NEW YORK -- As the Braves graduated the bulk of their young starting pitching to the Majors this season, it would be fair to say Sean Newcomb led that trend. Newcomb ended his rookie season almost the same way he started it, against the Mets, but with different results, as
NEW YORK -- As the Braves graduated the bulk of their young starting pitching to the Majors this season, it would be fair to say Sean Newcomb led that trend. Newcomb ended his rookie season almost the same way he started it, against the Mets, but with different results, as the left-hander took the loss in the Braves' 7-1 defeat at Citi Field on Wednesday.
Newcomb's final line included five innings of work and three earned runs with seven strikeouts and four walks. But the results from the start -- and the season in general -- pale in comparison to what the season meant to him -- a chance to prove he belonged in the big leagues.
He's proved that, and more, said Braves manager Brian Snitker. He feels that the experience has been worthwhile and likes what he's seen. Simply put, Snitker is encouraged by Newcomb's upside.
"I think he should go away from this season [knowing] that he belongs here, that he can pitch here," Snitker said. "He's got the stuff to pitch here. It's just about the execution."
On Wendesday, the walks plagued Newcomb. But his teammate, Freddie Freeman, liked what he saw all season from the 24-year-old. In fact, Freeman envisions Newcomb as a sub-3.00 ERA kind of pitcher.
"Once he gets the walks under control, I think he's gonna be a top-of-the-rotation kind of guy," Freeman said. "He's got a power arm and a great curveball.
"I think that was a good last start for him. I think he can take a lot of positives out of it."
Newcomb, himself, feels the same way. At times this season, he showed serious promise, such as during his debut on June 10 against the Mets, when he gave up one run (unearned) over 6 1/3 innings.
He'll end his rookie campaign 4-9 with a 4.32 ERA. Those may not be the most pleasant numbers, but he knows it's something he can use as a springboard into 2018.
"[I'll] use this offseason to build off it and come back stronger," Newcomb said.
Now, with over three months of Major League experience, he has a better idea of what he needs to do and how to get better at it. That's the goal of the offseason, and if it were up to him, that would start tomorrow.
"I'm ready to kind of get going already," he said.
Chris Bumbaca is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York and covered the Braves on Wednesday.