Pirate’s GM Ben Cherington has made a fair share of trades. His first big trade occurred when he sent Starling Marte to the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for Liover Peguero and the subject of today’s article, Brennan Malone.
Robert Zeigler, a pitching coordinator at X2 Baseball Facility in North Carolina, sat down with me and gave an excellent update on Malone and what he’s seen thus far from the 21-year-old North Carolina native.
Thanks to X2 Baseball, we have some slowed down mechanics for this week’s guest in Brennan Malone. 😍😍
🎥: X2 Baseball’s IG. pic.twitter.com/sFbXXxL6vH
— Cody Potanko (@2HG013) December 13, 2021
“I think Brennan is gearing up for a big year,” said Zeigler. “One of his bigger issues has been his health and maintaining it; you’d see him breakdown during the season. He’s worked diligently to improve general body strength, as well as honing in on mobility. Brennan is recovering better than I’ve ever seen.”
Recovery and maintaining your health throughout a long season are crucial for any pitcher. Something that is just as crucial is what pitches you bring to the table, what it looks like coming out of the hand, movement, velocity, and well, you get the point. Zeigler delved into what he’s seen from Malone thus far.
“Brennan’s arm strength is real; he recently hit 95-97 MPH in the pen,” said Zeigler. “We’ve been working on adding some polish to Brennan’s pitches. I think Brennan has had a lot of voices offering suggestions during his professional time, so instead, my approach has been to let him do what he does naturally and insert myself when needed.”
Zeigler continued on the improvements Malone was making.
“Brennan has made incredible strides with his changeup playing different from his fastball and worked on adding a sweep to his slider. We are starting to see four entire separate clusters on our pitch tracking tech. Malone is approaching four-plus offerings to either start or come out of the pen throwing 98-100 MPH with two different hard breakers.”
Enjoy a good ole Brennan Malone clip! Credit to X2 baseball for sharing this on IG pic.twitter.com/PoIhAxMevu
— Cody Potanko (@2HG013) February 6, 2022
Malone and Zeigler have been working towards tunneling pitches, having them looking the same out of Malone’s hand.
“Tunneling has been something we’ve discussed,” said Zeigler. “We want to make Brennan’s pitches look the same coming out of his hand, as well as tunneling pitch B off of pitch A in an at-bat or bullpen sequence.”
On top of Malone’s health concerns, confidence has also come up in conversations. Rest assured, Zeigler mentioned that Malone is the most confident he’s ever seen. Maybe it’s letting Malone pitch the way he does naturally, or maybe it’s him realizing the time is now to show what he can do.
No matter Malone’s reasoning for his confidence surge, we can all agree that a healthy and confident Malone is a good Malone.