Fan Chat Wrap: Blaine Boyer

Braves pitching prospect Blaine Boyer joined BravesCenter for a chat to talk about the upcoming spring traning and season. Read on to see the answers to the questions you asked Blaine.

Boyer spent last season at Rome as a starting pitcher. He was 12-8 with an ERA of 3.69. He allowed 146 hits in 136.2 innings pitched and had 58 walks and 115 strikeouts. Boyer was tremendous down the stretch for Rome going 7-0 with an ERA of 1.24 in his last eight starts.

The 6'3" right-hander was the Braves 3rd round pick in the 2000 June draft out of Walton High School in Marietta, Georgia.

FloBrave01 asks:
Blaine, what can you tell us about the Braves' ultimate plans for you at the moment? Are you being thought of as a bullpen guy? Have you had any indication as to starter vs bullpen for the upcoming season?

Blaine Boyer answers:
At the moment, I think they want me to be a starter. But I think my future might end up in the bullpen. Regardless of what happens, if I'm not in the Atlanta bullpen, I'm starting in the minor leagues.

BTbravosfan1 asks:
Hey Blaine, I've never seen you pitch but reports are you throw gas. How hard do you throw and what does your repertoire consist of?

Blaine Boyer answers:
I've got a fastball, curve, and change up. I sit anywhere from 92 to 95. When I get real excited I'll hit 98 once in a while. My change up is usually in the 82-85 range.

RoundRockExpress asks:
Hey Blaine, thanks for taking your time to talk to us fans. Just a simple question for you; Where do you see yourself coming out of Spring Training?

Blaine Boyer answers:
That's a tough one. It really depends on my showing in big league camp. I could be anywhere from Myrtle Beach to the bullpen in Atlanta. But most likely Myrtle Beach or Greenville.

Bill Shanks asks:
Can you tell us about your preference of starting or relieving. What do you like about relieving? Leo Mazzone has compared you to Rob Dibble. Do you think that's a good comparison?

Blaine Boyer answers:
Well it's flattering. But I don't see myself looking like him mechanics-wise. There's also some different aspect to starting. I kind of like the whole mental aspect of getting out there and staying for a while. And coming out of the pen is as close as baseball gets to football I guess. You just try to blow people away. But whatever the Braves want me to do is what I prefer.

PatioDaddio asks:
Blaine, Thanks again for sharing your time with us. Have any of the current Atlanta Braves players taken the time to help you in any way? Who has been your biggest influence in molding your career up to this point?

Blaine Boyer answers:
I really enjoy being around Smoltz. He's helped a lot - mentally. He and I are also believers in Christ. And the same with guys like Russ Ortiz. The major league chaplain has been great too. Tim Cash. Paul Byrd has been a huge help. He is mentally the strongest person I've ever met. He's an awesome, awesome guy. He'll be back and he'll prove everybody wrong. He hates it more than anybody. He's ready to throw now. No one would give him crap if they knew the type of guy he was. He's a solid, all-around guy.

Leo's been great too in the pitching end. I've worked out with Mark DeRosa this offseason, so he's helped me a lot with lifting and staying consistent. No one's really said, "Here's how you should act." The Braves way is to act professional. I know I have to do that.

KHawkins asks:
Thanks for stopping by! As you head into camp tommorow, what are your goals for the spring? Where do you envision yourself heading into the season?

Blaine Boyer answers:
My goal for the spring is to soak it up, understand where I want to be, get better, learn from the Big Dogs, and hopefully, impress Bobby and Leo.

I'm going to let them know I'm knocking on the door. This isn't a place where you just want to be apart of it. I'm going to make some noise.

MikeAdams asks:
Hello. I noticed in 2003 your strikeouts were down slightly, but your control was better. Were you working on keeping the ball in the strike zone more?

As a side note, you do a heckuva job keeping the ball in the park, giving up only 9 HRs in your entire minor league career. That could bode well for a future big league bullpen spot.

Blaine Boyer answers:
I was starting this last year. So the difference in starting and relieving is a big difference. I was just working on learning how to pitch.

When you're relieving, you try to get strikeouts more. When you're starting, you're just trying to get outs. You don't care how you get them out.

BigShowBrave asks:
Blaine, I have heard that Ryan Ewin is a huge inspiration to you and has become somewhat of a mentor on and off the mound...can you comment on this?

Blaine Boyer answers:
I thought Ryan was traded this offseason. No I'm just kidding. Ryan's a really good guy and I enjoyed having him for my teammate.

PatioDaddio asks:
Blaine, since you have been cashing that baseball check, have you ever asked a minor or major league player for an autograph?

Blaine Boyer answers:
Yea actually I asked Smoltz for an autograph but it was for a buddy. My first year I got Wade Boggs. I like to hand out my autograph to all the big dogs.

Hey one more quick question Blaine. What did you think about the ARod trade? Was it good or bad for baseball?

Blaine Boyer answers:
The commissioner's office called me today and asked me not to comment on that. I think it's absolutely ridiculous that the Yankees have a huge payroll. But until there's a salary cap, they're going to do that.

Money doesn't win all the time though. Do you remember when the Mets got all of those big guys a few years ago.

Bill Shanks asks:
Which minor leaguers do you think will be ones to watch in spring training?

Blaine Boyer answers:
I think Langy (Ryan Langerhans) is going to make some noise. I think you need to watch LaRoche win Rookie of the Year. He's got the best eye/hand coordination I've ever seen in my life. Kelly Johnson is going to make some noise. Andy Pratt has got some solid stuff.

Watch out for C.J. Nitkowski. He's got filthy stuff.

And also, watch my boy Wainwright with the Cardinals.

MikeAdams asks:
Being from Atlanta, did you grow up a Braves fan? What was it like to be chosen by the Braves?

Blaine Boyer answers:
I've been a Braves fan since I can remember, even through the bad years. Being drafted by the Braves was a dream come true. I'm so blessed to be able to play for them. Hopefully I'll be able to make my major league debut with the Braves. Thanks for all the questions guys. I appreciate it.

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