The newest invitee to Mariners camp is already in the building, actually he left on Thursday afternoon and drove from Anaheim to Peoria, arriving about 9:30 last night.
"It wasn't too bad," he said. "It was a nice night for a drive."
Here's the rest of the transcript.
It was a quick easy drive from CA, about five and hour drive. As soon as I got the news I hopped in the car and came down here. I'm excited. It's the first place I've been since I was drafted. It's a pretty new thing and I'm excited about it.
On other teams interested …
There were a couple other teams interested and another team even had a higher offer, but I wanted to go to place where I was a comfortable. I knew a couple guys on the team. I knew Wetteland from the Nationals before, so that's why I chose here. Plus I wanted the chance to be on the West Coast, and with Seattle I get a chance to do that.
I'm excited about it and I can't wait to get started
On how he's feeling and what he's able to do …
I'm feeling pretty good. I'm actually feeling really good. I haven't had any setback so far. I've been throwing bullpens since about the first week in February. Everything's been good so far. Hopefully, I can get healthy pretty quick, but not force it at the same time. And be up there by mid-May or early June or maybe even earlier than that. It just depends on how I react once I start doing all the activities here.
Were there scouts at all of his bullpens
For the most part. I was throwing bullpens every Monday, Wednesday and Friday and scouts were coming out most Wednesdays and Fridays. The Mariners scout was there pretty much every time and every Friday. Apparently he liked what he saw even though I was only throwing 80 to 81 miles per hour at the time. I'm excited at the chance to show them more.
I was throwing at a rehab place down in Anaheim. I was doing that three times a week. I was actually working out with Eddie Guardado. So I talked with him a little bit and I got to pick his brain a little bit.
Eddie's a little crazy. He's cool. He didn't do anything crazy to me. He's just always talking about breakfast burritos and things like that.
Watching situation with M's bullpen
Not really. I paid attention for a little bit. But that wasn't a huge factor for me. Comign of a shoulder surgery, I don't really expect to be in the role I was used to. I have to go out there and prove that I'm healthy. Whether when I come out they want to pitch in the sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth or 10th it doesn't matter me. I just want to go out and show that I'm healthy again.
Reports on velocity
It was true. I think it was all because of the shoulder. It was weird cause I never felt any pain in there. So I guess it was just kind of hiding in there. Once I tore my lat muscle that kind of showed me exactly what was going on. When I tore the labrum in the last week, I was really weak with the ball. It was down just because of the shoulder. If it wasn't hurt, I'd still be my normal 89, 90, so hopefully I can back up to that.
Was it maddening to not feel the pain ..
It sucked basically not knowing what was going on with the shoulder.I think one game I was throwing 78, 79 against the Mets. I still went 1,2,3 but I was like holy cow what's going on in there. Once I found out what was going on in there, there was a big sigh of relief because that made me realize that I just didn't lose it. It was because I was hurt.
Was it from wear and tear that the labrum finally tore …
The big reason it finally tore, when I tore my lat all the pressure went on the shoulder. They think that's what caused it. They think I had a tear at the beginning of the season and they didn't notice. I think with the tear in the labrum that's what caused the lat to tear and that's what caused the major shoulder surgery. It sucked. I think it was just a gradual thing that built up over the years. Pitchers arms are very fragile and so when its time for them to give out, it's just going to happen.
ON the timetable for recovery …
They said it's normally about nine to 10 months before I can start to throw full speed again. Right now I'm about the eight month mark. They said with me it could be sooner because of the way my arm is reacting. I haven't had any setbacks. I haven't had any pain since the surgery. They gave me painkillers and I didn't even need to use them. I've been very lucky so far. Hopefully it goes the same way.
On his program with the Mariners …
I haven't talked with the trainers yet. Once I find out from them I'll probably have a better idea. I'm sure I'll probably cut my bullpens back to two times a week instead of three. I'll still throw every day and keep playing long toss.
Any chance of getting into a spring game …
Probably not during spring training, probably more in a sim game near the end of spring. Once I start building up the arm speed and the velocity build up a little more that's probably when I'll start sim games.
ON what went through his mind when he heard torn labrum …
I had heard horror stories about it. One of the guys I played with DC, Rayn Wagner had seven tacks put in it. He was telling me how he couldn't sleep on his back and he splet in a recliner for two weeks straight. I really wasn't looking forward to it. When I got it and they only had to put one tack in it, I was really relieved. It kind of took some pressure off me, to realize it wasn't as bad as everybody thought. I was pretty excited that it wasn't that big of a deal. A torn labrum is a big deal, but compared to some other guys, it wasn't as bad as some people thought.
On any success stories he can call on.
I hav'et really thought about that. For me, it's just knowing that I can get better with the way it's been reacting, it's been good so far. That's just what I think of.
On what have last 24 hours been like …
I've been excited. The whole drive over here I couldn't wait. I called John Wetteland right away and told him and he sounded pretty excited. That was the thing I wanted a chanceto come back and play for him and learn from him. It's been really exciting, I've anxious to get over. I've been sitting and watching all these spring training games on TV and it's kind of hard to just sit back on the couch and watch.
On how he stays patient and not rush back to soon …
Just knowing that I have to take one day at a time. If I go to hard, my career could be over. I could blow it out again and I could never pitch again. Really I just have to think about that and knowing that I want to pitch another 10 or 11 years. For me I just have to think about knowing I'm 26 and I want to pitch till I'm 35 or 36. That's really what I think about because if I go too fast I could blow it out again. And I really don't want to have to go through that process again. It's not a fun process to go through.