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Michael Schuler starts in the SFCBL to be a better reliever at FAU
Michael Schuler starts in the SFCBL to be a better reliever at FAU
May 19, 2024 4:45 AM

The South Florida Collegiate Baseball League has it’s fair share of pitchers who are going from reliever to starter. Florida Atlantic pitcher Michael Schuler seems to fit that mold while pitching for the Phipps Parks Barracudas.

His last three apperances have seen his innings increase from three to four to most recently five on Tuesday, In that game he allowed three runs on six hits and struck out eight in an 8-5 win against the Boca Raton Blazers.

“I feel like I’m doing a lot better than my last spring,” Schuler said. “It’s just gaining confidence, feeling out the offspeed (pitch). As long as I can get that confidence with the offspeed pitch I can dominate.”

However, despite the long outings, Schuler is not trying to transition to starting pitcher. In fact, he believes that the structure of a starter helps him become a better reliever.

Michael Schuler Becoming a Starter

“I’m not trying to become a starter,” Schuler said. “I love the relieving aspect but as being a starter in this league it keeps me on routine like getting my lifts in on time and recovery on time. I kind of know when I’m throwing so I’ll bump up my innings to get my extra work in.”

As a freshmen at FAU, Schuler went 3-1 with a 4.20 ERA and as arguably the best reliever during the C-USA slate with a 2.18 ERA. His first five outings against conference opponents were scoreless. His best outing that season was also his longest outing, 4 2/3 shutout innings against Charlotte.

He only made six appearances in his shortened sophomore season with his longest outing lasting two innings.

So far this summer, Schuler has a 3.50 ERA in six appearances and 22 strikeouts in 18 innings pitched. Schuler’s mission on the mound is to improve and learn after each outing.

“Every inning I’m working on something and after that I got my routine to do,” Schuler said. “Every day you come out here you want to learn something new. You don’t want to be the same person the next day. You want to consistently get better. Consistently is the key.”

Schuler said he is working on adding the slider to his arsenal this summer.

“It’s always been a downfall for me,” Schuler said. “I figured out as long as I stay in my back hip and lean forward, I get the sharp break that I want.”

FAU Players at SFCBL

A handful of his FAU teammates are in the SFCBL competing for the title and bragging rights. Schuler has Cade Parker and Victor Castillo on his side with the Barracudas but many more occupy the teams in contention for the playoffs. So far the only Owl Schuler has faced was catcher Nick Toney of the South Division leading West Boca Snappers. He won that matchup by getting Toney to ground out to third base.

“Playing against my FAU teammates this summer is a blast,” Schuler said. “It brings a higher level of competitiveness out each other. When facing each other we push each other to be better. Overall facing them is very competitive and beneficial to each other.”

The SFCBL season runs through July 30, followed by the playoffs.

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