Sean Newcomb tacked three more scoreless innings onto his spring training resume Sunday, with a performance that left his manager quite pleased.
“I thought he was really impressive. His secondary stuff was really good. It was a real strong outing for him,” Brian Snitker said.
It was Newcomb’s second appearance of the spring. In his first, he went two innings without allowing a ball out of the infield. Two walks, though, marred the outing. Consistency and control have been the watchwords for him this spring as he attempts curb the impulse to issue too many walks.
In Sunday’s 5-6 win, he did give up one, four-pitch walk. Two more balls to the next hitter prompted a visit by catcher Tyler Flowers. The message, Newcomb said: “Everything’s good, zone it in a little bit, take a breather.” He came back to strike out Miguel Rojas on a sharp curveball and end his three-strikeout outing.
The progress of the Newcomb curveball has been an encouraging sign this spring. He’s intent upon being more aggressive with the pitch and, he said, “trying to eliminate those elevated misses.” Good idea.
“When he hits with that curveball then they have to be more aggressive with his fastball,” Snitker said.
And as he works on his craft this spring, the 25-year-old Newcomb is marshaling his experience and starting to sound like a wizened veteran.
“I think I have a better grasp on everything mentally,” he said. “I feel more comfortable this year knowing what to expect start-to-start. I’m going out to work on stuff more than going out to show stuff.”