Plutko Continues to Roll Along After Promotion
Danny Madden | On 16, Jun 2015
The beat goes on.
The new Akron right hander, Adam Plutko, is currently enjoying his mid-season promotion to Double-A from High-A Lynchburg. He’s riding a two game win streak, and hasn’t given up more than two runs in this three starts thus far. He currently has a 1.59 ERA, 12 strikeouts, 1 walk and a WHIP of .76 in 17 innings so far in Akron. Before his promotion, he had an ERA of 1.27, 47 strikeouts, 5 walks, and a .70 WHIP in 49.2 innings. What is so impressive about Plutko is his ability to control the game by attacking the zone and not limiting the amount of free passes he issues. In his two years with the Indians, he’s only issued 36 walks to his 203 strikeouts.
Between Low-A Lake County and High-A Carolina in 2014, Plutko posted a 4.03 ERA with 144 strikeouts to 30 walks. So far this season, he’s dropped almost three runs compared to last year. Plutko benefitted from having a successful off-season of maturation and building off of his first season in the minors. Along with getting a chance to talk to discuss his season with the Indians excellent pitching coach staff.
“Going into the offseason, the Indians and I had a good conversation with the pitching coaches about pitching down in the zone a little bit, and making some mechanical adjustments. Which I did,” Plutko said.
“My average velocity is one mph harder, which isn’t a whole lot, but it’s helped. It’s played huge in a lot of things. I’m happy everything’s playing out the way it is,” Plutko said.
The increase in velocity though hasn’t affected his control in a negative way though, and Plutko understands this. Manager David Wallace credits his maturity and control that he brings to the field as his strongest quality.
“Very mature in the fact that he knows what he wants to do out there, and he’s able to execute it. He knows himself as a pitcher, controls the running game well, has great tempo,” Wallace said. “Late life on his stuff, and he’s got a bright future ahead of him.”
As he’s matured as a pitcher, he’s learned to really focus on his plan on the mound, and continue to attack the hitter like he’s done so well this whole season. In his short time at Akron, he has yet to be intimidated by the hitters that he’s faced thus far.
“I don’t really try to focus on them too much. I just try to keep doing what I keep doing well, and I’m happy with where I’m at right now,” Plutko said about the Double-A hitters.
Coming into Akron, Plutko already was feeling comfortable with who was going to be his battery mate behind the dish. In 2014, he made a relationship with Jeremy Lucas, but Lucas hasn’t done much of the catching in Akron as he’s spent a lot of time at first base. Tony Wolters is the everyday catcher in Akron, and it’s a good thing that Plutko has known him since they were kids back in southern California.
“Tony and I have known each other since we’re sixteen years old playing together in southern California and things like that. On a personal relationship, Tony and I have known each other for a long time,” Plutko said.
The last time that Plutko played with him though, he was a shortstop. Seeing him as a catcher is still something he’s getting used to.
“It’s weird seeing him with catchers gear now,” Plutko said.
As we’ve seen in Cleveland between Corey Kluber and Yan Gomes, having a well-built relationship between a catcher and pitcher is huge for the success of said pitcher. Plutko and Wolters have a deep seeded relationship, which can only benefit them going further.
As Plutko goes along with this season, his command continues to be sharp, and he’s controlling the game by facing each hitter with authority. With Cody Anderson recently being promoted to Triple-A Columbus, Plutko will look to remain in Akron for the rest of the 2015 season joining the solid rotation of Shawn Morimando, Will Roberts, Ryan Merritt, and Michael Clevinger. He’s only in his second year of professional baseball, but he’s showing the ability of someone who could be a valuable asset to the major league club in the near future.
Photo: Lianna Holub/DTTWLN photographer