Shorebird of the Week – May 5, 2011

May 5, 2011 · Posted in Delmarva items, Delmarva Shorebirds, Sports 

Scott in his first start, April 11 against Kannapolis.
Hitting a rough patch in his first start of the year April 11, Scott Copeland gets advice from pitching coach Troy Mattes and catcher Justin Dalles.

In his last start, Scott Copeland returned to the form he had when he first arrived at Delmarva.

Last September 1st Scott made his one and only 2010 appearance for Delmarva, spinning six shutout innings and winning a 1-0 pitchers duel against Kannapolis. That followed a solid 12 starts for Aberdeen where Copeland was only 2-5, but sported a superb 2.91 ERA and held opposing hitters to a .197 average.

Fast forward a few months and on Monday night Scott found that form again, tossing 6 2/3 shutout innings at Charleston in the Shorebirds’ 8-0 win.

While Scott is deemed the fifth starter due to his spot in the rotation, he’s put together a pretty good campaign thus far in 2011. The native Texan and Southern Mississippi University product is 2-0 so far (including Monday’s win) with a 3.07 ERA in five starts. Picked as a senior and well down in the draft – Scott was a 21st round selection – it may be surprising to some that Scott has advanced this quickly, but as I noted above he mowed down Aberdeen’s opponents without a lot of problems.

Perhaps the one flaw in Scott’s game which has cropped up at times this year is a tendency to walk a lot of batters. He hasn’t escaped from any of his starts unblemished in that regard and has walked five in a start twice – back on Monday in 6 2/3 innings and April 21 at Augusta (4 2/3 innings.) A ratio of 19 strikeouts to 17 walks may signal he needs to be more aggressive, since he’s proven thus far to be a good ground-ball pitcher (3.13 ground outs for each fly out.) One would believe he could last longer in games by economizing his pitches and allowing a little more contact.

Starting pitching has been a key to the Shorebirds’ early success and Scott is pulling his weight in that regard.

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