In his professional debut, 2012 first round supplemental pick C Kevin Plawecki was 0-for-4 with a hit-by-pitch and run scored Tuesday for the Brooklyn Cyclones. All four outs he made were in the air.
His manager, Rich Donnelly diagnosed a case of nerves. “He was so nervous,” Donnelly said. “I don’t care, Big 10, my [rear]. I mean these guys all play in these tournaments and stuff, but they get here and it’s a different program. I had to yell out to get his attention, and I was screaming at him. He says, “I didn’t even know. What’s going on?” He’s fine. He’s going to be alright. It’s like throwing ’em in the water, man. They gotta swim and they don’t have no life preservers. This is his first pro game and we’re going to break all of these guys in. He’s going to do fine.”
On the other hand, pitching coach Marc Valdes liked the way Plawecki caught Luis Mateo. “Plawecki, he did an outstanding job, catching him,” Valdes said. “He’s not an easy guy to catch.”
Brandon Nimmo was 1-for-3 with two walks and a run scored Tuesday. His one hit was a roller on the right side that the Yankees’ muffed and the Nimmo beat the pitcher to the first base bag. He saw 26 pitches in his five plate appearances, but Donnelly thought that too was a reflection of his unease.
“He’s been doing that [working counts] all spring,” Donnelly said. “If you look, his on-base percentage in the spring was almost .400. Still, he had good at bats toward the end down there. He took his walks. He didn’t swing at bad pitches. Now, we gotta get him to be aggressive in the strike zone. … He took pitches right down the middle. We gotta get him to be more competitive. Attack! … All your good athletes attack. And Brandon’s going to do that. … He took a fastball right down the middle. He took another fastball right down the middle. Now, in the spring, we got him off of that. Now, he’s come up here, and he’s got the jitters. You’re nervous. Don’t mean you’re scared. Just nervous. Once you get over that, and get the glow away, just play, he’ll be fine.”