In this edition of the quick interview, I talked with pitcher Luis Mendoza about pitching through last winter and his move to the bullpen.
By PETE GRATHOFF
The Kansas City Star
Question: You pitched through the winter in the Mexican Pacific League and the Caribbean World Series. How are you feeling these days?
Answer: When they moved me to the bullpen, my arm was very sore. Now, basically my arm feels 100 percent. I think maybe one month ago I could tell you my arm was a little bit tired. My body felt it. Moving to the bullpen helped me recover.
Question: Did pitching coach Dave Eiland teach you a cutter?
Answer: Yes, last year. Its nothing big. It just goes to the other side like my two-seam (fastball).
Question: Do you call it a cutter?
Answer: Its not a big cutter. I cant call it a cutter, because it doesnt move big. When they expected it to move to the right side, it just moves to the other side a little bit.
Question: Did it make a big difference for you?
Answer: Yeah, it helped. Its a different pitch from what they expect from me. Im a sinker guy. I just want to get ahead on the inside of the plate, with lefties outside. To have that pitch, just changed everything to help me get people out.
Question: Have you adjusted to the move to the bullpen?
Answer: In the beginning it was kind of tough. You dont know when youre going to pitch. I remember being 16 days without pitching. I just try to get some bullpens in and just hope the next day to pitch. I can say hope, but I do want the starters to go deep into games, and theyve been doing a great job lately. But when I get a chance, I just want to do my job.
To reach Pete Grathoff, call 816-234-4330 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him at twitter.com/pgrathoff