Ep. #004: Listen to Part 1 of the interview with Nelson Figueroa, Former Mets pitcher, Emmy Award Winning Analyst and co-host of “Amazin’ But True: A NY Mets Podcast”. Nelson shares his journey to the bigs as well as pitching and training tips specific to youth baseball players. He also discusses the importance of self-confidence.
What You’ll Learn:
1:31 Nelson’s baseball journey
4:23 Coaches and mentors on road to MLB
6:55 When can a youth pitcher start to safely throw a curve ball
8:48 Protecting your arm
13:11 His thoughts on P.O. (pitcher only) at the youth level, staying ready, competition and pushing yourself
18:01 Adding Velocity, throwing strikes, exploding to the plate
20:46 Velocity vs location
22:20 Establishing the inside part of the plate and making the hitter uncomfortable
26:15 Mindset as a pitcher and mental prep before a game
31:16 Learning to deal with failure and looking for the silver lining
Listen to Part 2 of the Interview with Nelson Figueroa here.
Thank you for being here with us! Evan and the Born To Baseball Team are looking forward to celebrating your success and sharing this journey together.
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Read show notes here.
Nelson’s Twitter: @figgieny
Listen to Nelson on the Amazin’ But True: A NY Mets Baseball Podcast
Born To Baseball Links:
Episode 004_NELSON FIGUEROA FORMER MLB PLAYER AND SPORTS ANALYST PART 1
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Calling all ball players. Are you ready to take your game to the next level? Were you born to baseball? Then bring it in? it's game time.
Welcome to Part One of my interview with Nelson Figueroa here he shares his baseball journey life lessons through baseball specific pitching tips, strategies and safety thoughts on being a pitcher only in youth sports and much more. Hey guys, welcome to born to baseball podcast. Today we have a former Major Leaguer on the show. Nelson Figueroa, he's going to talk about pitching and give us youth baseball players some tips. Nelson, thank you so much for being here.
You had an extended career in the major leagues you played for Team Puerto Rico in the World Baseball classics. You were sport analyst. And you were the first met to throw a complete game shutout at Citi Field. So could you kick us off by sharing your baseball journey?
All that and the $5 and 50 cents gets me a cup of Starbucks. It was an incredible journey to think, a skinny little Puerto Rican kid from Brooklyn, New York, would play Major League Baseball and have the opportunity to play Major League Baseball so many times I think the part about my journey that is special is I've been up and down from the Major Leagues back to the minors and backup to the majors 11 times in my career, that doesn't really happen for a lot of people. So I think the experiences that I gained from dealing with failure. Everybody always talks about their successes. And you know, it's always great to win. But what do you learn from failure to help you succeed the next time and help you not repeat the same mistakes that created that failure in the past. So I think that my 11 times of going up and down, attributed to me always trying to figure out how I could be better. And even at the major league level, I didn't feel like I was a complete product that I could always be better and strive to be better. So for me, I always realized that baseball was what I wanted to do. since I was five years old. I just wanted to be a baseball player. I think every paper or every assignment that a teacher had put in front of me of, you know, write about goals and things you want to be when you grow up. I was always wanting to be a baseball player. And so when I had the opportunity to sign a professional contract and it was with my hometown team, the Mets You know, the best team in New York? Why are you smiling? So when it was a chance to play for the Mets who I was born and raised a Mets fan, I didn't really look back I said, I was gonna just give it my all the way I did in every aspect of the game before that got a chance to play for the Mets and live that dream of putting on that uniform, just like all my idols did before me. And now, looking back at that baseball career, that roller coaster up and down, I wouldn't trade it for anything because I got a chance to experience traveling all over the world winning championships all over the world. I played in Taiwan. I played in Japan, I played in Mexico, Venezuela, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Canada, so I have a win. In I think it's eight different countries. So that's really cool as well. So like, yeah, I mean, the goal was always to play Major League. Baseball. But I think once I got that opportunity and realized that I don't have control over staying in the major leagues, that the goal was to play baseball for as long as I could. And I played until I was 40 years old. So I think that was the best thing that I was able to do.
That's, that's really cool.
So are there any mentors that you had? And like, what did they really provide for you on your road to the Major Leagues?
I think what you try to do is you take a little bit from each person that you come in contact with. Not everyone has to have been a former Major Leaguer for their words to matter, or for things that they're trying to pass on to they're trying to pass on to some of their experiences, right. So some of your coaches who have played High School ball, college ball, you know, may play be some professional baseball, you know, you always look to learn from other people's mistakes. I think that's really what it comes down to. Because You may not be as good as them. But you can learn from them still and know how to adapt to a situation before it actually happens to you. It's like you've seen it before you've heard it before. So taking a little bit of information and being able to apply it to your experiences, the way that you play the game, having idols in the game. I think for me, coaches that I had, I look back at it now. And I've had a longer Playing career than most of my coaches. But as I was coming up, I respected every single one of my coaches and never kind of we didn't have Google back then I know I'm old, but we didn't have a way to kind of look up other than maybe getting their baseball card and seeing you know how long they played when they played what kind of success they had. So you just knew that they were a coach and you respected their opinion you respected that they were trying to help you get better. That to me is the most important thing that coaches are always trying to help you get better because they want Their team to win they want you to be successful. And whether you go to the Major Leagues or not, or even the next level or not. There are life lessons in baseball that will take you well through their full life, the journey of life and you learn so many things and you become a better person because of these life lessons and you become a better Brother, you become a better father, you become a better just all the way around, you realize that you learned a lot on the baseball field and off the baseball field with that interaction that takes you to another level in life.
We have we're lucky to have mentors like you around us, to help us succeed in the game and for them to help us learn more. So I want to start off by focusing on youth pitchers. A lot of youth pitching is about arm care. What would you say the proper age to throw a curveball would be
When they're ready, and I think you've worked with me long enough to know that if you're being monitored properly, and you're learning how to spin a baseball the right way, then there isn't an age because I can't sit here and say, oh, it has to be, you know, when you're 16. Meanwhile, I was throwing one at 10. And, you know, I had success throwing it at 10. But it was the way that I was able to throw my curveball, my breaking ball that I understood how to create spin, how to spin the ball hard not throw the ball hard, is a very fine line, there's an art to throwing a breaking ball. And so for most kids, just getting them to focus and being able to repeat their delivery is a difficult thing just with a fastball, right? So now you take that and you add in that you want to turn the baseball and spin the baseball and they're still trying to throw it for a strike. He's still trying to do all these other things, and the mechanics get out of whack. And that's You start getting into bad habits, which then create injuries. And once you start getting injuries, especially in the throwing arm, and they don't go away very quickly, you lose time on the mound, you lose time on the field, then you kind of lose that love for the game in a way. So to me learning how to throw a changeup properly, will have better benefits in the long run. But for a kid, like yourself, and we've worked on it as well, just getting you to get a feel of the proper way to release the the baseball, it's not a bad thing, unless you're doing it incorrectly. And if you're being taught the right way, then you can start throwing a curveball when you are ready.
What would you say the proper amount of days a pitcher rests between pitching appearances.
It's funny because like I'm old school, right? And so it was like oh, I never rested. I played two games at my team and then I'd go play with my friends and then I go pitch again and I understand it more now and it kind of goes back to the Same thing, right? Because everybody wants to try to throw the ball harder, they're more concerned with velocity. They think velocity is really what's going to make them stand out. When you're 12 years old, there was nobody there with a radar gun, going, Wow, this kid throws really hard because you're starting to think if he throws hard now, what happens in three years, if he's getting pushed too much, and he's the guy that's pitching every game and he's throwing really hard and its max effort might burn out. You know, peaking too soon is a thing. I always tell a lot of kids and I'd rather you learn the proper Foundation, proper mechanics to repeat your delivery. And if the balls coming out and you're able to gain a few miles an hour, that's the great part. Then you talk about the days in between throwing. It varies from kid to kid, I honestly think you just have to be honest with yourself. There's a big difference between soreness and pain. And I think until kids learn The difference. And that's where you see more kids thinking that they can still throw and they can throw more. coaches are getting smarter organizations are getting smarter, and there's pitch counts involved. And they're trying to make sure that these kids are going to be able to maximize their ability for a long, long time. And I'm all for that. So the downtime and the rest time they coincide with depending on how many pitches you throw that game before,
as youth athletes, many of us we play a position along with pitch, is it okay if we play a position before like right before or right after a pitching?
You know what, at this age? Yes, you're fine with doing both because again, if you're going to go into a game, it's usually if you're coming into a game the games already started. You're not going to be asked to throw 100 pitches and you've already played a ton. You haven't made a ton of throws usually from the infield, because if you did, there'd be a lot more outs and the other pitcher would have to come out. So I think I love my pitchers to play other positions because throwing a baseball. And you know that from training with me, we work on the first few months of just learning how to throw a baseball properly and for different positions, right? So because I always say, Well, I don't want you to be out there. And your coach says, Well, can you play third base? And you're like, No, I've never done it, or I don't, I don't know how to field ground balls properly. I don't know how to make that throw from third base. So we work on all of that, right? Because I want my kids to play every position but left out. So to me, that doesn't matter, per se. Now if you're talking about pitching and catching, in the same game, that's where I have I would have an issue with that because the catcher makes as many throws as the pitcher. Yeah, so you can't really do both of those things. Without with protecting the arm that way. So if you're a shortstop like yourself, and you want to get called into pitch, your coaches are usually looking out and they're monitoring how many pitchers are gonna make you throw.
Yeah, it's important just to monitor just How many pitches you throw so you're not overusing your arm? And like you said, peaking too early, and eventually having a chance of burning out,
Their's a, Yeah, there's a, there's a fine line because old school guys will tell you you guys don't throw enough. You're indoors and you're playing video games and you're doing all that stuff. I think they're, it's, you are getting better instruction. Now and there's more of an understanding in the baseball community that you're trying to prevent injuries. There was an epidemic in the major leagues with Tommy John's it was an epidemic more so with kids and the youth. pitchers having Tommy John's just a few years back, and it was because the better pitchers were being asked to throw a lot more and if it was throw, you know, two or three games in the tournament because you wanted to win and so you put your best pitcher out there, you know, coaches were doing it. And I think I'm glad that youth baseball is being monitored much more closely to give these kids a better opportunity at playing baseball for a long, much longer time.
Yeah. So eventually, kids are gonna get to the age where certain kids are gonna want to become pitcher. Only. pitchers only when would you say an appropriate age for that would be,
um, it's funny because like I was just saying I would love I love to play the game. And so any position I could play just because I figured well, if the other pitcher has to come out of playing a position or play the position, then I want to play his position. So when I was coming up, I, you know, started out as a shortstop, everybody does moved over the third base because I had a strong arm. Our other pitcher was a first baseman, so I learned how to play first base. So this way when he pitched I could play first base, learn how to play the outfield, because again, I had a strong arm and I could run. I think it's valuable to be able to play a multitude of positions. If you are PO which I just learned is pitcher only. It's very difficult to hone that craft. Because you're not pitching very often, right? When you're playing the game, you're playing every day you learn, you get the reps, when you're a PO, you're usually pitching one day a week. And so it's really the onus is on you of how you practice in between to stay sharp, and to stay ready. So that's a difficult thing for a kid. And it's really strange to me, and I'm getting more and more used to it, especially with the travel groups and the travel teams, that there are such things as PO's, because when I grew up, you know, you had to play another position, because on the roster, you only carried 12 kids, and you want to make sure that everybody got in there. So it's, I'm still trying to see the value and a pitcher only kind of thing, because I don't know in the long run, if it's better for the kids or not.
And how can a kid who is a PO train other than that one day a week where they're long tossing and going on the mound and taking a bullpen session?
Yeah, it's They have to realize what the game schedule is, and their availability to pitch. Certain PO's are going to be kind of the the PO's that are going to pitch in the bigger games. And you know, the championship type Tournament game. So like if you get to the semifinals and the finals, there's certain PO's that are going to be used for that. In the meantime, you've got, you know, the days during the week, when you're after school, if your team doesn't practice, you have to find a way to practice and I mean, when I was a kid, we used to draw a box on a wall and work on throwing strikes, work on throwing strikes to one side of the plate or the other, cut the strike zone into quadrants and work on throwing, you know, the 1, 2, 3, 4 boxes instead of it just the one big strike zone box, you know, work on situational pitching, it's just really about preparing yourself and from a kid all the way to a major league player. We throw bullpens on our on our side-work days, and we go through, okay, this is me facing Sammy Sosa with a man on first base, how would I pitch him, me versus Sammy Sosa with a man on third and less than two outs, I know what he's trying to do, he's trying to lift the ball for a sac fly, or a home run, because Sammy Sosa swing, and I'm going to try and you know, make sure that he he hits my pitch at the bottom of the zone and tries to you know, I get them the roll it over maybe jam with a two seamer. So all those things you want to work on in between. So you kind of have to play a game with yourself to really learn how to focus and so that that moment that you're in the game, and it's actually happened, you've already played it out a few times.
I think it's also important just for visualization. And so when you do get up in that-
don't don't show off and use big words in front of me. visualization. Yeah, I could have said that word that I said. Yeah, but that is very true. It's very true. And that's something that when we've worked together we've actually worked on right and what do I love more than anything I love when it's a group of 234 kids because then it becomes Competition. Competition is great competition to in those kinds of situations is awesome. And even where, you know, there might not be a hitter in there. But what was our competition? Well, if you didn't throw strikes, and if you walked the batter, you had situps, you had wall sets, you had planks, you got an extra minute of planks. So there's all kinds of things to work for. And competition really drives a team. So I always had you guys focus on, you know, trying to outdo each other. Because I've never been about participation trophies, those are great. But the pyramid kind of gets really narrow up at the top when it comes to getting to the next level. And if you're just happy being at the bottom of the pyramid, hey, that's great for you. But I think everybody's goal is to be that one out of you know, every 500 kids that gets chosen to go the next level. So I think there's nothing wrong with pushing yourself and pushing your teammates, right because you want the best out of them and the best for your team because that's only going to make all of you guys better.
So, nowadays, a lot of people, they look at velocity, like you said earlier, velocity is a big part of youth baseball and all the way up to the major leagues. So can you share two tips on how to increase velocity?
There is as you get older, and as you get stronger if your mechanics are sound, it makes it easier to understand when you're trying to add velocity in your mechanics. You can't just go out there and try harder. It doesn't work that way. It's almost the negative effect. It's like going up as a hitter and saying, I'm going to hit a homerun, what usually happens, strike out right? Taking a bigger swing doesn't necessarily mean you're going to make a better contact. So the idea of is the same for pitching, right, I'm trying to increase velocity. Well, there's a school of thought where what I want to do is really get my muscles to fire in a way And we've worked on it where it's a shorter distance, and you're getting the ball to explode at the right time. Because also working on throwing strikes, it doesn't matter how hard you throw it, you can throw strikes. There's not one scout out there that says, oh, wow, this guy throws really hard, but he hasn't thrown a strike in two innings. Let's sign them. So and there's not a lot of coaches who are going to want you to play for their team, hey, yeah, he throws really hard, but he can't throw strikes. That's the biggest thing. So there's, there's a happy medium. So like everything else, you kind of push the threshold a little bit each time and that's why we start off pitching from shorter distances, right, getting those mechanics as sound as possible, exploding to the plate, releasing the ball as late as possible with as much whip in our arm as we can. So being free and easy at first and repeating that delivery and then realizing what it takes and how the body's mechanics will work and get the most out of your arm speed. You just can't. If you could teach velocity it would come in a box with The big bow on it and everybody would buy it. But you can't right. it, There's not one. There is not one website you can go to. There's not one coach that has made history and said, Every guy that's come to me throws now 95 miles an hour, there's no set formula, some people are born with it. It's about figuring out where you are in your progression and how to activate all the muscles that can get you to fire as hard as possible velocities and something that you can train for. However, that happy medium of strikes plus velocity will get you going a lot further in baseball.
So you just spoke about both them velocity and being able to locate which one's more important and why
million times over location. Velocity affords you a mistake to stay in the ballpark. But I think we're seeing more and more. There's never been a generation of pitchers who throw harder in the game, but there's never been more home runs given up The game, right and we're seeing there's a lot more swing and Miss, and so the strikeouts are higher. So you're looking at a happy medium of velocity walks are up in the game as well. So strikeouts and walks are up in the game, home runs are up in the game. So the guys that can do both the Jacob DeGrom's of the world where it's velocity, but it's also a three, four pitches on both sides of the plate controlling the strike zone controlling the bat head to the strike zone. Nowadays, it's more of a expensive game of batting practice when you go to ball games. I mean, the poor Yankees and Red Sox went to you know, represent the United States in the game of baseball over in England right and what happened 15 to 17 was the score something like that. You had a former CY Young Award winner and Ric Porcello who got two outs and gave up nine runs. So that's not a good look for baseball in my opinion. And I think the ability to throw the ball hard is great. The ability to locate the ball where you want, how you want and which pitch you want, is much more impressive in the long run. I've seen a lot of velocity guys come and a lot of velocity guys go guys that can pitch they stay around for a while.
You know, a lot of coaches say it's important to establish the inside part of the plate and a lot of that comes with velocity. But what does that really mean?
See, and that's what you would normally think right? Fast balls inside, the biggest thing and establishing the inside part of the plate. And it's more about in this day and age where hitters are wearing the body armor. It's not like it used to be so with the body armor, it's for their protection, but at the same time, there's also no fear for a hitter, to kind of dive out over the plate to get that pitch that used to be down in a way and then that safe spot. There outside diving so you have like smaller hitters who used to kind of hit that ball. The other way for a base hit or a blooper, they're staying in there really well, and they're diving out and they're hitting that ball for a home run to right field for the first time ever in baseball. And you have guys like the Chris Taylor's of the world who went from almost getting released by a team, to making the all star team the next year with the Dodgers they did with Max Muncie as well. And the only thing that makes sense is that they are winning the battle over the outside part of the plate what's over, the outside part of the plate, the barrel of the bat, and that's what happens. And so to make them quicken up, you have to be able to pitch inside you have to make them aware of the inside. You have to make them aware that you will go inside more than once to every fifth hitter. So that's also a lost art because pitching inside when it's just velocity. It's already documented. It's already videoed, how many times you will pitch inside they know before they know the teams especially at the major league level. They know Already, this guy will throw inside 5% of the time. And that's not a number that's nearly enough. You have to make hitters aware you have to make hitters nervous. That's part of the game. And it's not where people are all you're talking about headhunting and going after people own. That's not what I want to do. But I don't want hitters being so comfortable that they're hitting the ball. Aaron judge when he hit the 52 home runs for the rookie record. He got hit six times, the whole season six times the whole season. So what does that mean? He's a guy who's six foot seven, stands up right away from the plate and dives over the plate. And where does he hit a lot of his home runs in Yankee Stadium, right field. How can you keep letting him do that? Right? I mean, he's doing it 52 times in a season. So you got to do something to make him aware of the inside part of the plate, make it uncomfortable for him to dive out there. And it's just a lost art. And every time that someone does go inside, and they hit some One first thing is Oh, he's headhunting. He's trying to hurt somebody. We're not trying to hurt them. intimidation used to be a really cool thing. Like some of my greatest hero pitchers, Bob Gibson, and Nolan Ryan, those guys pitched inside Dave Stewart, who was one of my pitching coaches when he when he was my pitching coach in the Milwaukee Brewers, he used a word for pitching inside. When we pitch inside, we are relentless. And what he meant by that was, the pitch was either going to be inside or in the guys jersey. And there was nothing wrong with that. And he said, We don't miss over the middle of the plate, we don't miss on the inner third of the plate. When I want the ball inside, I want the ball on either the black on the outside on the inside corner, or in off the plate where it makes a guy move. It makes a guy uncomfortable. That's where we win that at bat no matter what next pitch can then be a breaking ball. If it's another fastball in, he's not ready for it. We get the week contact that we're looking for.
So mindset on the mound for pitchers is a big key to success. I'm sure you know from your baseball career. So can you walk us through the mental preparation before pitching appearance.
Um, it's funny because some of my most favorite games, the experiences and the word that you always hear a lot is surreal, right? It's like, you're almost watching yourself, do it, it's happening. And you're not really in control of it. And that's when you're kind of in that zone where the all the reps that you do and all the thinking about mechanics goes away, and you're kind of just in the flow of the game and you're feeling like you're at your best, and you wind up having your best games. The mental preparation for someone like myself, where it wasn't my physical tools. I wasn't a guy who threw 95 Plus, I wasn't a guy who had, you know, tremendous swing and miss stuff, but I could throw any pitch at any time. That was my advantage, right? I can use all my pitches. against both hitters, it wasn't like okay, when the lefties come up, I only could throw a fastball, a change up, maybe my curveball. And then when the righties come up, I can only throw my fastball, my slider, and then my split finger, I was able to throw any pitch at any time. And so the the mental preparation was figuring out a hitter strengths and their weaknesses and seeing how my strengths matched up. So I would always kind of watch a team that I was going to pitch against. And back in my day, I know sounds old, but we used to have to go to the VCR tapes and so I would have them if there was a tape of say Greg Maddux because he didn't throw hard, he had nasty stuff but didn't throw very hard. But I would watch how he pitched to a lineup and a right hander who didn't throw 95 whoever that may be, I would watch how they pitched that same lineup, and I would see certain hitters who were aggressive. Certain hitters, I could throw my slow curveball to and check and see, you know if they could handle that certain hitters, I could try and move the ball around there was certain hitters, you know, you had the pitch up in the zone down a zone. So there was a, almost like a trial and error the first time through the lineup, right? And you just didn't want to get yourself into trouble. So it was get ahead. It's the same thing we say to you guys all the time. get ahead, stay ahead and then put them away with your pitch. That's the mental approach, I think and it doesn't matter who the hitter is. Because at your level, you don't know everything about every hitter, right? You don't know which kids swing the bat well or who doesn't. You don't know which ones can hit a breaking ball or change up. What I know is that I know if I put my pitch in my location, it's my best chance to get it out. And every pitch I throw is to get an out. As I get two strikes that I can get in have some fun and try and put them away with a strikeout, but up until that point I'm Trying to let go every single pitch as if if they put it in play. It's weak contact and we can get an out.
So pitching a lot of it isn't just the strikeouts, but it's also just getting outs. So that's how you sort of stay in the game.
Yeah. Oh gosh. So you especially these days, right, everybody's looking at pitch counts and even Major League pitchers aren't going very much over 100 pitches, how can I maximize that time I'm out there and in Major League Baseball, it's a little different because they are really kind of stuck on now. The new theory is two times through the lineup and then let's go to the bullpen and then you see what happens to a bullpen kind of like Milwaukee's bullpen, they get burnt out before they get to where they're trying to go in the playoffs. It's 162 is a totally different number than for youth baseball. But even for youth baseball, what you want to be able to do is I want to show that I can pitch three times through a lineup I want to show I can get every guy out over and over again. I want to show that when the game is on the line I want to be the guy out there with the ball in my hand. And so that, to me is the biggest thing is to be there. If I start the game, I want to see if I can end the game.
That's that's a cool mindset going just knowing you, you could almost rely on yourself.
Yeah. And it's funny because as I get through the game, and you guys play seven innings, right? When you get to get through the first five, and there's only two more innings left, well, I would kind of flip my mind switch on to be like, I'm my best reliever right now. So I go into my reliever mode. I go into the What do I know about this guy, I got him out two times before with this pitch and that pitch he has still hasn't seen my best pitch might be my changeup. I'm gonna save that and use it when I need learning to be efficient. Right efficiency is awesome as well, because velocity doesn't matter if you're 30 pitches in the first inning, you're probably not going to go very long in that game, right? So efficiency if I can get every hitter out in three pitches or less, then I'm going to be most likely in the seventh inning before anything is really happening and the team is the other team is down and my team has had a chance to put some runs on the board and I'm putting myself in a good position for a win.
Yep. So you talked about Greg Maddux earlier. And one of his quotes are the best pitchers have a short term memory and bulletproof confidence.
What can a pitcher or player do at really any level to have a short term memory and bullet proof confidence?
Um, it's it's really difficult as you're getting older, and you're no longer batting seven 800 right for a hitter, you no longer batting seven 800 and you that confidence gets shaken a little bit. And for a youth pitcher, as you're getting older, you're trying to get more and more outs and you're here how good Kids at the next level, are right, I only give up three hits in my coach took me out of a game. Really, oh my god, I give up three hits in one inning. And you know, I still pitched a pretty good game. It's learning how to deal with failure. And that short term memory is huge. Because you can't change what happened, right? But you can learn from those experiences. And so that's one of the things I preach. And I asked you, you know, early on and your pitching career, that pitching journal right?
because you want to learn from those things. Now, am I gonna be in you know, I pitch two weeks ago against this team. And I haven't really pitched that much since then. But the next time I go out there Am I going to be still dwelling about what I did poorly. I try and always look for the silver lining in everything because I want to take up as many positives as possible and learn from my mistakes. But if I can take those positives and build on those, than I'm constantly just kind of putting myself in my mindset in To what I can control. How many times are do we talk about you make a great pitch kid makes an error. What did you do wrong? Why should you get affected that way? Why are you getting upset? Why are you now not able to focus on making the next pitch? You did everything you were supposed to do. Shake it off. I actually try and pick up the guy who just made an error. Let him know. Okay, I'm gonna get you another ground ball right here. Be ready. Because I want him to have his mind. Forgot about the error already. I'm ready for the next ball. And if he gets a double play, man, that's awesome feeling right?
Yeah. And anytime where you make an error, it's just to know, be ready for the next one. Just how baseball works. The next one might be coming to you.
And like you said, it's for position players and for hitters because it seems like there's more of an opportunity, right? Because as a hitter, you make out seven out of 10 times you're still an all star batting 300 for pitching if you threw seven out of 10 were balls That's not good. So it's a different dynamic. So what we talk about with failure is maybe you do give up a home run to the team's best hitter. But then you realize after the game, I didn't even have to face him. I had first base open, I could have thrown him, you know, pitches that he could have swung and missed that. Instead, I threw him a first pitch fastball, and he hit a homerun. You don't always have to get everyone out.
but get out the guys that you feel like you can get out. Some of the guys are going to be really, really good. I'm not condoning pitching around guys. But situational pitching, smart pitching. That's something that you learn as you get older.
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Transcribed by https://otter.ai
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