Cody Poteet has been tough to hit in June and was especially difficult to figure out on Sunday.The Marlins prospect gave up one hit and recorded a season-high 11 strikeouts over seven scoreless innings as Double-A Jacksonville shut down Pensacola, 7-1, at the Baseball Grounds.
Cody Poteet has been tough to hit in June and was especially difficult to figure out on Sunday.
The Marlins prospect gave up one hit and recorded a season-high 11 strikeouts over seven scoreless innings as Double-A Jacksonville shut down Pensacola, 7-1, at the Baseball Grounds.
Poteet credited catcher Santiago Chávez with calling a great game and having a strong plan heading into his start.
"We knew that they were an aggressive team," he said, "so we were just trusting my pitches, all of them. I didn't really shake him too much. I was trusting him and we were on the same page all day long."
Poteet (5-3) retired the first eight batters he faced before Aaron Whitefield singled with two outs in the third. It was the only hit he allowed, and he promptly picked off Whitefield to end the inning. Poteet said he threw over twice in a row and Whitefield didn't shorten his lead, so he threw over a third time and got him.
"Anytime you can steal an out in the middle of the game, it's awesome," he added.
Joe Cronin drew a one-out walk in the fifth and Ben Rortvedt was the Blue Wahoos' only other baserunner against the right-hander when he reached on an error by second baseman Riley Mahan in the seventh .
"I was giving the hitters a different look each time they came up," Poteet said.
He fanned Lewin Diaz, Mark Contreras, Caleb Hamilton and Twins No. 2 prospectAlex Kirilloff twice. After Mahan's error, he punched out Diaz and Cronin for his second career double-digit strikeout game.
Gameday box score
The 24-year-old lowered his ERA to 1.70 in five June starts, allowing 16 hits while striking out 37 over 37 innings. He's gone at least six innings in 10 of 13 starts this season and ranks second in the Southern League with a 0.98 WHIP and fourth with a 2.25 ERA.
A 2015 fourth-round pick out of UCLA, Poteet pitched 144 2/3 innings last season between Class A Advanced Jupiter and Jacksonville, going 4-15 with a 4.98 ERA, 128 strikeouts and 49 walks.
Poteet's return to form began when he was sent down to Jupiter last July 4. He made some mechanical changes and adjustments with Hammerheads pitching coach Bruce Walton, who has the same role with Jacksonville this year.
"He's been a great help to me in keeping me on track and I give a lot of credit to him," Poteet said. "He's a great resource for me. I'm always trying to learn from him, pick his brain. It's just been an accumulation of certain things like mechanical adjustments and talking baseball."
When things were going wrong, his mechanics going down the mound during his motion toward the plate weren't on line.
"The initial movement off the rubber," Poteet said, "just keeping my shoulders in line as long as I possibly can going towards the plate."
Walton's explanation made a lot of sense at the time, and Poteet credits his pitching coach with helping him return to form.
"It made all my pitches instantly better and makes them all similar to each other since they're on the same window," he said.
J.C. Millan and Stone Garrett homered for the Jumbo Shrimp, with Millan going 3-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs scored and Garrett adding a single and scoring twice. Marlins No. 23 prospect Joe Dunand doubled twice, walked and scored a run.
Shlomo Sprung is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @sprungonsports</a