Starting pitcher Walker Weickel had a rough start to his career in Fort Wayne.
In his past two starts, he's looked like one of the team's best pitchers.
While the 19-year-old only went five innings in a 4-1 win Thursday, he did so with a cool efficiency. Of his 88 pitches, 58 were strikes. The righty struck out a season-high five batters and gave up no runs on three hits.
And most importantly, there was a tempo to his outing and a confidence that wasn't there before, TinCaps manager Jose Valentin said. Weickel looked like "a different guy."
Much of that, Weickel said, has to do with a new approach on the mound. He shuts everything else out.
His pitches have been a lot more wicked, as well.
"Today, I was pretty pleased with my breaking stuff," said Weickel, who made more than a few hitters look bad Thursday. "It had effectiveness in the zone. It had effectiveness outside the zone to set up my fastball just as something to change the eye level and get the hitter looking at something else.
"I'm really pleased with the development off my offspeed as well as my fastball so far."
Valentin has been pleased, as well. He noticed Weickel was unafraid throughout his game. He kept his fastball low, got hitters chasing his sinker and got great rotation on his curve.
"I think he's capable to go up there and be the great pitcher that he showed the last two outings," Valentin said. "There's no doubt he's got the stuff. He's got a good arm. He just has to get confidence in himself."