We sat down with Trenton Thunder Pitching Coach Scott Aldred for a Q&A session to find out if Jeff…
Horne Looking To Get Even Better
Despite picking up a no-decision in Trenton's 5-4 loss to Erie on Monday, it was the 14th time in 15 starts he has pitched at least five innings. Giving up just one earned run on four hits in five innings, it was also the ninth start this season where he gave up one earned run or less.
He also walked just one batter on Monday, which was the 12th time he has walked two batters or less. Horne contends his success this season is a product of challenging batters more and improved command of his fastball has allowed him to do that.
"My fastball command is much better," he listed as the biggest difference between this season and last year. "I feel like I can throw strikes at any time with it so I can take chances with offspeed pitches here and there when I had to worry about it last year to come back and throw a strike with a fastball. It's been really good."
Better command of his heater has been one part of his recipe for success in 2007. Further development and confidence in his offspeed pitches has also played an integral part in his stock rising in the organization.
"The changeup is coming along great," said the former University of Florida pitcher. "It's getting to where I can throw it in a lot more counts. The curveball has always been there and the slider has been a big pitch for me against lefties this year, throwing in to those guys a lot."
"It's not the same combination every time out. One's going to be a little better than the other but I'm pretty pleased with the progress of all of them so far."
After going just 6-9 with a 4.84 ERA for the Tampa Yankees a year ago and now finally putting up the type of numbers he and the Yankees knew he was capable of posting, Horne believes his performance in Trenton this season may have opened up some of the eyes of his doubters.
"Yeah definitely," he said if he believes he has proved his critics wrong. "I've been lucky to put up some good numbers this year, just challenging guys a lot more this year. I'm not walking guys or anything like that."
"I've probably given up a few more hits this year than I would have liked, but that comes with pitching to a little more contact. I'd like to say I've established myself as a quality starting pitcher."
Having the type of success he has had thus far this season at the Double-A level, Horne realizes he isn't too far from reaching the big leagues.
"No it's not that far away when you get to this point in time," he said of reaching the Major Leagues. "It's nothing but a really good stretch and you're there. It's exciting to see all these guys who have been in the system for a long time and worked really hard, it's neat to see them get up there."
Despite being in the midst of a career year and making rapid advancements in all phases of his game, Horne isn't satisfied relishing in his accomplishments.
"I definitely want to keep with the consistency," he said of his top goals for the rest of the season, "but I probably need to work on working out of the stretch more, get a little quicker to the plate and trying to keep guys from getting into scoring position. It's a nice thing to have."
"I'm doing a good job limiting the number of hits with guys in scoring position, but it's always nice to keep that guy on first base so you can get your double-plays and things like that. That also makes it a lot easier to go deeper into the game when you can get more efficient plays like that."
PinstripesPlus.com Recommended Stories
Odell Beckham makes catch of the year
Former LSU wide receiver Odell Beckham made what has to be the most incredible catch of the NFL season. Check out the highlight reel grab!Read More
College Week 13: 10 Saturday Takeaways
Breaking down all the battles that mattered this weekend.Read More
Week 13: Waiver Wire Pickups
Every week, Fantasy Football Expert Stephen Englert recommends some under the radar types that you should consider adding to your roster. Tennessee Titans QB Zach Mettenberger (pictured above) is…Read More
Scout's ACC All-Century Team
There have been so many great basketball players in the Atlantic Coast Conference since 2000, but which have been the very best? We break down the Player of the Century, Best Coach, Best Freshman, and…Read More
Apache Administers Death to Taliban (VIDEO)
The Apache helicopter is one of the most famed and efficient killing machines in the U.S Army. Get the skinny on this 'steel dragon' and watch what one does to a platoon of Taliban fighters in…Read More