For Nationals 24-year-old left-hander Mackenzie Gore, one of the focuses last season was working on controlling his emotions on the mound.
Washington coach Davey Martinez said before Gore’s second year in the majors and final start in D.C., which he acquired from San Diego. This resulted in both Juan Soto and Josh Bell being traded to the Padres before the 2022 trade deadline.
“He gets very emotional,” Martinez continued.
“He throws very hard and I love that, but sometimes you have to be able to control it.”
Gore said last year that he sometimes “strived for perfection and was visibly frustrated when things didn’t go his way,” but Gore has made progress, Martinez said.
“It’s gotten a lot better,” the sixth-year coach told reporters late in the season. “Much better. When I first saw him, he could throw back and then completely lose his mind. Now he understands that he has to get to the next pitch.” , and he’s still very young, but he has to be able to control his emotions and sometimes control his heart rate, and he can do it in high-leverage situations, as anyone can. You see, he’s doing a lot better. If he’s with him and uses his emotions the right way, he can get outs, he can get outs quickly, he can get strikeouts. But it’s like I said, he’s He’s young, he’s hungry, he wants to go out there and compete, he wants to help us win championships, and that’s all the right things.”
Goa’s 2023 season ended in early September and he was out of action for a long time due to a blister on his finger, but the club is preparing for additional appearances from the 2022 season, where he was limited by an elbow problem, among other things. I decided to bring it back.
Although his results this season were mixed, Gore started 27 games in his first full major league appearance, with a 4.42 ERA, 4.89 FIP, 57 walks (3.76/9 BB), 151 Ks (9.97 K/9), He conceded 27 goals. HR (1.79 HR/9), .258/.331/.459 line for 136 1⁄3 IP.
Mr. Gore finished the year. ”[r]Ranked 7th in the National League with 9.97 SO/9.0 IP (min. 135.0 IP),” as the Nationals noted in their season review.[r]Ranked among National League LHPs in SO/9.0 (3rd, 9.97), SO (5th, 171), and OPP. AVG (5th place, .258). ”
The club said, “His curveball whiff rate (swings and misses/total swings) is 37.9%, which ranks 12th among MLB curveballs (PA minimum 100) and among MLB left-handed pitchers. I was third,” he added.
“He needs to understand who he is,” the Nats captain said when asked if there was room for improvement in Gore’s play going forward.
“He’s got electrics. He just attacks the strike zone and moves on. When he’s good, he’s really good, and when he’s bad, he’s not that bad.”
“He’s still young,” Martinez added. “He’s still learning. He’s learning a lot about himself. He’s learning a lot about what he can and can’t do. But I think in the future he’ll be in the spotlight. I’m not just talking about the short term, I’m talking about the long term. With him, we can win here and be as good as we should be. I think we have a chance to get back to where we need to be and that is to make the playoffs.”
Gore pitched 70 innings in the majors in 2022 (There are 17 more in the minors.) Having his season ended when that happened wasn’t the worst outcome for the lefty, as he played between the AAA clubs of the Padres and Nats.
“He’s jumped — he pitched 70 innings last year — and yeah, he’s in a good spot,” Martinez said in late September.
“Unfortunately he had some blister issues, but maybe with one more start we would have stopped him.”
When talking to Gore about taking the next step, where is his focus right now?
“When you talk to him, it’s all going to be a question of consistency,” Martinez said.
“When he’s good, he’s good. And we talk about that all the time. His stuff is always electric.
“We’ve got to get him to understand how to use his weapons, how to attack hitters a little better, how to be around the zone. His mistakes should be more near the zone. But , Overall, I think he’s grown a lot from the beginning of the year to now. He really is. The way he fought with his emotions on the field, the way he allowed hits in high-leverage situations. I remember him just being rattled when we did that. And he was able to calm it down here late and keep us in the ball game.”
“I told him this before: You can be a future All-Star if you want to be,” Martinez added.
“Physically he’s great. He’s working hard on his mental game and he’s doing really well at that.”