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Bump sent down to master slider


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Pitcher bumped back to Isotopes for retooling

By Jeremy Fowler

Tribune Reporter

June 11, 2005


From Nate Bump's experience with demotions, the major leagues don't let you down easy.


The right-handed pitcher didn't find much of an explanation - or more than a handshake and a one-way ticket out - when the parent organization Florida Marlins sent him down to the Triple-A Albuquerque Isotopes, who defeated the Round Rock Express 10-4 Friday in Isotopes Park.


"I guess you could say it's kind of cold," said Bump, 28, who arrived in Albuquerque on Friday. "They basically told me to work on my slider, and that's it."


Not many can say Bump didn't produce in the bigs this year. Bump registered a 3.51 ERA with just five walks in 25.2 innings before the demotion to make room for former Isotopes reliever Chad Bentz. Bump has pitched 135.2 innings with the Marlins since 2003.


But pleading your case for staying power with major league personnel is as futile as fighting an umpire's called third strike, Bump said, especially when the decision already has been made.


Isotopes manager Dean Treanor said his newest pitcher has reason to be disappointed to be in Albuquerque after his long stint in the bigs.


But if there's one person who will reap the benefits of the move, it's Treanor.


The Isotopes (32-30) have lost seven of the past nine games, thanks partially to underwhelming performances from starting pitchers. No starter has gone more than six innings in the past six games.


"He's going to help this ballclub," said Treanor, who plans to move Bump into the starting rotation as soon as Sunday. "I had a long talk with him (Friday), and he's anxious to do what he can for this club."


The Marlins want him to develop a slider, Bump said. He throws a curveball, changeup and sinker. He hasn't thrown a consistent slider in years.


Control hasn't been an issue for Bump, but adding an extra ingredient to the pitching recipe could be a difficult task.


"It might be a while before I can even throw the slider in a game," Bump said. "The key for me right now is to just get back into a starter's mentality, because I know I'll be getting more innings. That will help me."


Treanor, who has served as pitching coach with several major league organizations, said he is confident Bump will adjust quickly to his new pitch.


"It's not that it takes that long to learn, but to gain confidence in the pitch is the biggest part," Treanor said. "He's the type of guy who can make the right changes."


The recent demotion is a chance for resurgence more so than bitterness, Bump said.


Recently demoted players, Bump said, tend to enter Triple-A with built-up resentment.


If Bump masters the slider, maybe he'll spend another couple of years with the Marlins.


"In a time like this, you have to think positively," Bump said. "You have to have fun.


"Two years ago, I had no clue what was going on in the major leagues. Now, I'm a two-year major leaguer. I just have to take a step back and regroup."

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Just master the slider and show Jack the move he did was wrong. Does he even have a slider? I thought i only saw a two seamer and curveball....


He has a sinker, curveball, changeup, and fastball.


His sinker is his fastball...


Also then why does the article say slider even though its a curveball?

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This is part of the organization's development plan. Invest and teach fastball-change-slider pitchers.


Hopefully this is a sign that they want to keep Nate.




He needs to learn to pitch with RISP, that's what he needs.


Not going to happen. He's not going to get the strikeout or weak pop-up. Bumps's a groundball pitcher. If the infield defense has to play out of position for the situation, he's not going to get the out. Infield in, never. Half way or DP depth, maybe. Regular, 99.9% of the time. This is Jack not playing to his pitchers' strengths. Although to Jack's credit, it is hard to manage a groundball (or knuckleball) reliever because many times you're counting on them not to give up a run and can't shuffle in and out relievers very easily.

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throw 6 fingers in there and i say we have a decent bullpen


We do have a good pen but when Alfonseca was here and when Mota was good.


Those were the days...We had Mota and Alfonseca to close=2 great closers.


But we lost Alfonseca and Mota sucks now, but guess what?


We have an even better closer now!!!




Anyways, I want Bump to really work on his pitches in triple a now. Over the years he's been going back and forth between the majors and minors. It would be nice if he could really excell and stay in the majors for a long time.

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Then I don't want him on the team.


I don't see him being a good enough starter either.


If there's a place for a pinch-hitter who can't play defense or a second lefty specialist, there's room for a long reliever like Bump. Especially considering he does his job better than most of the bullpen arms and any of our 5th starter candidates (Leiter, Valdez, Castillo).

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It is hard to find one that is 1. major league ready (few groundball and knuckleball pitchers are drafted or promoted), 2. consistent, 3. stingy with the walks. Look at a Todd Jones, Ben Howard and Billy Koch. They have all been remarkably better with runners in scoring position than with them empty.


From what I remember from that game. Bump walked the first man, then made an error. 1st&2nd, 0 out, there's no pitcher you want in the game except for Jones (closer), Mota (wasn't available) and Bump. The former two because they can dominate, and Bump because he can get the double play. At the first moment things got tough, Jack pulled the plug. Then again, Jack has no problem bringing him in with a runner on third and the infield played in.

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