A few pregame notes before the RailRiders take on Rochester tonight.
Cessa feeling good
Though his record won’t back it up, Luis Cessa is on a bit of a roll. The righty is 1-2 in his last three games, but he has a 2.25 ERA over the stretch (5 ER in 20 innings). He’s struck out 17, walked three and allowed 13 hits hits.
Cessa said he’s found the feeling for all of his pitches again. He said some of his struggles were the result of using too many fastballs, so he’s trying to mix in his offspeed stuff more. That includes changeups to right-handed batters. The 25-year-old said he never used to throw same-side changeups before this season. He said the organization told him he has a good changeup, and that he needs to use it more. Cessa said he knew scouting reports on him started to show he only threw fastballs and sliders to righties. Righties are batting .291 against Cessa this season, and have five home runs in 37 innings. Cessa limits lefties to a .221 average and two home runs in 28 innings. So, adding changeups to the mix gives them something else to think about.
“Don’t think too much, throw it in the same spot where you throw it for lefties,” Cessa said.
With CC Sabathia possibly heading to the disabled list, a spot in the Yankees rotation could open for the first time this season.
The RailRiders’ upcoming pitching rotation still includes all the starting pitching candidates SWB could offer. Brady Lail starts tonight, then Cessa, Bryan Mitchell, Chance Adams and Domingo German in a doubleheader Saturday, then Caleb Smith. Sabathia’s next start would come Sunday, so, theoretically, Adams, German and Smith could be in play to make the start. Adams and Smith would require 40-man moves.
Greg Bird and Tyler Austin were out early for some work with hitting coach P.J. Pilittere. Pilittere put the duo through a drill that involves aligning a screen with outside part of the plate, then Bird and Austin had to either pull underhand tosses or drive them up the middle. Pretty sure it’s the Kevin Long-Robinson Cano drill, or at least it’s very similar. Austin worked the middle of the field. Bird hit liner after liner to right, peppering the RailHouse bar, the wall and the track.
Pilittere appears to be a very hands-on hitting instructor. Don’t think it’s a coincidence that he’s shot through the organization so quickly.
Also, Gleyber Torres, Cito Culver and Mark Payton did some early bunting work.