Carmen Mlodzinski improves all the way with aggressive approach

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – For many players, canned and pre-prepared quotes of trying to ‘keep it simple’ and ‘get better each day’ come off as disingenuous and cliche at times.

However, it has the opposite effect when Carmen Mlodzinski utters those phases.

“I am just trying to get better each day as a pitcher and as a human being,” Mlodzinski said. “That’s just something that’s been a part of my process. It helps me keep it simple. It’s just trying to keep getting better each day and things will just turn in your direction usually.“

The difference is the 24-year-old Mlodzinski actually puts these word into action. In his first year of pro ball in 2021, Mlodzinski had an outing as high as Triple-A and got a trip to the Arizona Fall League. Last season, he made waves in Double-A all year, striking out just under 10 per nine innings.

Finally, he appeared in six games with the Pirates this spring. In those, he allowed a couple of runs, but struck out six over 6.1 innings of work.

With Indianapolis in 2023, command has been a struggle for Mlodzinski early on. However, consistent with his mantra, he has shown improvement of late. In his second, third and fourth appearances of the season, Mlodzinski hovered right around 50 percent strikes. In his last 11 appearances, spanning 15 innings, he’s has walked four and is at 64 percent over the plate for strikes.

The strikeouts have been there all season, but the walks have dropped from the early season struggles. Not coincidentally, Mlodzinski has not been scored upon in nine of his last ten appearances. He has even gone more than an inning in four of those appearances.

Pittsburgh has been ultra-aggressive with Mlodzinski, a former first rounder. His stuff, featuring a high-90s fastball has been up to the challenge each step though.

“I think over the course of my minor-league career, I have worked on my stuff quite a bit,“ Mlodzinski said. “It feels like it’s in a better spot now than ever. Hopefully, next year at this point, I can look back and say it’s even better than last year. It’s just about trying to keep getting better each day.“

When asked about the biggest contributor to his arsenal improvements, Mlodzinski showcased that he has soaked in anything more experienced hurlers are willing to offer.

“I would say experience and just having things you continue to look forward to working on [has led to the improvements],” Mlodzinski said. “Looking to other players who have been in the major leagues for a while, or guys at this level who have been up and down. You look to guys to have that experience, and try to apply it to your own game.“

With this approach and motivations set solely on improvement, it appears that the Pirates approach has fit Mlodzinski like a glove.

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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.

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I like Cherington’s off-season moves

  • Hill & Velasquez (until injury) have outperformed expectations
  • Hedges is doing exactly what they brought him in for.
  • Santana has stabilized 1b
  • Cutch has been rejuvenated. And is having his best season since 2017
  • Moreta has been way better than advertised and should be a lock for the 7th inning.
  • Joe has been a very valuable platoon piece.

But, the fact of the matter is, the core guys (Hayes, Reynolds, Keller & Cruz) are all Huntington guys. Cherington really needs Davis to be a stud and get it right with this draft.


And if he succeeds at locking up all four he’ll effectively have zero payroll flexibility left over for free agents. Drafting and dev have got to really pick up, fast.


Moreta has been a good firemen, he’s been light’s out getting out of tough spots. He’s helped some other pitchers keep a more respectable ERA. I’d keep him in that role and hope another guy claims that 7th inning role.

Last edited 3 months ago by melkel

Hopefully Sullivan and Jones keep preforming and get to Indy in the near future.


One guy is a stuff pitcher and the other a control pitcher (if you had to categorize them).


Yep, Jones a potential top of the rotation kinda guy, Sullivan a potential mid-rotation control guy. If all breaks right we could have some quality depth mid-season next year.


TRADES!!! 😁😁


I really like that he said that he’s trying to “get better each day as a pitcher and as a human being” (italics mine, obviously).


I’d like to see the Pirates replace Zastryzny with Mlodzinski on the 26 man roster.


Probably the only option with a more difficult to spell last name.

not avail

I’d like to see the Pirates replace Zastryzny with anyone.

b mcferren

we could trade Rich Hill straight up for Alek Manoah


I wonder if he’ll get called up next if we need a RP.


I am a huge Mlodzinkski fan from what I have seen at Pirates City, spring training and in Indianapolis on Sunday. However by the looks of his numbers, they probably want to see if he can get a little more dominating in the minors first.
23 in 21h 13 runs 8 runs 10 walks.


Oops….hadn’t realized that he was doing so poorly. My bad.


Melkel made a good point I just researched, Mlod has pitched 8 different games where he just went one inning. He hasn’t given up an earned run in any of those games. It is when he goes more than an inning or inherits baserunners where he has gotten in trouble.


Isn’t that why they converted him to RP. He tended to get worse going longer in starts.


He does seem to dominate if limited to 1 inning but has some problems when going into a 2nd inning of work sometimes.


Thanks for the insight. I liked his work ethic and let’s just say his competitive spirtit on the mound at Pirates City.


I think he has the potential to be a very good late inning high leverage asset but probably not a firemen unless his command improves. Kinda needs a clean slate when entering a game.


I agree. In spring I was thinking he had the closer mentality. Sunday, I was questioning what role a 97 mph fast ball will get you. A good point about not having him inherit baserunners.


Good article in the PG ABOUT Shackleford this morn.

Altho, as one commenter noted, 47 K’s in 171 PAs is NOT 33% but 26%.


I think the reason why prospects burn you is because, it’s guys like Gorski and Shackleford that you’re rooting for.

I mean, these guys are fringe…not really prospects.


Top five prospects burn you all of the time, too. See Adell, Jo for a prime example. I just happen to root for guys like Matt, Aaron and Triolo.


HUGE cause of the perception that the Pirates are significantly worse at “transitioning” their prospects to the show.

Some high profile misses, absolutely, but mostly just dudes who were overstuffed in stature failing as they’d reasonably be expected to.


When you have a really bad team you hope so hard on your prospects that you tend to overreact when they don’t succeed.


7 out of 10 Top 10 prospects, on average, for ANY team fail to become quality big leaguers. It is ‘fascinating’ going back thru old Baseball America lists and seeing how many flopped. It ain’t just us.


You said it brother.

The fact that these catcher promotion conversations are happening in the context of our much-maligned starting catcher being a former top catching prospect in all of baseball who blitzed through the minors and reached the show at the ripe old age of 21 are not lost on me.


If I read this out loud I would be gasping for breath at the end. (Long sentence)


i’ll fire my editor. 😉


I’d hate it if you got lost. 🤣🤣🤣


Thanks for the link. Good read.


Darn basic math! That’s why I work at the library!


I read this comment while sitting at my librarian desk. May go shelf some books now.


I hope not in kid’s room, those are a chore!


Small branch. I shelve them all. Kids NF are a nightmare. We did inventory of the entire library this year. Only time I busted a sweat in here.

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