Bleich Getting Close

Jeremy Bleich is ready for the season to start

Jeremy Bleich is in the midst of his first Spring Training camp and he's preparing for what will essentially be his debut season this year. With camp dwindling down, however, he says his game is already close to in-season shape.

"Camp's going well," he said. "It's definitely a learning experience, getting into a routine and stuff like that. It's interesting and everything is going well so far."

He made just two token appearances with the Staten Island Yankees late last season after signing with the Yankees at the deadline in mid-August, but he posted a 0.59 ERA over his final five starts in the Hawaiian Winter League this offseason and he's been working to keep up that momentum this Spring.

"I'm just trying to fine-tune everything and getting into regular season shape. Consistency is the name of the game so I'm just trying to perfect that."

Known for his stellar fastball command and knockout curveball, he does admit the further development of his changeup has been at the forefront of his task list in camp.

"I've been working on my changeup a lot," he revealed. "It seems to be coming around. That feels better and better in every outing. It's definitely one of the things I'm trying to improve."

Originally part of the Charleston work group in Spring Training, last year's supplemental first round pick was shifted to the Tampa squad last week and he pitched 4 2/3 innings for them on Wednesday.

Whether or not he actually skips a minor league level and begins the 2009 season with the Tampa Yankees remains to be seen, but if he were to get that call, he believes he would be up to the challenge.

"I definitely think I can compete at that level," he opined. "I think the experience in Hawaii helped me, playing with guys out there who were in high-A and a couple of guys from Double-A. I think I can compete there."

Steadfast in his goals of becoming a consistent pitcher and reliable to both teammates and team officials alike, and with his first Spring Training camp coming to an end, Bleich says he is close to being ready.

"I'm definitely getting there. Every outing I'm making some strides and being more consistent with all of my pitches and with my mechanics. I'm getting there for sure. I'm not there yet, but I'm pretty close," he concluded.

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