Manatees’ pitcher Tyler Cravy is craving more starts after producing multiple stellar outings after coming out of the bullpen.
With the loss of left-hander Jed Bradley for the season and struggles of other top rated pitchers to start the season, Manatees’ Manager Joe Ayrault turned to Cravy.
“I made a couple spot starts in his place,” Cravy said. “It gave me the chance to be in the starting rotation and I was not sure how long I would be there but things have worked out great.”
The 24-year-old right-handed pitcher has allowed just six earned runs in his last eight outings spanning 42.1 innings.
He has started seven of the the eight outings compiling just a 2-1 record and a few no decisions for the Florida State League team.
Cravy struck out a season-high eight batters in his last two appearances totaling 12.1 innings combined.
Brevard County saw Cravy as a late-inning setup man to closer Tommy Toledo at the start of the season.
Cravy believes the transition to starter has allowed him better preparation and ability to sharpen up his pitches.
“As a starter it is just an opportunity for more time in between starts,” Cravy said. “And working on mixing up my pitches.”
The 17th round selection in 2009 believes the slider is giving him the best route of success in his most recent starts.
“I am pretty confident with my slider lately,” Cravy said. “I sometimes pitch it a little slower to get guys out and faster to jam it in.”
Cravy believes there are telltale signs he will have a good game during pre-game warmups including the ability to mix up his pitches.
“Definitely the fastball, if it leaves my hand well,” Cravy said. “If I can throw sliders for strikes. Its good indication of how I will do.”
Brevard County’s catching core of Cameron Garfield and Rafael Neda are credited with keeping him level throughout games.
“They both do a great job calling games and tell on me to stay on top of my pitches,” Cravy said. “They helped me out a lot.”
Cravy spent all of 2012 with both catchers with the Single A Midwest League Champion Wisconsin Timber Rattlers and learned quickly the difference between both leagues.
“They (hitters) are definitely more disciplined and you do not get away with bad pitches,” Cravy said. “If you get a bad pitch in, chances are you are going to pay for it.”
And as Cravy progresses slowly up the organization’s minor league ladder, he has shown signs of improvement on an annual basis.
Regards to Jacob Barnes, Brent Suter
Cravy noted fellow starter Jacob Barnes as another reason for the Manatees’ high points throughout the season.
Barnes came on in a rare relief appearance following an early departure by Milwaukee’s number 19 rated prospect Damien Magnifico August 23 to pick up his ninth victory of the season.
In the game, he struck out six batters in six innings and allowed just one walk and no earned runs to help the Manatees to a 3-1 win.
Barnes has boasts a 9-3 record with an earned run average of 3.02 in 101.1 innings pitched for the 2013. Milwaukee selected Barnes in the 14th round of the 2011 draft.
In addition, team-leader Brent Suter in Innings Pitched was noted for the ability to keep his walks down and Cravy mentioned his tall and lanky body type as the reason for taking on an extensive amount of innings.