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Scott Silverstein Polishes Skills In New Role

Reliver Scott Silverstein Gets Set up in 2014 with Lansing

Scott Silverstein Polishes Skills In New Role

January 18, 2015

Scott Silverstein

Scott Silverstein has found a solid place as an 8th inning set-up reliever. (Wendy Smith/MiLB.com)

Entering professional baseball is both exciting and nerve-wracking, because it presents a great opportunity filled with many unknowns. Players have no idea how far their journeys will carry them or what roles they will have to fill along the way. Such was the case for left-handed pitcher Scott Silverstein who has adjusted to relieving since joining the Blue Jays organization in 2013.

Prior to beginning his professional career, Silverstein spent five seasons at the University of Virginia predominantly in a starting role. But at 6’6” and 260 pounds, the Toronto Blue Jays saw someone they felt could be an intimidating late-inning guy when they selected him in the 25th round of the 2013 MLB draft.

Many scouts view relieving as a faster path to the major leagues than starting. So putting Silverstein in this role was a perfect fit, as he was roughly two years older than the majority of his Midwest League competition. Silverstein’s health is another reason why the organization went this route, as the big lefty has had two shoulder surgeries.

Accepting his new role with an open mind, Silverstein admits he enjoys pitching in any situation. While he’ll take the ball in any inning, he really strives off the adrenaline he feels with the game on the line

“Would I prefer to be out there at certain moments with a certain score? Of course I would,” Silverstein admits. “I don’t know any pitcher who doesn’t enjoy pitching when the game is on the line. More importantly, I go whenever the team wants me to go and that is all that matters.”

As a member of the Lansing Lugnuts, Silverstein pitched 64 innings primarily in the setup and closing role. The Maryland native led all Lugnuts’ pitchers in wins with 11 while striking out 67 batters.

The lefty also had four saves on the season in 11 opportunities, an area he had a little trouble with early in the season. Once he was moved into the 8th inning role, he settled in nicely and became one of the Lugnuts’ most reliable relievers through the remainder of the season.

Lugnuts pitching coach Vince Horsman provides some insight on why the organization is high on Silverstein at the backend of the bullpen as he feels experience and age are important factors when selecting a guy for the role.

“I liked Scott in the later innings because he’s an older guy in our bullpen,” said Horsman. “I feel being an older guy he’s less likely to let the moment get to him. Scott is aggressive and attacks the strike zone. He makes the hitters beat him.”

Appreciative of all the coaching he has received from Horsman throughout his 2014 campaign, Silverstein feels he learned a lot about himself this past season, and was able to make a great connection with his pitching coach.

“Working with Vince is awesome,” said Silverstein. “Vince is very knowledgeable about the game. Guys have come through Lansing and made it to the major leagues, which speaks volumes about him as a person and he did it himself. You couldn’t learn from a better source.”

“Vince and I have similar roles from a pitching standpoint and obviously he’s a great resource to go too,” he added. “Vince knows this stuff frontwards and backwards. It’s just a matter of picking your spots and picking the right information when it comes to you.”

Truly enjoying his Midwest League experience to its fullest, Silverstein feels Lansing has some of the best facilities in the league available to their players, as well as incredible fans that support the team through thick and thin.

“The ballpark in Lansing is awesome. The facilities are some of the best in the Midwest League,” stated Silverstein. “The new grounds crew guy, Lenny, did a great job keeping our field looking nice all year. The players in Lansing are really lucky to play in a stadium this nice.”

“Another great aspect of Lansing is the camaraderie of our fans. Everybody has been very welcoming to us as outsiders to their town,” he added. “We always have over 1,000 fans a game. Our Fourth of July game was an amazing experience with over 11,000 fans. The Booster Club does a great job as well. Playing in Lansing is an amazing experience all around.”

Watch for Scott Silverstein as he takes his next step in the Blue Jays minor league system in 2015 with hopes of making it to the major leagues in the near future.