks, it's been the last pitch used as he finishes up his warm-ups.,br>
"It's one of my last few pitches in the bullpen," said Wright, who is happy with his progress with the changeup. "It's nice to go out and throw it low and away. That's the spot I need to throw it."

With his success with the changeup, it allows Wright to better command the strike zone and makes his fastball more effective. Much like his changeup, he is continuing to work on getting his fastball lower in the strike zone as well.

"I was able to keep my fastball down," he said of his recent games. "The first few starts, I was getting it up a lot. Now that I've been able to get it down, I feel a lot better about it, definitely more comfortable on the mound. I felt very pleased with it."

Dave Miley would agree with Wright's self-assessment.

"It's just a matter of getting consistent with his pitches and keeping the ball down," added Miley. "Here or anywhere else you pitch, you're going to get hurt up."

Wright's fastball is in the mid to upper 80's. He throws both a two and four-seam fastball, with the four seam a more occasional option. Also included in his repertoire is a changeup and breaking ball, which he believes to be around the mid 70's, and uses his changeup as his setup pitch.

Pitching Coach Dave Eiland is happy thus far with what he's seen of Wright, but made it clear that there's more work to be done.

"He's not where he needs to be yet but he's getting there. He's changing speeds, throwing all hit pitches, his fastball, his breaking ball and his change up," Eiland said, noting the improvements in Wright's game thus far. "His command is a little bit better. We just want to get him a little better command of his breaking ball."

"[It's] in between a curve and a slider," Wright said describing his breaking ball. "Sometimes it curves, sometimes it slides."

He has been able to locate that pitch over the course of his recent starts, though one would still describe it as a pitch that is still in the works.

"I knew that I had that in my back," said Wright. "The first two three innings I didn't use it much. It was nice to go out here and knowing I had it and that I would be able to locate it."

Dave Miley is confident that Wright will continue to work hard and bring the right stuff to Scranton. With his assortment of pitches, and an impressive work ethic, it's clear his manager has faith in him.

"When he does that," Miley said of Wright keeping the ball down and controlling his offspeed pitches, "he's as good as anyone in the league."

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