After missing two seasons with elbow surgeries, no one is happier to be back on the mound than BlueClaws pitcher Colby Shreve. The right-hander did not make his pro debut until this year after the Phillies selected him in the 6th round of the 2008 draft.
And for much of this year, no one on the BlueClaws was pitching better than Shreve. He was 3-0, 1.88 after a win in Greensboro on May 19th.
But then it started to come apart. Three starts, all losses, and 15 runs allowed in 16.2 innings, raising his ERA from 1.88 to 4.43.
“I’m not even sure if was that much mechanically [that was wrong],” said Shreve. “I got into charting the other hitters, which isn’t a bad thing, but at this point in my career it’s better for me to develop a plan and go after the hitters that way, rather than pitch towards their tendencies.”
After Steve Schrenk and Mark Parent expressed similar concerns, Shreve was reaffirmed by none other than a Phillies sports psychologist.
“I talked to Jack Curtis, our consultant sports psychologist, who said ‘This game’s easier when you don’t overthink. The simpler you make it the better,’ ” noted Shreve.
Pretty weird to hear that from a sports psychologist, but Shreve has tried to simplify things for himself over the last three weeks, and the results have been good. He was ready for the second-half opener on Thursday, but was rained out after two scoreless innings. While disappointed, Shreve, who was on eight days rest because of the All-Star Break, knows that a little extra rest isn’t a bad thing.
“A lot of guys coming back from two surgeries will have a harder time the next year so any time off can be a good thing.
“I feel great, right back to where I was pre-surgery. There was a long time when I didn’t think that would ever happen, so it’s good.”
Shreve is ready to attack the second half, beginning with a start Tuesday night at FirstEnergy Park.
“I still have a little ways to go, but I feel it’s coming back gradually. The velocity probably isn’t back fully but it takes time. It took a lot of time for me to throw low to mid-90s like I did before I got drafted. I’ll be patient and when it gets here it gets here.”