Batista Back For Another Shot

BUFFALO, NY - Triple-A is often the final stepping stone for prospects. Other times, it is where veteran players and former big leaguers attempt to reclaim a little more magic. That is the situation Miguel Batista finds himself in with the Mets. Inside Pitch caught up with Batista who opened up about his intentions and his goals.

[FREE PREVIEW OF PREMIUM CONTENT]

Miguel Batista may be puzzling to most baseball fans. After all, he has played for 10 different major league teams in his 23-year career spanning both the minors and the big leagues, yet he is still as driven to pitch at the highest level as he's ever been.

The reasoning behind his motivation is very simple; he still thinks he has the stuff to get hitters out.

"I always believe that there is no greater motivation for a man than the desire to succeed," Batista said. "I've been in this game for 23 years now and I've talked to great pitchers. I always said I would retire when God doesn't want me in the game or the day there is something else outside the lines that caught my attention, not because somebody else thinks I'm done."

Batista started off the 2011 season in St. Louis and was serviceable for the Cardinals. He went 3-2 in 26 appearances with a 4.60 ERA.

Although he liked it in St.Louis, Batista knew it was time for a change of scenery and a change on the mound. He knew that he wasn't utilizing all of his tools as a reliever and that he needed to find a place where he could be a starter once again.

Before parting ways with the Cardinals, Batista sat down with All-World slugger Albert Pujols and asked his honest opinion about whether it was time to call it a career. The answer he received and the results on the radar gun were encouraging enough for him to continue his pursuit to pitch in the big leagues.

"[Pujols] said that I had better stuff than some 20 year olds," Batista said. "[He said] ‘If you are throwing a 83 mile sper hour fastball, I'd be the first one to tell you to go home. Your stuff is unbelievable.' When you hear that from a guy considered to be one of the greatest players in the game right now, it means a lot."

Before signing with the Mets and making his first appearance for the Bisons, Batista went about 20 days without facing a live hitter. The time off had an effect on his location in his first two relief appearances for Buffalo.

On July 5, Batista surrendered four runs on four hits in only a 1/3 inning of work. After such a lengthy layoff, a little rust was to be expected. The veteran came back strong in his next appearance, throwing 1 2/3 scoreless innings with a strikeout.

After only two relief efforts, Batista was penciled in to start in the Bisons first game after the All Star game on July 14. Bisons manager Tim Teufel was pleased with the effort Batista gave.

"It looked like he was more relaxed out there tonight," Teufel said following the start. "He wasn't as fidgety and he looked very calm. He looked like a starter, actually. He was very confident in his ability and he threw some good pitches down and was around the strike zone. Overall, a very good outing."

Batista lasted only 3 2/3 innings but was very effective, allowing no runs and striking out two batters. It's going to take some time for Batista to get his arm strength back to be able to go deeper into games, as he was limited to only 64 pitches in the game. That work in progress was evident in his next outing when he allowed five earned runs over 3 2/3 innings.

"I was a reliever for so long and when you're a short reliever in the big leagues you rely on your best two pitches," Batista said. "You're in a situation where you can't mess around. So being back in the rotation, [Ricky Bones] has been emphasized being able to use my soft stuff."

There is no doubt that Batista is still pitching because of the love he has for the game. He hopes that drive and desire can help him make at least one more run with a big league team.

To Not Miss a Beat of All the Mets' Prospects News and To Read All About All the Top Prospects, Subscribe to InsidePitchMagazine.com


Amazin Clubhouse Top Stories

\r\n \r\n\r\n[FREE PREVIEW OF PREMIUM CONTENT]
\r\n
\r\nMiguel Batista may be puzzling to most baseball fans. After all, he has played for 10 different major league teams in his 23-year career spanning both the minors and the big leagues, yet he is still as driven to pitch at the highest level as he's ever been.\r\n

\r\nThe reasoning behind his motivation is very simple; he still thinks he has the stuff to get hitters out.\r\n

\r\n\"I always believe that there is no greater motivation for a man than the desire to succeed,\" Batista said. \"I've been in this game for 23 years now and I've talked to great pitchers. I always said I would retire when God doesn't want me in the game or the day there is something else outside the lines that caught my attention, not because somebody else thinks I'm done.\"\r\n

\r\nBatista started off the 2011 season in St. Louis and was serviceable for the Cardinals. He went 3-2 in 26 appearances with a 4.60 ERA.\r\n

\r\nAlthough he liked it in St.Louis, Batista knew it was time for a change of scenery and a change on the mound. He knew that he wasn't utilizing all of his tools as a reliever and that he needed to find a place where he could be a starter once again.\r\n

\r\nBefore parting ways with the Cardinals, Batista sat down with All-World slugger Albert Pujols and asked his honest opinion about whether it was time to call it a career. The answer he received and the results on the radar gun were encouraging enough for him to continue his pursuit to pitch in the big leagues.\r\n

\r\n\"[Pujols] said that I had better stuff than some 20 year olds,\" Batista said. \"[He said] ‘If you are throwing a 83 mile sper hour fastball, I'd be the first one to tell you to go home. Your stuff is unbelievable.' When you hear that from a guy considered to be one of the greatest players in the game right now, it means a lot.\"\r\n

\r\nBefore signing with the Mets and making his first appearance for the Bisons, Batista went about 20 days without facing a live hitter. The time off had an effect on his location in his first two relief appearances for Buffalo. \r\n

\r\nOn July 5, Batista surrendered four runs on four hits in only a 1/3 inning of work. After such a lengthy layoff, a little rust was to be expected. The veteran came back strong in his next appearance, throwing 1 2/3 scoreless innings with a strikeout.\r\n

\r\nAfter only two relief efforts, Batista was penciled in to start in the Bisons first game after the All Star game on July 14. Bisons manager Tim Teufel was pleased with the effort Batista gave.\r\n

\r\n

\r\n\"It looked like he was more relaxed out there tonight,\" Teufel said following the start. \"He wasn't as fidgety and he looked very calm. He looked like a starter, actually. He was very confident in his ability and he threw some good pitches down and was around the strike zone. Overall, a very good outing.\"\r\n

\r\nBatista lasted only 3 2/3 innings but was very effective, allowing no runs and striking out two batters. It's going to take some time for Batista to get his arm strength back to be able to go deeper into games, as he was limited to only 64 pitches in the game. That work in progress was evident in his next outing when he allowed five earned runs over 3 2/3 innings.\r\n

\r\n\"I was a reliever for so long and when you're a short reliever in the big leagues you rely on your best two pitches,\" Batista said. \"You're in a situation where you can't mess around. So being back in the rotation, [Ricky Bones] has been emphasized being able to use my soft stuff.\"\r\n

\r\nThere is no doubt that Batista is still pitching because of the love he has for the game. He hopes that drive and desire can help him make at least one more run with a big league team. \r\n

\r\nTo Not Miss a Beat of All the Mets' Prospects News and To Read All About All the Top Prospects, Subscribe to InsidePitchMagazine.com
\r\n
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