EVERETT — AquaSox starter Brandon Williamson has always relied on his slider as his primary offspeed pitch. But lately, he’s adopted a curveball that’s yielded very positive results.
During his start on Saturday, Williamson spun plenty of effective curveballs and struck out five of the seven batters he faced.
“We’ve been kind of working on keeping the same arm speed and making sure things aren’t obvious coming out of the hand with different speeds,” Williamson said. “We’ve kind of tinkered around with it and I feel pretty comfortable throwing strikes with it and I’ll throw it any time.”
Williamson, the Seattle Mariners’ second-round pick in June’s MLB draft, has thrown 6.1 professional innings and has not given up an earned run and has struck out 15.6 batters per nine innings.
Gladfelter reflects on 2nd pitching stint
It’s unlikely AquaSox infielder Cash Gladfelter will be the next two-way phenomenon in professional baseball.
But hey, there’s some potential there.
Gladfelter was forced to take the mound in the sixth inning of Tri-City’s rout on Saturday night, serving up a two-run homer, but that was it in terms of loud contact off Gladfelter in two innings of work.
“It was so cool to get back on the mound there and throw,” Gladfelter said. “I used to pitch a little bit in college, so it’s just cool to be out there.”
Gladfelter’s infamous professional debut on the mound on July 6 in Eugene ended with him being ejected by home plate umpire Andrew Clark after he plunked a batter. Ironically, Clark was behind the dish for Saturday’s contest as well.
“I looked at him and I said, ‘I’m not going to hit anyone this time, so don’t worry about ejecting me. Even if it wasn’t intentionally that time,’” Gladfelter said. “He chuckled a bit at that.
“I was just trying to throw slow enough so that they couldn’t hit it. I was trying to stay in the 60s, because I know as a hitter that hitting something in the 60s, 70s is pretty tough to hit.”
More seriously, Gladfelter’s found a nice groove at the plate. After struggling in the first part of the season and dealing with a minor wrist injury, he has hit safely in six of his past seven games entering Sunday.
“It’s probably the best my swing has ever felt,” Gladfelter said. “Just working with (hitting coach) Joe (Thurston), we’re just trying to find a consistent swing and I think we’ve found it. I’m seeing pitches better than I have before and my swing just feels like it’s together. Everything is just going really well right now.”
After a leadoff single on Sunday, AquaSox infielder Patrick Frick has hit safely in 11 of his past 12 games, including six multi-hit games. After hitting .193 in the first 16 games of the season, Frick has lifted his average to .268, entering Sunday, after hitting .426 over his past 10 games.