After Joe Girardi raved about Brackman this afternoon, the entire beat crew surrounded Brackman’s locker just before the Rodriguez press conference. He couldn’t have been expecting it, and he seemed surprised to look up to see at least a dozen guys beginning to circle around him, but Brackman had been there before. He was a first-round pick backin 2007, so he’s carried the weight of expectation and attention for a long time. I was surprised at just how comfortable he seemed — not arrogant or boastful, just at ease — in that sort of spotlight.
Brackman said he’s focusing on the steady progression that got him to this point, but it’s impossible to ignore the fact that he has an outside chance of winning a big league spot. He notices when Girardi is watching him, it just doesn’t affect him the way it used to.
“I think that’s what hurt me my first and second year as a young guy coming up,” he said. “All the big guys are behind there watching you, so you kind of want to say, ‘I can do more with this pitch’ or ‘I can make this breaking ball better.’ Larry (Rothschild) gave me some really good advice the other day: Your stuff comes second. It’s all about repeating your mechanics. If you can repeat and repeat, your stuff will come.”
Here’s Brackman. Give it a listen.