Cody Bolton has the bug.
In the spring, the Pirates prepared Bolton for his new role within the organization. With this opportunity, he got a chance to pitch late in games. He even closed a few out. Now, there’s no going back from the feeling.
“I got to close out a couple of games in the spring, and I haven’t gotten the opportunity to do that before,“ Bolton said. “It’s a different type of adrenaline rush.”
Bolton said that he didn’t get to sleep until two in the morning following that rush.
The right-hander enjoyed a lot of success in 2022, earning the Indianapolis Pitcher of the Year award. However, that was in a hybrid role that featured a mixed bag of starting and relieving.
“He is going to have more of a defined role, which I think, is going to be good for him,“ said Indianapolis pitching coach Dan Meyer. “It will let him settle in and go out and pitch.”
Bolton is aware that success in this role, at this level, could lead to him pitching in the majors at some point this year.
“I think he’s excited for that,“ said Meyer.
Last season, Bolton pitched for the first time in live games since 2019, and was very pleased to make it through the season healthy. In 30 games, Bolton made 14 starts and pitched 75.2 innings. Over that stretch, he posted an ERA just north of three and struck out just south of 10 batters per inning in his first Triple-A action.
With this in mind, Meyer said the biggest transition is adjusting his body to the rigors of a full-time reliever. He sees a bright future in the role.
Internally for Bolton, the biggest difference comes in preparation. In the hybrid role last season, he was given much more advance notice to prepare for an appearance. This year, he will be used more as a traditional reliever.
“Being a starter, you have more time to prepare for the outing,“ Bolton said. “In the bullpen, you never know when you are going to get in the game. It could be the first or second, or even the eighth or ninth. You have to always be on your toes and ready to go.“
Bolton loves the feeling and can’t wait for another opportunity to close games.
“It’s really fun getting that last out,“ Bolton said. “Especially if it’s a strike out.“
TODAY ON PIRATES PROSPECTS
It’s Tuesday, which normally would mean an article drop. With minor league seasons starting, we have article drops hitting the site every day this week. We’ve got our season previews rolling out over the next few days.
My first daily column looks at a play between Bryan Reynolds and Jack Suwinski, and argues that Suwinski should be the center fielder.
I’ve been having fun writing this series on my view of the tools of baseball. I have a feeling that the formatting style of these articles is leading to the death of at least two Boomers per article. Just like with COVID, we all have to make sacrifices to keep the economy going. In this case, the economy is thinking about the game of baseball like a game of chess.
**Five Sleepers to Follow in the Pittsburgh Pirates System in 2023
Kicking off our minor league coverage, I gave five sleepers to follow in the Pirates’ system this year. Deep tracks only!
**Cody Bolton Amped-Up For Move to the Bullpen – READING
Cody Bolton has moved to the bullpen as a full-time reliever in Indianapolis. Ryan Palencer talked with the right-hander, who was amped up about the new, consistent role.
Ryan has been following Indianapolis baseball for most of his life, and the Pirates since they became the affiliate in 2005. He began writing for Pirates Prospects in 2013, in a stint that ran through 2016 (with no service time manipulation played in). Ryan rejoined the team in 2022, covering Indianapolis once again. He has covered the Pirates in four different big league stadiums. Ryan was also fortunate enough to cover the 2015 Futures Game in Cincinnati.
I celebrate his entire catalog.
Rooting hard for Bolton to be a successful high leverage arm for Pirates starting this year.
What was bolton’s velo at this spring? Definitely picking him to click and make an impact in the pen this season. Priester, burrows, and ortiz in the rotation plus Mlod, bolton, YDLS, and nicolas in the pen could all provide big in season boosts for our current weakness in pitching
He doesn’t need to have high velo, he’s one of them high spin guys, but he needs command and that’s lacking!