Walton discusses three arms

Following Shaun Marcum’s start in a Triple-A game at the Mattick this afternoon (3.2 IP, 2 R, 3 H, 4 K, 0 BB), we caught up with pitching coach Bruce Walton. Here are some comments he had on Marcum, as well as left-handers David Purcey and Brett Cecil.


MugMarcum.jpgON MARCUM

Did Marcum accomplish everything he needed to accomplish?

“The main thing we accomplished, we got to 60 pitches and that’s huge. Four innings, up and down four times, we got to 60 pitches, so that was our main goal today.”

What did you think of his pitch location?

“I think you saw it again today, he threw some really good pitches. His location was great. He gave up some hits on some fastballs in that might not have been in enough, but he was trying to hit the inside edge. We brought the cutter out today and he got some strikeouts on it.”

With Dustin McGowan, a big key is how he recovers in the days after an outing. Marcum missed all of last year, too, but is that not as much of a concern with him?

“I wouldn’t say it’s less of a concern. We still watch it. We still see how fast he recovers and what we can do on our work days. Right now, our work days are fairly limited. We’ll throw sinkers and fastballs, a couple breaking balls and we’re done. So, we are taking a conservative route on our work days so he is really fresh when the start comes.”

Will Marcum be restricted in how many cutters he can throw right now?

“We’re not going to restrict him at all. We just wanted to pass some tests first before we brought it out. We brought it out today and everything went status quo.”


MugPurcey.jpgON PURCEY

You’ve limited Purcey to throwing fastballs and sliders and Cito raved about what he saw in the B game yesterday. What did you think?

“Not to jump ahead, but I thought he did a very good job in the B game yesterday. I thought his tempo was outstanding. He threw strikes. He pounded down in the zone with the fastball and his slider was very good. You’re talking about a slider that we just jumped back on in the last week. That’s a week worth of work that he’s done in his side program to throw those sliders in that B game and I thought they were very good.”

Why did you decide to have Purcey hold off on changeups and curves for now?

“The reasoning behind it, I think concentrating on two pitches gives him a foundation. Before, we were throwing four pitches and they weren’t all working. So, we would go changeup, we would go curveball and it was like we were treading water with those two pitches. I really like his arm action on his slider. If you saw the game yesterday, I don’t think you could tell the difference from arm speed from fastball to slider.”

Will Purcey stick with that approach next time out?

“I think I’m going to do it another outing. I don’t think there’s any rush to go to the changeup right away and we also have a two-seam fastball that’s going to be in the works, too. That’s going to give him a different look on his heater. But right now, I’m very happy with the progress that we’ve made on fastball-slider and I don’t see any reason to change it right now.”

Cito mentioned Purcey possibly being a bullpen candidate. Do you see it that way?

“It’s interesting. You never know. I still think he can start. I think that he’s got the arm that can throw 115-120 pitches at times. but also, some guys, their niche is in the bullpen. You never know where guys succeed the best. We want David Purcey to help our ballclub in his best role. There’s been no decisions or talk about going to the bullpen, but you can’t ignore the fact that he struck out four left-handed hitters in a short period of time, which really could help your ballclub late in the game.”


MugCecil.jpgON CECIL

Like Purcey, you have Cecil only concentrating on two pitches right now — fastball and changeup. Is the thought having him work on his two best pitches before mixing in the slider and curve?

“That’s exactly what I’m doing. I feel that for Cecil to be an effective Major League starting pitcher that he has to establish a changeup. He can’t go out there and just throw heater, heater, heater, heater and then miss curveball or miss slider and then come back to the heater, heater, heater. We need to develop a pitch that we can force contact with that is 10 or 15 mph off the heater and that’s the changeup. So I told him, ‘Go out there and throw changeups, son.’ We’ve got ot do it now. This is what Spring Training is about.

“Everybody on my staff, including bullpen, w’ere all in developmental stages right now. And if we don’t work on it in Spring Training, then why do we even have it? So you’re going to give up some hits. If you look at the scoreboard, it might not be exactly what we’re looking for, but that’s not what it’s about right now. Youve got to take your hat off to Cecil. He’s really went out and he’s committed to trying it and he’s got some good outs on changeups. So we’re going to keep doing that and hopefully that carries right into the season.”

For complete Blue Jays coverage this spring, make sure you’re reading bluejays.com and following me on Twitter at @MLBastian. You can also find spring photos on TwitPic.com.

~JB

5 Comments

eL Nuero Herald interview with Hechevarrķa ( translated from Spanish)……http://www.elnuevoherald.com/2010/03/16/676016/un-salto-gigante-da-el-cubano.html

For the odd occasional video and newspaper clippings that fell into their hands, Adeiny Hechevarria knew of the existence of Derek Jeter, and not infrequently defended shortstop Santiago de Cuba imagining that it was at Yankee Stadium.

Maybe that’s why, when told that the Yankees in Manhattan were interested in him could not help but feel strange, and his face flushed after you say it could be the heir to Jeter.

“When I heard that, I said ‘no, I still have much, I just want to give me the chance to prove I can play at the highest level”, Hechevarria said by telephone from the Dominican Republic.” So far, only I settled for the opportunity.”

To be closer to her, Hechevarria decided to sign for $ 10 million and four seasons with the Blue Jays and threw another major proposal of the Yankees, who seem determined to negotiate a contract extension with his legendary shortstop.

Toronto, which has had no definitive figure in position for a decade, made him know that in their hands Hechevarria accelerate or delay the remaining stretch to go into the big tent.

“I will not lie saying that money is not important, but is only part of what I propose in my new career as a professional baseball player,”said Hechevarria.”Now I have to support that confidence. I, with my talent and work ethic, beyond what that sum of money. In Toronto I hope to get good early in the big tent.”

The Blue Jays gave more money to Hechevarria than the $ 7.5 million received by Joseph Churches of Boston, because they see the shortstop fielding Santiago de Cuba as well or better, but with better offensive prospect that the Red Sox.

One of the scouts who watched him in the Dominican Republic said that “Hechevarria Alfonso Soriano is like a can defend.”Another evaluator who was also at the shows highlighted that” the boy is a little more fact that Iglesias.”

After escaping from the island early last year, was established in Dominican Hechevarria with a group of Cuban players, including pitchers include Roibal-Reinier also Pinar del Rio Santiago and Yuniesky Maya, who soon will enter the stretch to a major league contract.

Dominican is not always easy to keep the concentration level of fitness and ideals to the remoteness of the family and the delay in the Commissioner’s Office usually review cases of Cubans before granting permission to free agency, not discuss the so-called release granted by the Department of State.

“But Adeiny is a special guy,”said Julio Estrada, coach who was in charge of making Hechevarrķa point before the try outs in these long months of waiting.” He does not tell the person must do this or that, since the train gets up and wants to know everything about life in America. This is a good person in every sense of the word.”

After the initial joy, Hechevarria called his family on the island and let them know of his contract and also promised that he would do his best not to ever disappoint, neither they nor their country.

“I want to high the name of Cuba,”said Delgado, who often communicates with Aroldis Chapman to learn how he adapts to his new life.” I wish to enjoy a long career and in the end, when you take the final out, everyone can tell me: “that Cuban life left field.”

Purcey was once highly touted. I think that in a rebuilding year, why not try and fix him. He has the power, arm strength and body to be a bonadife #2 in this league. He needs work, no questions asked, but why not let him start, be the fifth starter for time being and get Bruce to work with him, focus on the slider and fastball, slowly mix in the curve, 2seam and change up. This guy could be deadly for us. It’s worth it considering the alternative is Brian Tallet, we all know exactly what we are going to get from him…… 5 IP 4 ER 1BB 1 SO

By the way, I know its early but Bruce Walton sure looks like he has been doing a great job so far.

Purcey should spend the year in the bullpen.

Greg
http://baseballfix.mlblogs.com/

When the Jays break camp, I hope it will be with the 5 best pitchers they have in the rotation, and the 7 best in the bullpen, whether it be Brian Tallet or whoever. If somebody else wants the job, they have to earn it. I like the fact that Pappy hasn’t given up on Purcey as a starter, and I still think he could be a good one, but he can work on his pitches in AAA just as well as in the majors.

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