Q&A With Eric Hacker

Has Given Up Just Two Earned Runs in '05

In the past year, Eric Hacker has battled back from arm surgery, to make his way to Charleston and back into a starting rotation. The 22-year old righthander, who spent all of 2004 on the disabled list, has shined since being called up from Extended Spring Training. The Yankees 23rd round pick in the 2003 draft is currently boasting a 0.87 ERA in four starts for the RiverDogs this season. He won his first game for the RiverDogs on Tuesday, and on Wednesday he sat down with PinstripesPlus.com.

PinstripesPlus: Coming off Tuesday's win, and coming off arm surgery, was it good to get the first win as a RiverDog under your belt?

Eric Hacker: It's just nice to be back, it has been a while but I am just trying to get my feet wet. I've been working in Extended Spring Training and it's warmer down in Florida so it was better for my arm. I'm just really happy to be with the team and be apart of the RiverDogs.

PinstripesPlus: Tell us about the win yesterday. You went seven shutout innings only allowing three hits while striking out four. What did yesterday mean to you?

Hacker: [Tuesday] was just one of those days where you try to get a feel for it. All I did was try to throw strikes and not try to overdo anything. Coming off arm surgery I'm not trying to blow anybody away right now. I'm basically trying to get back into it. It was only my fourth start and I'm just glad everything went well.

PinstripesPlus: Are you feeling confident when you reach back for the fastball?

Hacker: Oh yeah, definitely, there are no problems with my arm. Right now I am at 100 percent. I have been fairly pleased with the rehab and overall I am just happy with the way everything has worked out. When I reach back for my fastball I'm not afraid. I am confident in my stuff, the same way I was before the surgery.

PinstripesPlus: You were an all-state performer in high school. Did you play football in high school, being that it is so big in Texas?

Hacker: I played football in high school. I was the quarterback but I actually had a season-ending injury my senior year so it cut my season short there. But I was able to get back ready for baseball my senior year and now I am here so things worked out for the best for me.

PinstripesPlus: Is high school baseball big down there in Texas, or is it overshadowed by football?

Hacker: Baseball is big down in Texas. I mean, while Texas high school baseball is big, Texas high school football is huge. It's just the hype of football, Friday night under the lights. It's just a great feeling I wouldn't say it is overshadowed but it is hard to duplicate all the hype that is associated with Texas high school football.

PinstripesPlus: What is the best part about being here and playing baseball as a professional?

Hacker: It is something I have been dreaming about doing ever since I was a little kid. My dreams are starting to come true and I just keep working to get to the next level everyday.


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