Carson City’s Adam Whitt has probably traveled more in the last couple of weeks than he did his entire senior year at Nevada.
After a disappointing 0-2 effort at the Moutain West tournament, Whitt headed for the Cape Cod League to start the season with the Cotuit Kettleers, the same team he pitched for in 2014.
A day after chalking up a four-out save, Whitt was drafted in the 16th round by thew Houston Astros. The team sent him to Orlando for a physical, and then he signed his contract for an undisclosed bonus. After that, Whitt traveled to Troy in upstate New York where he joined his new Tri-City ValleyCats of the New York-Penn League.
The Astros’ short-season A team opens the season Friday against Connecticut.
“I just had my first day of practice,” Whitt said in a telephone interview on Tuesday. “I met with the general manager (Rick Murphy) and the pitching coach (Chris Holt) and they were cool. I’m ready for the first game. I’m hoping I get in that first game.”
Whitt was told pitching is handled differently because the team only plays approximately 70 games. Whitt said the team currently has 14 pitchers on its roster.
“They use two starters per game, and each goes four innings,” Whitt said. “The team has two or three (short-inning) guys to finish games. I won’t pitch every game, though I might be asked to throw more than one inning when I’m in there. They asked me how often I could pitch, and I told them I could throw 4-5 days in a row. Because I’ve already gone through a college season, they don’t want to use me that much (like at Nevada). I may throw 2-3 times a week.
“I think it’s a good thing. I only pitched 38 innings this year, but I got hot (warmed up) every game. If you count bullpen work, I threw a lot more than 38 innings.”
Whitt, who was 2-2 with 14 saves this year to help Nevada win 41 games, has that bulldog mentality you want relievers to have, but even he knows there’s no sense pushing the envelope right away.
One thing different for Whitt will be the travel. Most of the travel was done by plane in college. In the New York-Penn League, it’s all busing.
“Every trip will be between three and six hours,” Whitt said. “It will definitely be different than in college.”
As will pitching professionally. No more is Whitt a student-athlete.
It’s baseball 24-7. It’s a job, one which Whitt has wanted since he was in Little League.