By Matt Leon
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — When the Phillies traded Hunter Pence to the Giants in July of 2012, the hope was that the pieces they got back would help them retool if not rebuild.
That hasn’t worked out as planned. The Phillies acquired veteran outfielder Nate Schierholtz and he spent the rest of the 2012 season in Philadelphia before being allowed to walk away as a free agent. Catcher Tommy Joseph was probably the key to the deal, however he has spent much of his time in the organization dealing with concussion issues.
But there was a third player picked up in that deal and he has quietly put together an outstanding season for the Phillies top minor league team the Triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs.
A 26-year-old right-hander from Fargo, North Dakota, Seth Rosin is 1-1 with 2 saves in 18 appearances this season for the IronPigs with a 2.10 ERA. In 25.2 innings of work, he has 18 strikeouts and just 5 walks and he has allowed just one home run.
“Going pretty well right now,” Rosin told KYW Newsradio following a game in Allentown over the weekend. “My mechanics, I feel really, really comfortable. Really liking the catchers that we’re throwing to right now and just feel like we’re all gelling right now as a pitching staff, especially when the relievers come in.”
Listen: Seth Rosin with KYW’s Matt Leon
Rosin was selected by the Giants in the fourth round of the 2010 MLB Draft. After coming to the Phillies in 2012, he spent the 2013 season in the starting rotation for Double-A Reading. And then came the whirlwind of the 2014 season.
First, Rosin was selected by the New York Mets in the Rule V Draft in December of 2013. He was then purchased by the Dodgers. In March of 2014, he was on the Opening Day roster for the Dodgers when they started the season in Australia. A few days after that he was selected off waivers by the Texas Rangers and made their Opening Day roster. According to the Lehigh Valley media guide, it is believed that Rosin is the first player in baseball history to make two separate Opening Day rosters in the same season. He pitched in three games for Texas. On April 2nd, he threw two shutout innings against the Phillies, picking up his first Major League win. Nine days later, he was returned to the Phillies organization where he split the rest of the 2014 season between Reading and Lehigh Valley, working out of the bullpen.
“Yeah, that was a whirlwind,” Rosin says. “I mean I was at the highest high of my career and at the lowest low when I got sent back to Reading last year. Just kind of got grounded and just really, really put the motivation and burning fire back in me and I’ve just been working really, really hard ever since and trying stay even keel as much as possible, watching guys like (Lehigh Valley teammate) Dustin McGowan and some of the other, older veteran guys. They never get too excited and never too down on themselves. Just trying to emulate everything that they do as a professional.”
Rosin says he learned a lot during his brief taste of the big leagues last year.
“I learned that the talent, everyone is very, very talented,” Rosin says. “People are really professional up there, taking scouting reports really seriously. I learned a lot from the Dodgers’ pitching staff, especially Clayton Kershaw and Zack Grienke, just about how they go about their business and how much it really takes, studying the game. I think that has carried over for me this year during our pitching meetings for all the hitters that come in here and when we’re on the road. I’ve been taking notes and trying to study swings and things like that.”
Rosin struggled during his stint with Lehigh Valley last season, putting together a 6.26 ERA in 17 appearances before being shipped down to Reading. He talks about how he has adjusted here in 2015.
“This year I’ve switched to a predominantly two-seam fastball,” Rosin says. “I’ve thrown just a couple four-seamers this year. I’ve just learned that these hitters, 93-94 (mph) straight gets hit. So I’m just going for a little bit more movement, trying to put the ball on the ground and that’s been going well. The slider, I’ve been working with Ray Burris, our pitching coach, he’s kind of the ‘slider whisperer’ people say, so that feels good right now. My change-up, it’s usually there for me and then the split-finger’s coming along too. So when I can mix in four pitches for strikes and have people chase it out of the zone, that’s when I’m at my best.”
Rosin and the IronPigs battle Gwinnett tonight.
You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattleonkyw.