Scottsdale, Ariz. -- We've heard quite a bit from relief pitcher Mitchell Osnowitz already this spring; in camp on effectively a month-long tryout, the big righty is trying to impress the Colorado Rockies' front office enough to make a team by the end of this week and continue his baseball career for another summer. There are no guarantees, though.
I've seen bits and pieces of Osnowitz's innings a couple times in camp thus far this spring, but hadn't yet been able to get him on video. That changes now, though—above, watch him throw to a handful of hitters on Wednesday, March 30 during one of the club's camp day intrasquad scrimmages.
Osnowitz didn't have it on this day; he walked two hitters in his first inning of work, and struggled with command, but ultimately worked two weak ground balls including one for a double play. He walked another batter in his second inning, too. Maybe that's a bad thing as far as his chances of making the team; maybe results don't matter and it's more about how Osnowitz is throwing and what the Rockies' staff feels they can make out of him.
I can't speak to that, but I can speak to this: considering his relative lack of experience on the mound, struggling with mechanics and release point a little bit, especially early in a season, ought to be expected. As Osnowitz himself has noted in his blog, his outings have been hit or miss, an inconsistency that screams to get more innings under the hurler's belt if possible.
He has a really, really nice looking breaking ball—a hard curveball that has a lot of late depth to it. It comes out of his hand like a slider, but has a much more significant break than all of the true sliders I've seen in camp, and it's easy to dream on it as a strikeout pitch. But, on this day at least, he never established his fastball well enough to move consistently to the curveball. A lesson learned, perhaps.
I'm on the edge of my seat regarding what the Rockies will do with Osnowitz this weekend as they make their camp assignment determinations. He's a very, very nice guy and he always makes a point to walk up to me in minor league camp and shake my hand when he sees me. Couple that with his underdog story, and it's impossible not to root for a guy like that. He's already survived the team's first round of cuts, and there's no question he has some legitimate power relief tools with which to work. In another day or two, I guess, we'll find out if the Rockies believe him to be worth it.
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