Lake County offers Sisco a chance at a new beginning
Talented righty is looking to rebound this year after a tough 2012 season
The minor leagues are all about learning and development. New beginnings are a constant and for Cleveland Indians’ starter Jake Sisco, new beginnings are occurring both on and off the field.
Sisco, 22, was the Indians’ third-round pick of the 2011 draft. He was originally drafted out of high school by the San Francisco Giants in the 37th round of the 2010 draft, but chose not to sign as he elected to go to college instead. Sisco attended Merced College, a community college in central California, where he posted an 11-1 record and 1.66 ERA through 15 games.
Sisco was assigned to the Arizona League Indians after he was drafted and signed in 2011, where he appeared in 12 games, going 2-4 with a 5.24 ERA. Last season, he joined the short-season Mahoning Valley Scrappers. He struggled with a 1-6 record and 5.03 ERA there, which he accredited to lack of preparation during the offseason.
“Coming into last season, coming into my first spring training, I came in out of shape and didn’t really work on a lot of mechanics in the offseason, so I kind of lost my mechanics,” Sisco said.
Sisco spent last season reverting back to the mechanics he utilized during his college days, which he feels were the best of his career. The adjustment made a significant difference, but was only part of a system of changes Sisco encountered.
Sisco felt the biggest difference between pitching in the Arizona League and short-season A ball was how opposing hitters recognize certain pitches, and how to handle the pitch selection against them. “I think the difference in their hitting and the difference in my mechanics made a big difference in results,” he said.
This season, Sisco has returned feeling good about this year’s new beginning. He started playing catch in early January, throwing bullpens every other day and relaxing on the weekends. He returned to his old college to utilize the facilities to work out and condition.
“It was a good routine,” Sisco said. “I started off with a program to kind of get my shoulder back into shape again. I started playing catch a little later than I normally would have during the offseason because of my shoulder but it’s a lot better now.”
Sisco’s shoulder suffered some overuse from the previous season, but his offseason routine has him ready to go. He was assigned to start the year with the low-A Lake County Captains, where he is presently 0-1. He pitched decent in his season debut though, as he went 5.1 innings and allowed three hits, two of which were solo home runs. He didn’t receive much run support as the team fell 7-1 that day.
Sisco was excited to start the year with the Captains, and hopes his role in Lake County will help him ascend.
“I was just kind of taking it as I went along,” he explained. “I was just going to take wherever they placed me and make do with what I had there and give it my best shot and just kind of work my way up the ladder as they see fit.”
Now, Sisco is focusing on maintaining his mechanics and staying consistent through the entire year. His arsenal consists of a fastball, curveball, slider, change-up repertoire, all of which he is merely hoping to throw consistently.
Sisco is also adapting to the Eastlake region, an area which he already enjoys. “It’s a nice area,” he said. “I honestly like it here, even compared back to California. Nature-wise, it’s really nice.”
The move to Lake County isn’t the only new aspect of Sisco’s season. He got married in Hawaii during the offseason and his wife has joined him in Eastlake for the season. The newlyweds are still getting to know one another as they’re still moving in and getting settled, but they’re enjoying their first year of marriage. Together, the couple likes to spend Sisco’s off-days taking walks, taking road trips and attending dog shows – they own two boxers and a dalmatian.
The first week of the Lake County Captains’ 2013 season is in the books and though the team is still adjusting to life in Eastlake, they’re enjoying the opportunity for a new beginning.
For Jake Sisco, new beginnings have been significant this season. From changes to his pitching mechanics to changes in his marital status, new opportunities are inevitable.
Stephanie is a crime and general assignment reporter for The Morning Journal in Lorain, Ohio. She’s an alumna of Cleveland State University with a degree in Journalism and Promotional Communication. You can follow her on Twitter @7thInningSteph.
That said, I do hope Jake can make the majors at some point in future seasons.