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Well, what a day...the team bus arrived in Rochester, NY at 6:30am and I was actually able to get a couple hours of sleep on the bus. For the bus trip we took 2 buses and on the first half of the trip Brad Hennessey accidentally left his pillow on the other bus...I lucked out because he left it near my seat and I needed something to rest my back on...we stopped about halfway and he jumped on our bus and took it back. That made for an interesting night of falling asleep for about 5 minutes and waking up because an elbow rest was poking me...it was impossible to get comfortable. You gotta love minor league bus trips...they really suck but they also make for some fun times telling jokes and stories with teammates and listening to music. To tell you the truth, the bus trips kind of have a peacefulness that I enjoy where you can just sit back with no computers, tvs and just relax to music...anyways. Over the past couple years my music listening time has dwindled and this trip got me back into some songs. Here's some NEW stuff that I liked from last night. If anyone has any suggestions on tracks from new releases be sure to let me know on facebook or twitter.
the empire shall fall - we the people
apostles of solitude - other voices
priestess - the gem
soulfly - soulfly vii
the ocean - metaphysics of the hangman
deftones - risk
taproot - stolage
fear factory - powershifter
A couple more days have went by and right now we are in Pawtucket, Rhode Island getting ready to play the Red Sox (AAA) team. I know this may come off as complaining but our travel schedule down here has been rough. Earlier this year with the Twins we took a flight out of Anaheim to Chicago and got in at 6am...I thought that was a tough one. Last night was the fourth time in a month we left a stadium at 11pm or later and got in at 6:30am or later. Last night we drove from Rochester, NY to Rhode Island and it took 7 hours. Tomorrow we will head back to Rochester from here and get back at....7am! No big deal though it's actually a lot of fun hanging out with guys on the team and telling stories & jokes the entire time...and around 3-4 am most guys fall asleep, I just need to remember a pillow one of these times, the arm rest can really do a number on your back & neck.
Last month when I was sent here the Twins really wanted me to work on getting my velocity up and pitch as much as I could. So far I have been progressing well on both fronts. After sitting out for nearly two years I knew I had a lot of things to work on. Just being on the mound to me felt a little strange sometimes and I wasn't the most comfortable in certain situations. Every now and then I would forget to do little things like check the runner at first, cover first on a ball to the first basemen and back up. Don't get me wrong, I have good stuff and can compete and do well and get big league guys out but after coming off this injury the biggest thing needed was to pitch and pitch and pitch. By doing this I could work on all aspects of the game and at the same time see my arm get stronger. In the past month I'm closing in on 20 innings pitched and I have been getting a lot more confident on the mound and throwing a lot more fastballs. The last two outings I have been getting ahead of a lot of guys with my fastballs and seeing a lot of those late foul ball swings, something I rarely have seen all year. My stats aren't looking the best but for me stats are kind of on the backburner and the more important thing for me is knowing my stuff is there and feeling comfortable out there and having a plan. For me just getting off the mound every other day has been huge and I know that if I keep working I will eventually have the stuff I had before surgery. Right now according to the stadium gun my fastball has been up to 88-89, who knows if this is low or high but it's the highest I have seen on the thing since I've been here. In my prime I was around 90-92 for most pitches.
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