The return to the rotation didn't change the results, and now one of the Seattle Mariners' most touted pitching prospects has returned to Arkansas to fix his game.
Max Povse regressed in his experimental run as a long reliever for the Mariners in 2017, when he allowed three earned runs in 3⅔ big league innings after being called up immediately from the Class AA Arkansas Travelers.
Povse, 24, spent the rest of the season with Class AAA Tacoma, where he went 1-4 in 13 appearances (5 starts) and earned a 7.96 ERA.
Mariners General Manager Jerry Dipoto sent Povse to the Arizona Fall League to transition into a starting role, and Povse began the 2018 season as the fourth starter in Tacoma's rotation.
Povse went 1-6 with an 8.84 ERA in 8 starts with the Rainiers, and the 6-8, 220-pound right-hander allowed 5 home runs and 17 walks in his final 5 starts before he was assigned to the Travs on Saturday.
Command had become an issue for Povse, who will start for the Travs at 6 p.m. today against the Frisco RoughRiders at Dickey-Stephens Park in North Little Rock.
The Travs (22-24) closed their three-game series with Midland on Thursday night in a 2-1 loss, when the RockHounds took their lead with a two-run seventh inning.
Povse spoke about his recent outings just before first pitch.
"Good things just weren't happening," said Povse, who is the Mariners' No. 7 prospect according to MLB.com. "I had trouble throwing strikes. Lots of walks, home runs. That's something I've really never dealt with. For me, I've always been a good command guy, going deep into games, getting ground balls. When you see home runs leaving the park, that tells you something's not right with what you're doing."
Povse joined the Travs in their series at the Tulsa Drillers, and pitching coach Ethan Katz told him to just pitch normally in a start Sunday, so Katz could diagnose why Povse was struggling.
Povse pitched 6 innings against Tulsa -- surrendering 9 hits with 4 earned runs, a walk and 7 strikeouts -- and Katz noticed that Povse was pushing the baseball instead of throwing it.
"He's just getting underneath the ball," Katz said. "He's pushed underneath like a bench press instead of getting on top of it and throwing it."
In the past four days, Katz has worked with Povse toward getting back to the correct motion.
"It happens through the course of a guy's career without them realizing," Katz said. "You tweak things. He made an adjustment, and I'm just trying to get him back to where he was."
Katz said Povse's pitching technique has improved, and that he hopes the right-hander will show results in his start against Frisco today.
"If I had to put a timeline, hopefully within two weeks it's really solidified to where he's doing it consistently," Katz said. "But I'm hoping [it happens] tomorrow."
Povse said he felt like "we're making strides."
"Sometimes you have to take a step back to move forward," Povse said, "and I feel like that's what we're doing right now. I feel like a lot of people are helping me through this process, and I think it's a good start."
VS. FRISCO ROUGHRIDERS
WHEN 6 p.m.
WHERE Dickey-Stephens Park, North Little Rock
RADIO KARN-AM, 920, in central Arkansas
PITCHERS Travs: RHP Max Povse (0-0, 6.00 ERA); RoughRiders: RHP Ariel Jurado (1-1, 2.57)
TICKETS $12 box, $8 reserved ($5 kids), $6 general admission ($4 kids). Gates open one hour before first pitch.
PROMOTION Travs puzzle giveaway (first 1,000); kids run the bases after the game
THE WEEK AHEAD
TODAY vs. Frisco, 6 p.m.
SATURDAY vs. Frisco, 6:10 p.m
SUNDAY vs. Frisco, 2:10 p.m.
TUESDAY at Midland, 6:30 p.m.
WEDNESDAY at Midland, 6:30 p.m.
THURSDAY at Midland, 6:30 p.m.
Sports on 05/25/2018
Print Headline: Travs' Povse looking for answers