Enns Opening Some Eyes

Enns has struck out 30 batters in 16.2 innings

CHARLESTON, SC - Reliever Dietrich Enns of the Charleston RiverDogs is making his way into the spotlight with his impressive stuff. He is planning on making this season count and proving himself to his team and fans as he works his way to making his dreams a reality.

A Frankfort, Illinois native, Enns was happy to be in the warm weather for Spring Training and was focused on all areas of his pitches, mainly his slider. He is confident in his team this season and is trying to make his contribution count.

"So far this season has been up and down, but I think we are definitely headed in the right direction as a team," he said. "The guys are working really hard and we're continuing to get better everyday.

"I think my strengths are being able to throw my fastball for strikes and my changeup for strikes, but I think I really need to work on consistency with my slider and putting people away with that pitch."

Enns has been turning heads with his fastball, which he throws from 90-93 mph, his changeup, which he throws from 78-80 mph, and his slider, which he throws anywhere from 82-84 mph.

"My best pitch I'd have to say is probably my fastball, just being able to get ahead against guys with that and being able to put them away with it," he opined.

Enns is practicing routine shoulder exercises and lifting consistently to stay healthy for the season.

He explained that working with RiverDogs pitching coach Danny Borrell has helped him both physically and mentally in his game thus far.

"We've been talking a lot about being there mentally, getting ahead early, and we've really been working on my slider and trying to perfect that," he revealed.

Borrell had only positive things to say about the 6-foot-1, 195-pounder's improvement and performance in the first several weeks.

"I didn't see him much in Spring Training because we were in different groups, but from what I heard he had a great spring.

"I think his big thing is always going to be his slider and I know they worked on that with him a little bit in Spring Training, and that's pretty much what we've been doing now. We're really working on trying to get it shorter and quicker," Borrell said.

Borrell believes that Enns' fastball and changeup are his two biggest weapons right now.

"He has a really great and deceptive fastball, and a real good changeup, and I think he's going to need that slider. He's thrown some really good ones in the last couple weeks so it's just a matter of him getting out there and gaining experience.

"Mechanically we've been working on just trying to stay behind the ball. He likes to pull his head off a little bit so we're just trying to stay on it. He cuts the ball every now and then with his fastball, and we're just really trying to get that slider down."

Borrell is confident that Enns has a really good shot in his future long-term.

"He certainly has a good shot. He's a lefty and he's 90-94, and when you do that and have a good changeup and can spin a ball, he's got a good future.

"I think he's one of those darkhorses coming out of nowhere and the scouting department did a great job picking him up. He's looked really good so far, I think he's going to be one of those guys that has a chance to move pretty quick."

First-year RiverDogs manager Al Pedrique has similar confidence in Enns.

"I saw him a little bit in Spring Training, he was with a Tampa work out group. The few times I did see him though I was impressed with his aggressiveness on the mound, his composure, and he threw a lot of strikes the couple times we saw him. He has a great arm," Pedrique said.

Pedrique explained that Enns was working on a certain things in Spring Training to better prepare himself for the season.

"He was working on keeping the ball down. He has a tendency to work up in the zone and got hit hard a couple of times because his fastball was up in the zone.

"He's a kid, like everyone else, that needs to keep the ball down once he's ahead in the count and then he can use a breaking ball and changeup. He also throws a great slider."

Pedrique believes there is always room for improvement and that Enns can take on anything.

"I think he needs to improve on his control, walk less people, stay away from deep counts, and move around his fastball. I think his arm strength and powerful fastball are his biggest strengths. He's a great kid and a really hard worker.

"This kid, every time he comes out he shows that he's getting better. He has more confidence in himself; he knows that he can help his team and that he can pitch at this level. The one thing he can keep working on is staying healthy; his conditioning and preparation are so much better.

"Of course it is going to take some time for this young kid to understand that it is a job that takes work day in and day out, but I'm very impressed with his work ethic. And again, he's a great kid with a great future ahead."

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