Tressler Making Remarkable Transition

Aaron Tressler was not supposed to be in this role. When the 24 year old right hander broke camp with the Lansing Lugnuts in April, it was to continue his development as a reliever. However, when an injury arose to A.J. Wideman, Tressler was asked to be the guy to step into a starter's role, something that he had not done since his college days at Penn State.

"Unfortunately (A.J.) Wideman got hurt and I got an opportunity," stated Tressler.

Tressler has taken the ball and ran with it since entering the rotation. In 22 appearances this season, Tressler has an 8-4 record and has a team low ERA of 1.90. Amazingly enough, the ERA is eerily close to Tressler's 2.06 mark from last year when he joined the Lugnuts rotation at the midway point of the season. Tressler, however, states that he feels more comfortable this year.

"I used to put too much pressure on myself last year out of the pen. I always thought that I had good control of my fastball, so I picked a lot and I got more walks. I just tried to pick too much instead of attacking people."

Attacking people and throwing strike one has been a big reason for his success this year, but Tressler has also added to his repertoire. Last year out of the pen, he primarily featured a four-seam fastball, a change up and slider. Starting this year however, has afforded him the opportunity to learn a few new pitches.

"I got a chance to bring back my curve ball which I really hadn't thrown since college. I also have started throwing a two-seam fast ball, where last year it was strictly four-seam. It has really given me an opportunity to play with some pitches and get some more confidence with all of my pitches."

Adding to his repertoire was not the only thing that Tressler has done this season. He also has started to throw out of the wind up this year after working completely out of the stretch last season.

"I was contemplating on going back to the wind up this year. Last year, I worked totally out of the stretch," stated Tressler. "I wanted to work on the wind up because you can throw harder. It made my delivery easier. I didn't have to try to throw the ball as hard to get the velocity."

Adjusting to a new pitching coach and for the most part a new team this season as well as a new role, most players would go through a transition period, however, Tressler did not get the memo, instead he chooses to praise Lansing pitching coach Tom Signore for hit success this season.

"Tom Signore is probably one of the greatest coaches that I have worked with so far, by far."

Tressler has also found that he enjoys playing with this year's group of players in Lansing stating that he finds this season more enjoyable.

"I don't know how the team was at the beginning of last year, but the team chemistry that we have this year is so much better. Everybody really gets along and if we lose, everyone is still together. We're not blaming people. I don't know if that happened last year, but I'm having a lot more fun this year."

It's not out of the realm of possibility that Tressler will receive a promotion to Dunedin before the end of the season. Whether that happens or not is yet to be determined. One thing is for certain though, whether it is in Lansing or Dunedin, he will get a chance to throw in meaningful games in the post season. Which is something that Tressler is really looking forward too.

"I can't wait," stated Tressler. "I feel like it's going to be a great opportunity because I haven't gotten a chance to pitch in the playoffs yet."

That chance will come this season.

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