Left-hander Adam Conley is probably the Washington State Cougars’ most successful current alumnus in MLB. He has tasted some success with the Miami Marlins as a starting pitcher and has been up and down to the majors the last few years. The Marlins brought him up this season and moved him to the bullpen hoping that his power stuff would play up, and Conley has been a revelation this season. He sports a 3-1 record with a 2.63 ERA and 32 strikeouts in 27 innings pitched.
His strikeout rate has more than doubled from his starting days and his fastball is now clocking in at around 96 mph. This velocity increase is the greatest in all of baseball this year, and he now has an improved change-up that looks the same coming out of his hand as his fastball and has very impressive movement.
Jeff Sullivan of FanGraphs had a detailed look at the lefty and here is what he had to say about his changeup:
I can tell that, when Conley has thrown a changeup this season, opposing batters have whiffed 34% of the time. That changeup whiff rate for Conley is tied for the highest of any pitch type in either league. It’s been one of the very most unhittable pitches. Rather unsurprisingly, Conley has come to trust the pitch more and more.
Sullivan goes on to speculate that Conley will be one of the most coveted reliviers going into the trade deadline with the Marlins out of the playoff race and the fact he has two more years of team control after this season. He also muses that Marlins could move him back to the starting rotation and see if the stuff carries over. Either way the future is looking very bright for Mr. Conley.
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Minshew will join WSU's quarterback competition after transferring from East Carolina.
Q&A with WSU coach Mike Leach on transfer QB Gardner Minshew, recruiting to Pullman, sports gambling and more | The Seattle Times
At Pac-12 media day on Wednesday morning, WSU coach Mike Leach was his typical discursive self. He answered a wide variety of questions about Tyler Hilinski, mental health issues, the WSU QB battle, and Jimmy Buffett songs.
Tyler Hilinski tragedy a main point of conversation during Pac-12 media gathering | The Spokesman-Review
Mike Leach fielded six questions about the quarterback who was supposed to lead his Cougars into 2018 – and probably a few more when he stepped away the podium at Hollywood & Highland.
Former Washington State assistant coaches already leaving imprints at Oregon, UCLA | The Spokesman-Review
The exodus of five Washington State assistant coaches was a well-documented scene from the Cougars’ dramatic offseason and the head coaches who poached three of those aids joined the WSU boss for Wednesday’s Pac-12 Media Day festivities in Hollywood.
Pac-12 notebook: Coaches think legalization of sports betting could be a risky gamble | The Spokesman-Review
With the legalization of sports gambling, college coaches could be encouraged – or even required – to provide weekly player availability reports, or in more simpler terms, injury reports.
Video and Q&A: Washington State coach Mike Leach at Pac-12 Media Day | The Spokesman-Review
Leach broached a variety of subjects, including the handling of Tyler Hilinski’s death, the Cougars’ impending QB competition and recent rule changes in the NCAA.
Washington received 40 of 42 votes to win the Pac-12 North, USC 22 votes as the favorite in the South.
Pac-12 expanding game-shortening initiative to 30 games, ESPN/FOX broadcasts in 2018 | The Spokesman-Review
In response to fan and broadcaster feedback, the conference launched the pilot program last season, shortening 15 games in an effort to enhance the fan experience.