I've got to work on my fastball. I've got to throw it for strikes to make it in the big leagues. Now that I've got my slider working, I can throw it whenever I want to.
Which other pitches are you working on improving?
I'm working a little bit on the changeup.
A lot of people compare you to Juan Cruz and Carlos Zambrano. How does it feel to draw comparisons to (a) one of the best Cubs prospects from a few years ago, and (b) one of the best pitchers in baseball today?
Well it feels great, you know. How can you say that, though? Carlos has done so much. Some day, I'll be like them; like Juan Cruz or Carlos Zambrano. I'm working on it.
You throw gas out of the ‘pen and tend to let up a little on the radar when you're starting. Which do you prefer?
It's kind of hard when you're starting; you've got to throw more pitches. Out of the bullpen, you might go two or one innings, so you've got to give it all you've got.
Do you think that the Cubs rushed you a little bit when they brought you up to the big leagues last year?
Well, they had some injuries to some guys and I got the call. I just had to adjust, you know?
What did you take from your time in the big leagues?
I learned a lot and I appreciate it a little more. You're not here to pitch in Double-A or Triple-A; you're playing to pitch in the big leagues to big league hitters.
Who was the toughest hitter you faced last year?
Every hitter in the big leagues is very good, but I'll go ahead and say (Alfonso) Soriano.
You were converted from a catcher in the fall of 2002. Do you think that you'd have made it to the big leagues as a catcher?
They changed my mind. At first I didn't want to, but they said that I was going to pitch. I just went with it and it's worked out so far.