While we are extremely happy for our newest client, Kyle Gunderson, to be moving up to the next level and play with the High A Potomac Nationals, all of us at Dynasty are left wondering when Leatherman will be given his change to prove himself at the next stage. We believe that Leatherman will be the next pitcher promoted, and hope that it happens before the conclusion of this season (there are only three weeks left). Todd McElwee of The Gazette recently sat down with Leatherman and listened to what he had to say about how he felt his year went with the Hagerstown Suns and what is to come in the future.
Minor league baseball is like a puzzle; it’s about putting it all together.
Walkersville alum Dan Leatherman is nearing the end of his first season as a reliever with the Hagerstown Suns, the Low Class A affiliate of the Washington Nationals. So far the campaign has been an industrious endeavor, but Leatherman is still piecing together his career.
“I know I can get better,” he said. “Certain outings that I’ve had this season I look back and know if I could have changed something would have been better. I’ve learned from every mistake that I’ve made.”
Leatherman is one of the Suns go-to relievers. As of Wednesday, the 6-foot-2 former Frederick Community College and West Virginia University standout had compiled a 1-1 record, 2.75 earned run average, four saves and 47 strikeouts over 39.1 innings.
“I think I’ve done well for the most part,” he said. “I’m doing better than I did last season in a different league but at the same level. I’m fairly happy with the way that I’ve pitched.
The numbers equal success for Leatherman, but not enough. He’s chasing down a dream and knows it won’t be achieved without an unyielding commitment to continuous improvement. Getting better is what the minors are all about.
“There are certain things I’ve been working on,” he said. “I’ve been working on my mechanics and on some of my pitches.”
Leatherman’s most recent appearance came during the Suns’4-3 loss to the Lakewood Blue Claws on Aug. 8.
He allowed a run and three hits while fanning three in two innings of work.
Hagerstown is trying to piece together its season. The Suns finished the first half of their season at 34-35, which placed them fifth in the seven-team South Atlantic League Northern Division. With less than three weeks remaining in the second half, Hagerstown found itself 10 games under .500 (20-30) and in fourth place.
“We’ve had a tough season, as a team,” Leatherman said. “We’ve just been moving a lot of guys around and have been getting a lot of new guys who are playing in a league they haven’t played in before. We’ve been having a tough time putting everything together.
“One day our pitching is working for us, the next our hitting is.”
Sept. 1 marks the end of the Suns’ season. Leatherman, who previously was a member of the Minnesota Twins organization, is only signed to a one-year contract.
He hopes to ink a new deal with the Nationals but knows he must keep his options open.
Dynasty also hopes that Leatherman is given a chance to prove himself at the next level and remain with the Washington Nationals organization. Dan loves being close to home and has bonded with the club and his fellow teammates. However, he needs to be given a shot to show what he has. We would love nothing more than to have Leatherman help out the Nationals struggling bullpen in the majors…he just needs to be given the opportunity.
It especially hurts to see Dan stalled when you read reports like this on TheBigLead.com:
Mets 12, Nats 0: D. Murphy, Fernando Tatis, John Maine, Jose Reyes, Carlos Delgado, and Carlos Beltran all drove in runs in the Mets eight-run 3rd inning. John Maine pitched five scoreless innings followed by Brian Stokes closing it out with four scoreless. The Nationals suck really bad.