His fastballs are jumping. His breaking balls are falling out of the zone. It just doesn't seem fair.
When his bullpen session concludes and his team leaves the field to get ready for the evening's game, the Brisbane Bandits starter takes a seat in the bleachers to discuss the year he's been having in the Chicago Cubs organisation, as hard as it has been.
The confidence that the right-hander displayed every time he took the hill in the Australian Baseball League seems to be missing. Something just isn't the same.
Despite his quiet nature on the back field in Fort Myers, Searle's poise and the directness of his answers are reassurance that he really is the same pitcher that he was for the Bandits. He's still the guy that went 3-1 in five starts with a 3.66 ERA, allowing only 21 hits and striking out 34 batters in 32 innings.
He just needs to prove it once again.
Searle started his fifth season in the Cubs minor league system in Tennessee, the same place he left behind at the end of last year. With the Double-A Smokies last season he went 5-3 with a 3.51 ERA in 84 2/3 innings, leaving a strong impression.
Entering this year, the native of Brisbane didn't quite start where he left off.
"I had a bit of a rough spring," Searle said. "I gave up a couple of runs here and there and I lost my command. But it was more in Tennessee when I started getting hit around a little bit and started walking guys. I got a little timid on the mound which isn't really like me but that's why I had to get back to it."
The man who normally exudes an abundance of confidence from the mound all the way to the parking lot became timid. It's hard to believe. But the game can do that to a guy.
"I've struggled obviously," Searle said. "Mentally, I haven't had the confidence that I did this year and that's what I've been working on, just going out there and facing one hitter at a time instead of trying to pitch two innings at a time in my head. I'm just trying to face one hitter at a time and get them out and then bring up the next hitter and face him."
Slowing the game down and concentrating on every pitch while trying to forget the last can be a tough task, especially on a hurler whose strikes are just finding ways to meet bats. Additionally, being told that a return to the Florida State League to play for the Class-A Daytona Cubs is in order can't really be considered a self-esteem booster.
"Baseball is such a game of confidence," Searle said. "When I got sent down after I walked six guys, my confidence was kind of pretty poor. I came down and was talking with [Daytona pitching coach] Marty Mason and [manager] Brian Harper and they were just like, 'We're going to help you get back as soon as possible.'
"I've just been working on some things with Mason, different approaches to hitters and just getting a feel back for it. After a couple of good outings and even my start, I gave up three runs but the first three innings I cruised through. I gave up a couple of runs in the fourth inning and I was pitching on two days' rest. I'm not saying it was because I was tired but I reached my [55-pitch limit] and they were like, 'Alright, time to go.'
"It was unfortunate that I gave up a couple of runs and that we didn't get the win that night, but it did help my confidence a lot. In the first three innings the command of my fastball was back and both of my breaking balls too, which was good. I've just been working on that and it's been paying off."
Since that start for the Cubs, Searle has returned to form. In three appearances and 6 2/3 innings, he is 2-0 with a 1.35 ERA. The righty has allowed just four hits, one run and three walks while striking out nine. Not only is he making the most of his time on the hill, he's enjoying his time in the Sunshine State while it lasts.
"It's not too bad," he said. "It's good to be back on the beach. I enjoy the beach. We've got a great coaching staff here and I enjoy being in Daytona. It was a demotion but I've just got to do the best I can with what I've got to get back to where I was."
What Searle appears to have as he gets up from the bleacher seats and heads into the stadium is the right mindset, the attitude and confidence that will assist him in getting back to where he started, and eventually even further.