Brady Singer earned his way into the starting rotation with a stellar spring training and summer camp, culminating in an exciting debut Saturday night against the Cleveland Indians. Singer put together a stunning debut with five innings of three hit ball, with seven strikeouts, and two walks. His command and contact oriented approach were effective all evening.
Singer was able to execute his locations all night and ran into trouble only once in the bottom half of the third inning when Cleveland strung together three consecutive singles. The three-singles Cleveland produced in the bottom of the third came off of well-located pitches low in the zone.
For a contact-oriented pitcher like Singer, this kind of trouble can happen from time to time. He responded well by striking out Lindor and getting Carlos Santana to ground-out to escape the inning with only two runs allowed.
Singer got into a groove following the string of three consecutive singles and retired the next seven out of eight batters, five by strikeout. If he was off in his execution it was because his release was early and the ball was up and out of the zone. He got comfortable, locked-in mentally, and let his stuff do its work as the game progressed.
Singer had his slider with its multiple variations in speed and movement working well in his debut. The slider is more effective against right-handed hitters and the variation of the slider that had more depth caused swing-and-misses against left-handed hitters.
Once he gets more confident in his change-up, he will have more success against lefties. We only saw Singer throw his change-up three times in his debut. The pitch still needs some work (location and speed deferential) and it will be important for him to use this pitch moving forward against better left-handed hitters.
Singer will be a ground-ball machine with his ability to locate his pitches with excellent movement to keep the ball off the barrel of the bat. His quick pace kept hitters off-guard and his ability to repeat his mechanics will continue to allow him to locate and execute.
Jim Callis at mlb.com wrote up “What to expect from Brady Singer in the bigs” and it’s worth a read.
My expectations of Singer can be seen in the Three reasonable expectations for 2020 season post.