Heredia Going To Work On The Number One

Heredia was throwing harder in his first start

TAMPA, FL - Jairo Heredia, a 6-foot-1, 190-pound pitcher from the Dominican Republic has not only entered the 2011 Tampa season stronger, but with a new and improved fastball.

Last season Jairo Heredia's fastball sat consistently at 88 mph while carrying a deadly and sharp curveball and changeup to his regimen. In the offseason he worked hard to put on muscle weight as he entered Spring Training looking ready to pitch.

"He gained about 15 pounds in muscle which has shown with his velocity. He came to Spring Training in much better shape than past seasons and his performance reflects that," Tampa pitching coach Jeff Ware said.

With the power and feeling Heredia has in his arm this season, the velocity in his fastball has helped his secondary pitches immensely.

"His fastball is now up in the low-90s which is going to make his secondary pitches much more effective," Ware added.

Heredia already possesses a very strong curveball and changeup combination, and when Heredia stepped on the mound Monday night against the Brevard County Manatees, his three pitches were on showcase.

He went six strong innings striking out seven batters while letting up two runs on three hits.

"I felt strong out there," Heredia said. "My concentration was good while I tried to mix and match my pitches. It was good to test out my velocity in a game after a Spring Training of mainly practicing on spotting my pitches."

With his fastball sitting in the low-90s, Heredia's arsenal of pitches became challenging for the Manatees.

"He was consistently around 90 mph for his entire six innings and was able to establish his fastball throughout the game and worked efficiently inside and outside the plate."

"At times he used too many secondary pitches and they hit him around a little bit but we got him back to using his fastball again which then again set up his secondary pitches and caused tons of swing and misses," said Ware.

As Heredia pitches in the 2011 season, the future looks bright for the 21-year old. With a more consistent fastball, he should see himself move up to the next level shortly.

"As long as he can command his fastball at a consistent basis on the inside and outside of the plate, he should be able to bump up."

"He's got an above average curveball and changeup and with a little work on his fastball he should have three swing and miss pitches," said Ware.

After Heredia's solid first start of the season, he feels prepared and confident for his next start along with the rest of the season.

"I feel really focused on the mound so far and as long as I work hard and have a lot of dedication to the game, I hope to do well this season," Heredia concluded.

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