Cody Sedlock's strong start at Frederick puts him back on Orioles' radar - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Rich Dubroff

Cody Sedlock’s strong start at Frederick puts him back on Orioles’ radar

Photo Credit: Patrick Cavey

FREDERICK—One of the best stories in the Orioles’ minor league system is the return of Cody Sedlock as a prospect. In 2016, the Orioles made Sedlock, who will turn 24 on June 19, their No. 1 draft choice from the University of Illinois.

Injuries and ineffectiveness ruined his 2017 and 2018 seasons, and he’s back for his third go-around with the Frederick Keys. This one is far more successful than the other two.

In 2017, Sedlock started 20 times for the Keys and was 4-5 with a 5.90 ERA. Last year, he had six forgettable starts and went 0-2 with a 7.97 ERA with Frederick.

Sedlock had a right shoulder strain and coldness in his right index finger that was eventually diagnosed as Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. As he prepares for Saturday’s start at Potomac, Sedlock is 3-0 with a 1.63 ERA with a sparkling WHIP of 0.802. He’s averaged just over four hits per nine innings.

“I have such a better routine, and it helps being healthy,” Sedlock said. “I feel like I’m 100 percent healthy, and I’m recovering a lot better. I’m able to get all of my work in between starts, and my arm strength is back up. I’m able to throw every single pitch any time when I want to. That’s helped a lot and go out there with a good plan.”

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Last year, Sedlock’s season was a disaster, and he would not to focus on it.

“It was tough, especially since I hold myself to such great expectations,” he said. “It’s going back to enjoying the game and enjoying the process and not looking that far into the future and being thankful to be able to play this game, even at my age, and show up to the park every day with a set goal in mind. The support from my friends, my family and my fiancée, it’s all been great.”

In 2016, the first three Oriole draft picks were Sedlock, Keegan Akin and Matthias Dietz, all college pitchers from the Midwest. Akin has progressed nicely, and is a top prospect at Triple-A Norfolk. Sedlock and Dietz, who has struggled this year, are both at Frederick.

“I was a first-round draft pick for a reason,” Sedlock said. “I knew it. The people who knew me and have seen me pitch, they knew that. It just goes back to having confidence in yourself and to be able to battle that adversity and come back from it. It’s only going to make you stronger.

“Some people, they bury themselves, they’ll have some adversity and they’ll take it like, ‘oh man, I’m a first-round draft pick, I can’t do this,’ and they’ll put a lot of pressure on themselves. Or you can take it like, ‘I’m going to come back from this and come back stronger than I was before and use it as an advantage.’”

Frederick pitching coach Justin Lord is proud of the work Sedlock has done.

“It’s been 100 percent his determination and his work,” Lord said. “A lot of times it’s good for guys to struggle at an earlier age because they have an opportunity to prove to themselves that they can get over it, so whenever they get to the highest level, they have that confidence to believe they can get through it again because you’re going to struggle. At some point, you’re going to struggle.”

Lord was Sedlock’s  pitching coach with Short-Season Aberdeen when he was drafted, and he’s seen the difference in him.

“Just knowing some of the struggles he’s gone through, it’s really encouraging not to see him lose hope. He hasn’t blamed anyone. He’s taken full responsibility for everything he’s done, and he’s worked his butt off to get where he is right now.”

Lord doesn’t decide which pitchers are moved up or down in the Orioles’ organization but says that he wouldn’t be surprised to see Sedlock pitch for the first time in Double-A this season.

“From a pitching standpoint, I would say that he’s close,” Lord said. “He’s shown an ability to move the ball in and out. He changes speeds, he throws his changeup effectively to right-handers and left-handers. He’s also using his breaking ball when he’s ahead and behind, and those are characteristics you like to see, a guy that’s able to mix his pitches, no matter what the count is, so he’s not as predictable.

“He can move it around and throw different pitches no matter who’s in the box or if they’re right-handed or left-handed. That’s an area I’ve really seen him improve in and mature in as well.”

With the Orioles short on starting pitching and pitching prospects in the top levels of the organization, Sedlock couldn’t be blamed for looking ahead to Bowie and beyond.

“Two years ago, if I was doing this, I would be thinking about that. Right now, I’m not thinking about that at all. I’m looking forward to my next start, and that’s the only thing that’s on my mind. Whether that call comes or not that’s out of my hands and all I can do is control what I do on a day-to-day basis.”

16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. Bman

    May 24, 2019 at 7:40 am

    Sedlock has been impressive this year. Really glad to see him bounce back. I’m looking forward to seeing him make the jump through the next levels of the organization. Some nice arms moving through the minors now. Sedlock, Akin, Harvey, Rodriguez, Hall, Rom, Lowther, Knight, Zimmerman, Kremer, Baumann, Bishop, Wells, Peralta, Fenter. And I’m sure they will be adding some more pitching talent in the June draft, the July trade deadline, and in international signings.

  2. Orial

    May 24, 2019 at 8:08 am

    This total ineptness(pitching staff) can’t go on forever. Nothing does. So I see it being apropos that a Sedlock/Harvey tandem could actually rise and help this team. Luck does go two ways.

  3. Boog Robinson Robinson

    May 24, 2019 at 8:14 am

    Excellent article Mr Dubroff. That was a good read, well done.

    • deqalt

      May 24, 2019 at 8:49 am

      I agree great article. This is where our focus should be. The major league season is a wash.

    • Rich Dubroff

      May 24, 2019 at 10:04 am

      Thank you, Boog and deqalt.

  4. Ekim

    May 24, 2019 at 8:36 am

    The mention of Dietz brings up something that bothers me as I follow all 4 minor league teams. It seems like the O’s hold on to some players way too long with Dietz, at Frederick, being a prime example. This is his 3rd season of almost total ineptness and one that makes me question their thinking. In his last 10 games he’s pitched 15 innings and given up 27 runs. During that same series of games his era is 15.51. There’s only one game where he hasn’t given up at least one run. There are 25 walks and 16 hits during that ten game set. How bad do you have to be before they let him go. He cost Frederick four games. His minor league record is 11 wins and 25 losses. In 268 innings he’s issued 160 walks and 278 hits and has a 5.64 era. I just can’t fathom why he’s still around. Is he related to someone in the Angelos family?

    • ClayDal

      May 24, 2019 at 8:50 am

      Dietz was a 2nd round pick 3 years ago ( 69th overall) and received a 934,000 signing bonus. Agree that his numbers are horrible ( 25 walks in 15 innings) but it’s only his 3rd year of pro ball and he’ll probably be given more time. Teams don’t like to give up early ( or in many cases later-Mike Wright) on hard throwers . Agree that he better turn it around soon

    • ClayDal

      May 24, 2019 at 9:22 am

      I need to make a correction. Dietz signed a 1.3 million dollar bonus. The slot for that position was 934 thousand. All the more reason for the Orioles to keep him around

    • Ekim

      May 24, 2019 at 12:00 pm

      Thanks Clay. I knew there had to be a reason. HOWEVER… the numbers aren’t getting better with time. They’re worse. I can just imagine what the pitcher he replaces is thinking as he walks off the mound. Just saying…

    • ClayDal

      May 24, 2019 at 12:49 pm

      25 walks in 15 innings. Haven’t seen him pitch, but I suspect as Jim Palmer would say he needs to work on his fastball command

  5. Bhoffman1

    May 24, 2019 at 8:50 am

    Promising the possibility of having a young, new starting rotation in a few years is something to look forward to. I see for now the O’s are looking again at DFA pitchers. When Straily and Hess pitch it’s basically a walk over for the other team but please don’t sign another guy like these two.

  6. mindless1

    May 24, 2019 at 9:42 am

    Hyde’s experience with the Cubs may be hurting him with the starters.
    He tells them to “just challenge the hitters” because that concept worked when he had Arrieta, Lester, Hendricks, etc., who have decent control and movement on their pitches.
    Most of our pitchers don’t seem to have the stuff to get away with challenging hitters.
    So we need better pitchers but our drafts don’t seem to produce any keepers.
    Maybe Elias can figure out how Tampa keeps cranking out premier starters.

  7. willmiranda

    May 24, 2019 at 10:17 am

    Thanks, Rich, for digging deep to find a feel good story. Pitching today starts with the fastball. What does Sedlock’s clock at? I know movement counts, but it starts with velocity. If he’s really got ML ability move him up. If he has to wait until he’s 26 or 27, you’re talking about a journeyman at best.

    • Rich Dubroff

      May 24, 2019 at 12:13 pm

      Thank you, Will. I have only seen Sedlock pitch once, and that was a brief outing in spring training at Clearwater against the Phillies two years ago when he was raw, so I can’t give you any first-hand numbers on how hard he throws.

  8. PA Bird Lover

    May 24, 2019 at 8:25 pm

    As one of you posters put it, young “good” arms will be fun to watch in a year or so. But, remember, they won’t be seasoned and the continued moaning and groaning will flare up again and again. Rebuilding rebuilding rebuilding, keep that in the forefront.

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