By Nathan Hutchinson
Register Sports Editor
After a rough start to the season, Christian Friedrich has been on quite a roll the past two months.
The former Eastern Kentucky University standout pitched a career-high eight innings for the Tulsa Drillers Sunday in the Class AA Texas League.
Friedrich allowed a lead-off home run to Blake Tekotte and a single to Daniel Robertson. But, the 24-year-old left-hander bounced back and allowed just one run on six hits, with no walks and five strikeouts in Tulsa’s 3-2 loss to San Antonio.
Friedrich, who is rated the No. 41 prospect in the minor leagues by MLB.com, lowered his ERA on the season to 3.70.
“I was a little frustrated in the first couple innings, trying to feel for stuff that I usually don’t think (about) during outings,” Friedrich told David Heck of MLB.com. “I guess I kind of let it fly, but the past couple outings my arm’s been feeling really good. I’ve been trying to throw like a guy who can throw 98, when I know that’s not the case.”
Friedrich posted a 7.65 ERA during four starts in April, but he’s been very solid since. The former Ohio Valley Conference Pitcher of the Year has not allowed more than three earned runs in any of his last 13 starts, compiling a 2.68 ERA during that span.
Despite being considered one of the top prospects in the Colorado Rockies organization, Friedrich was not selected to participate in this year’s All-Star Futures Game in Arizona.
He took part in the game last season and faced one batter late in the game.
Friedrich was the 25th overall pick in the 2008 MLB First-Year Player Draft.
“I was not in the least bit expecting (to go back),” Friedrich said. “I already had my shot at it last year. I had a great time, got to throw a few pitches. It was awesome.”
Friedrich started his professional career in 2008 and split time between Tri-City of the Northwest League and Asheville of the South Atlantic League. In 2009, he started the season with Asheville and after eight starts was promoted to Modesto of the California League.
Friedrich was promoted to Class AA Tulsa last season and went 3-6 with a 5.05 ERA in 18 starts.
This season, the former Colonel is 6-5 in 17 starts with 97.1 innings pitched.