Atlanta Braves fans have to remember the incredible pitcher that Mike Minor was in 2013. After his surgery that put him behind in the team’s spring training, Minor hoped that he could return to the starting rotation as good as he was last season. This season we have seen flashes of the Minor that once was, but it hasn’t lasted, as he seems to have fallen back to his 2012 self.
Things seemed to be going very well after Minor’s seventh start of the season. He brought his ERA down to 3.07 and had just struck out 10 batters over the course of seven innings. Since then, things haven’t really gone Mike’s way, giving up 22 runs in his last five starts. His ERA is up to 4.73, and he isn’t looking like a pitcher that the Braves can really afford to put on the mound every fifth day in a tight division race.
The solution is as easy to explain, but maybe the hardest to do for a pitcher: avoid pitching to the middle of the plate. The real cause of Minor being hit as much and as hard as he has lately is because he is pitching to the middle of the plate. The cause behind this is the fact that he is getting behind in counts on a regular basis, which makes it extremely difficult for a pitcher like Minor to get people out. He likes to rely on his fastball high in the zone after he has gotten ahead, which doesn’t work to well on 2-0 or 3-1 counts, where hitters can sit on those pitches and drive them. For Minor to have a better season, he has to start getting ahead in the count to get batters out on a regular basis.