When a pitcher is locked in on a hot streak – it is tough to maintain following a promotion to the next level of Minor League Baseball.
Huntsville’s David Goforth remained on a hot streak towards the end of his stint with Brevard County with play-off implications on the line.
“We were still in the playoff run when I was in Brevard the first half heading into the All-Star break,” Goforth said. “We were at a three-game set against Lakeland and I was scheduled to pitch that third game.”
Goforth pitched five innings and allowed two earned runs before being yanked from the game by Brevard County Manager Joe Ayrault.
“We missed out by half of a game that first half and I got pulled,” Goforth said. “In the third game I went like five or six innings and got taken out of the game.”
The Brewers’ 17th ranked prospect in the organization had a scorching stretch of winning three consecutive starts from June 7-June 19.
“I was kind of upset because I was throwing decent and I was starting to get in the groove in the fifth inning and he took me out. My pitch count wasn’t that high and (Ayrault) knew I was a little frustrated,” Goforth said.
Goforth produced near phenomenal numbers with the Florida State League prior to the promotion June 21.
In 14 games for the Manatees he compiled a 7-5 record with an earned run average of 3.08. The starter also accumulated 58 strikeouts compared to 28 walks in the span of 79 innings.
Midway through his stint with the Manatees he won a stretch of three games where he allowed just two earned runs through 21.2 innings pitched including a season-high eight strikeouts May 15 against St. Lucie.
Moving on up to Huntsville
After learning of the news he would don a Stars’ hat following the game against Lakeland, he met with Huntsville the following day.
“Huntsville’s next opponent was in Jacksonville and we played in Florida,” Goforth said. “So I was going to drive up to Jacksonville to meet the team there.”
After a tough initial appearance with the Stars, the pitcher rattled off three consecutive wins to earn him Southern League’s Pitcher of the Week July 8-14.
In his following three starts he struck out 16 batters allowing four earned runs and ten hits through 20 innings, including a complete game shut-out July 8 at Tennessee.
“I was throwing the ball well at that time and I was getting really comfortable out there,” Goforth added.
Goforth followed up his complete game shutout throwing seven scoreless innings allowing just four men to reach base before teammate Brooks Hall sealed the victory.
Goforth is taking the high road in regards to his newest endeavor – relief pitching when Milwaukee made the planned move July 20.
“The Brewers thought it was a good time to make the transition,” Goforth said. “Actually I was pretty excited about the move. I always wanted to pitch in the bullpen and I think it was a good time to do it.”
It took Goforth seven appearances before he notched his first save of the season August 10 and led to four straight save conversions.
“On the difference between starting and relieving, it is a totally different animal,” Goforth said. “When I actually come into relieve late in the ballgames. It’s a totally different mindset so that is something that gets harder (as pitchers advance through the system) so they wanted to make this transition now so that I could get used to it.”
Looking into the future
Goforth re-affirmed his role as a reliever despite multiple strong starts in the 2013 season.
“I am not sure on what the future plan as far as that goes,” Goforth said. “Right now I am going ahead as a reliever and there are still things I need to work on.”
In addition, he acknowledges he will need to be more “on the attack” in his new role.
“You come into games with people on in situations and you got to have your best stuff,” Goforth said. “As far as throwing harder and throwing more velocity I don’t think that is necessarily going to happen.”
Arizona Fall League
Goforth will begin his stint in the Arizona Fall League October 8 alongside six of his fellow Brewers’ farmhands – and looks forward to reuniting with teammate Mitch Haniger of Brevard County and meeting up with his Stars’ teammates.
“I always like coming to Arizona for spring training and stuff like that,” Goforth said. “I play golf a lot in my spare time and nice to do something on my off days or downtime and then hanging out with the guys I played with in Huntsville.”
Additionally, Goforth believes Milwaukee’s second rated prospect Taylor Jungmann has the tools necessary to rebound after a tough 2013 campaign.
“Just want to say everyone has their ups and downs and things are going to happen and its baseball,” Goforth said. “One thing about him is he still competes out there and gives the team a chance to win whether he has the best stuff or not.”
Jungmann is among the seven total prospects Milwaukee sent to the Fall League and Goforth is optimistic about the tall right-hander’s future.
“Just looking at the guy and watch him throw, he can pitch,” Goforth said. “I think he will definitely pitch in the big leagues one day.”