Control problems landed major league hopeful Aaron Poreda in the Double-A bullpen to open the year, and thus far, it hasn’t helped.
Poreda threw 49 pitches yesterday, and only 25 wound up strikes.
The lefty has walked four batters in three innings thus far, although he’s only allowed one hit, no runs, and struck out three.
Still, you can’t have only half your pitches winding up strikes and expect to be successful at higher levels for long periods of time.
Occasionally, a pitcher can have some good luck and post a 1-2 ERA (see Clevelan Santeliz in 2009) in 60 innings, but that doesn’t make him a long-term good bet for sustained excellence.
Poreda’s mechanics still have problems, and I’d suggest he goes back to whatever his mechanics were earlier in his career and stops tinkering. He’s been pushed around through many levels, pitching coaches, and roles in a short period of time, and it’s been a struggle for him to reconcile all the advice he’s been given.
With his velocity now down to the low 90′s, the most attractive aspect of Poreda’s skillset–his former high-90′s heat, is disappearing as well. He can’t control the fastball well when it gets above 95-96, so he keeps it in the 90-94 range to get some control.
Is Poreda broken? I don’t think we can say yet, but the longer this lasts, the worse it looks.