Scottsdale, Ariz. -- Yohan Flande is a man of few words, even more so when those words are translated from Spanish to English through teammate Rafael Ynoa in the Rockies' Arizona clubhouse. But those few words nevertheless reveal the left-handed swingman, who just turned 30 years old, is more business-like in his approach this spring than ever before.
"I’m working on keeping the ball down more, and fixing the problems that I had before, trying to improve my command and consistency in the strike zone," Flande told Purple Row through Ynoa on Thursday. "My goal is to keep pitching well like I’m doing now. That’s pretty much it."
Flande is pitching well now, too; though spring stats mean little, the lefty had allowed just one run on three hits and no walks over eight innings to go along with ten strikeouts in Cactus League play entering Thursday, though that afternoon, he was roughed up a little bit by the Seattle Mariners.
Even his 2015 season was markedly better with the Rockies than his rookie year the summer before; Flande walked away with the first three wins of his big league career across 19 games (10 starts), the culmination of nearly a decade of work in the minor leagues that gave him time in the Phillies' and Braves' organizations before coming to Colorado.
It's a journey Flande doesn't mind, though.
"I don’t care how long I spent in the minors, I’m just living in the present and my mind is focused on where I am now, as opposed to what happened before," the pitcher said. "I’m good here. I just thank God for the chance."
Though he's in camp on a minor league deal and is not on the 40-man roster—the third straight year that's been the case for him with Colorado in the month of March—the lefty is almost undoubtedly going to get his chances in the Major Leagues this summer, especially as Rockies pitchers like Jon Gray, Chris Rusin, and David Hale continue to deal with minor injuries of various degree.
That's not on Flande's mind, either.
"I don’t worry about anything else," he admitted. "I just keep things simple, and I stay to the basic keys of what I have to do."
That mindset has gotten Flande to the big leagues, and then last year, saw him go from a fringe major leaguer to throwing significant rotation innings for the club. Clearly, something has been working with that outlook.