Unique routine helped Aces’ Andrew Saalfrank reach MLB

Published: Sep. 4, 2023 at 6:06 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - “You crack the Red Bull in the 3rd, Rice Krispy in the 5th, usually you mix in some throws here and there,” former Reno Aces reliever Andrew Saalfrank said of his routine. “I’m a minimalistic guy. When your name is called, get up, get the adrenaline going, get a couple throws in, and get going.”

No need to change if the process led to a call to the big leagues.

Saalfrank dominated in his 23 relief appearances for the Aces. He had a 2.35 ERA to show for it.

The lefty has bounced around from starter to reliever throughout his baseball journey. He’s found a home in the bullpen.

“I think not looking too far into it helps me,” he said. “The shock factor of ‘oh, it’s me.’ You have five minutes to go into the game. It’s the best mindset to have. As a starter you can over think things and over scout things sometimes.”

The success for Saalfrank coming three years after Tommy John Surgery and COVID stunted his growth in 2020.

The timing of it all was a blessing in disguise.

Saalfrank described becoming a better pitcher post-surgery than he was before.

“The amount of work you put in during the recovery process where everyone says you jump velocity. When you’re doing arm care things and doing a lot more than what the other guys do who are healthy would attribute to coming back sharper, and throwing a little bit harder.”

He did not appear in Monday’s D’Backs win over Colorado.