Chase Whitley came into the 2011 Spring Training with one year under his belt, and a mindset of…
Whitley Mixing It Up in Trenton
Whitley posted a 1.68 ERA during his time spent in Tampa, striking out 40 while recording six saves.
"I feel like overall I did pretty good," he added. "Everything was going good, it's definitely a development. Things were coming together pretty good and one thing I talk about a lot is I was able to be pretty consistent down there. Hopefully I can carry that over up here."
Whitley was not expecting to get called up so soon and didn't know what to expect when he was called into the manager's office earlier this past week.
"I was just hoping to get up here some time," he said. "So one year later is pretty crazy. Anytime you get called to the manager's office you get a little nervous and I had no idea I was coming up anytime soon."
He made the most of his time in Tampa, cleaning up some of his mechanics and developing more skills to make him a pitcher rather than a thrower.
"[In Tampa] I worked on throwing more innings and being able to go out there and being consistent every time, and working on my offspeed pitches and getting those guys to bloom, and to throw them for strikes consistently."
It didn't take long for Whitley to get into a game either; he was thrown in to the fire to finish Monday's game. Trenton manager Tony Franklin was impressed with the youngster's first outing.
"He closed the game and that's good enough for me," Franklin said. "That's not an easy spot for a young guy to go in to. He pitched two innings in the latter part of the ball game with the game on the line and I thought he handled himself pretty well.
"He's pitched in that situation in Tampa before, so I didn't think it was foreign to him. He didn't know the hitters but I think he did just fine."
"I was happy to get in the game and get the first one out of they way," Whitley admitted. "But I was definitely excited to get in there."
The success this season comes from a good mixing of speeds from Whitley, but he also feels that his fastball has had a little something extra this year.
"This year I've probably gotten a little bit more life from my fastball than I've gotten in years past," he said. "And my changeup has been pretty consistent. If I can get my slider to be able to be thrown [well] and get three pitches that can be thrown anytime in the count, I'd be pretty excited about that."
Franklin admitted that Trenton's bullpen doesn't currently have definite roles set up, but feels Whitley will perform regardless.
"He'll get his opportunities," Franklin said. "He's got a very good changeup; with his fastball and how he changes speeds I think he'll be pretty effective.
"[I've] just got to go out there and perform like it's any other game," Whitley said. "And develop the mindset of being able to go out there and get guys out consistently and throw pitches for strikes, all three in any count."
"If you can play, you can play," Franklin added. "If you can pitch, you can pitch; if you're good, you're good. It just takes one thing to be in the big leagues, and that's to be good at what you do."
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