The LoHud Yankees Blog

A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News


Five questions with Jason Hirsh

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Mar 02, 2010 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

You might see Jason Hirsh pitch in tomorrow’s spring opener. He was once ranked among the top pitching prospects in baseball and had a 2.10 ERA in the hitter friendly Pacific Coast League in 2006. He was traded to Colorado that winter, but his big league career was almost immediately knocked off course by a series of injuries. The Yankees acquired him late last year and the 28-year-old had a 1.35 ERA in six starts for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

ph_444865

How does everything feel compared to how it felt the past two or three years?
Hirsh: I’m healthy and I kind of feel like my old self. When I came over to this organization last year, in July, I started to feel like my old self again. I started pitching like my old self again. This offseason, I did a little bit different training routine. I only took two weeks off of throwing and then I played catch three days a week just to keep on throwing because my arm felt so good at the end of the season, I didn’t want to lose that feeling. Then I did a less traditional workout, more of a functionality workout. We didn’t lift as many heavy weights. We did a lot of body weight stuff, did a month of yoga. Back in California I did long toss, and my arm feels right now better than it’s ever been. Mentally and physically I feel like I’m back to where I should be.

You say back to your old self, what do you do when you’re pitching like your old self?
Hirsh: When I’m healthy, I throw strikes. I eat up innings. I compete. I’m going to go out there and give you my best. When I’m at my best, I’m a sinker-slider kind of guy. Changeup, since I’ve been hurt my changeup has developed quite well, and then when I got traded over here, they wanted me to start throwing my curveball again and that’s starting to come around. Right now I feel like I have three real quality pitches and one that’s borderline, almost right there. I just haven’t been throwing (the curveball) that much. Some days it’s an A+ pitch and some days it’s a D pitch. I’m still trying to get the feel for that.

After your Double-A season and your Triple-A season, you were right there, ready for the big leagues. Then all of the injuries happened. How frustrating was that?
Hirsh: Up until that point, I had never rolled an ankle, broke a bone or had an arm injury my entire life, from childhood right up until then. And I managed to roll an ankle, break a leg and strain my rotator cuff all in a two-year period. It’s just something unusual for me. I don’t know what contributed to it, whether it was bad luck, bad karma, whatever it was. Now that I’m past that, I feel good. I’m taking care of myself, taking the necessary steps to avoid that again.

Did all of the injuries happen in Houston or Colorado?
Hirsh: Colorado. I got traded in the winter of ’06 to the Rockies and in ’07 is when the injuries started piling up. I rolled my ankle in July, and then I missed a month. I made one start in Florida and then my next start was in Colorado against Milwaukee and I broke my leg. Pitched six innings with a broken leg, and then I missed the rest of the year. J.J. Hardy hit a nice little line drive right off his bat and right off my leg.

You came to this organization with bad numbers in Colorado Springs, but pitched well for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. What changed?
Hirsh: (The numbers) were terrible. I think for me, mentally, it was more of a clean slate. The Yankees had no idea who I was or what I did. They had no preconceived notions of anything, and I was the same way with them. It was almost like I get to impress again. At the time that I was traded, I was just starting to feel healthy again. When I got to Scranton, my slider came back around. My changeup was alright. I was able to locate my fastball in and out. Everything just fell into place, and that’s why I didn’t want to take that much time off in the offseason. I didn’t want to stop with that good feeling.

 
 

Sponsored by:
 

Search

    Advertisement

    Follow

    Mobile

    Read The LoHud Yankees Blog on the go by navigating to the blog on your smartphone or mobile device's browser. No apps or downloads are required.

Advertisement

Place an ad

Call (914) 694-3581