Q&A with Jeremy Plexico

A lefty hurler with a lot of untapped talent, Jeremy Plexico is looking for a bounce back season in 2006. Plexico, who is coming off shoulder surgery in 2004, will need to make his move quickly but certainly has the potential. We caught up with Jeremy for Q&A session.

(FREE PREVIEW OF PREMIUM CONTENT)

CapitolDugout.com: As far as health is concerned, how are you feeling heading into the 2006 season?

Jeremy Plexico: Well, first of all I am coming off of shoulder surgery. I had a partially torn labrum and had surgery December 10th of 2004. I rehabbed it all of last year and am not quite 100% yet. But, I'm close. I will be there by spring training.

CapitolDugout.com: So do you think you have all of your fastball velocity back at this point?

Jeremy Plexico: Normally, my fastball is 86-89 and then I will touch 90, 91, and 92 occasionally. I'm getting close to that.

CapitolDugout.com: Do you have a certain out pitch you go to most often?

Jeremy Plexico: My best strikeout pitch other than my fastball would have to be my slider. I like to throw it inside to righties and off the plate away from lefties.

CapitolDugout.com: What do you think are some of the most important improvements that you feel you'll have to make?

Jeremy Plexico: Well, one of the biggest improvements that I need to make are to continue to develop my slider/curveball and make myself throw my changeup a lot more. I can throw both a slider and a curveball for strikes. But, I need to get to the point where I continue to make my slider/curveball better out pitches.

CapitolDugout.com: Going back to when you first realized you had a shoulder injury, was it something gradual or did you feel it right away?

Jeremy Plexico: I was fortunate to have a successful season last year for the Savannah Sand Gnats. My arm and shoulder started feeling sore with like two months left in the season, which is something that a lot of pitchers go through. Throughout that time though, I never lost any velocity, or any of my stuff on the mound. So, I continued to pitch. After the season, I rehabbed my shoulder for a month to try to strengthen it. And when I threw, I felt the same pain. So, I got an MRI and we eventually set up the surgery with Dr. James Andrews.

CapitolDugout.com: Do you feel that having to battle back from an injury has and will be a motivator for you?

Jeremy Plexico: There's no doubt that I am motivated now more than ever. Even at the end of this season, I was able to get back on the mound and it was only like eight and half months out of surgery. But still I didn't have the success that I want to have when I am on the mound. So, that motivated me even more to have a great off season approach to next season. I have always been extremely committed to my baseball career though. It has been my goal for all of my life.

CapitolDugout.com: You've worked a lot of games out of the bullpen and you have started some as well in your career. Where you do you see your future and do you have a preference?

Jeremy Plexico: Like most pro pitchers, I was a starter until I got drafted in 2003. In Vermont, I started about half of the season and relieved the other half. In 2004 though, in Savannah, I felt like I really got in a groove coming out of the bullpen. I like the fact that as a reliever, you have a chance to be in just about every game and you normally come into the game when its close. I would do whatever it takes, though, to move up. There are a lot of good things about starting as well.

CapitolDugout.com: How would you describe your overall mentality as a pitcher? How do you go after hitters?

Jeremy Plexico: I would like to say that I challenge the hitters. I want the hitter to know that I am coming right after him. I like to go after the hitter early in the count and work ahead. Hopefully, I can get him to hit a pitch that I make on the outside or inside part of the plate. If he takes the strikes early in the count, then I can try to make a pitch to possibly get a strikeout.

CapitolDugout.com: What MLB pitcher would you say you are most similar to in terms of style?

Jeremy Plexico: I would have to say that, right now, I am a huge fan of Dontrelle Willis. I don't have the same mechanics as him. But, I do throw from a low 3/4 arm slot like him, and a little across my body. I like his competitiveness, and how he goes right after the hitters.

CapitolDugout.com: What type of goals do you have for yourself going into 2006?

Jeremy Plexico: First off, I just want to start 2006 by finishing up a great off season of hard work. Then I want to go into spring training and show that I am 100% and ready to go. As far as what team I will be assigned to, I will not know until then. Wherever I go, I want to get off to a good start and continue to climb my way up the ladder.

CapitolDugout.com: As you move up the ladder, do you think there are any keys to success for you?

Jeremy Plexico: Well, like I touched on earlier, I think that the biggest keys to success for me are my off speed pitches. One of my biggest reasons for going to instructs is to work with our pitching coordinator, Brent Strom, on my curveball. I need to get a consistent out pitch from either my curveball or slider. I have already seen a lot of improvement with my changeup, and am confident that it will be a good pitch for me.

_____________________________________________________

Subscribe to CapitolDugout.com today! Only $79.95 brings you one full year of Total Access Pass and all premium content on CapitolDugout.com, Scout™ Player and Roster Database (including the 'Hot News' at the top of the site), Breaking News and Information, Total Access to all Scout.com Websites (including the Redskins and University of Maryland), and Player Pages, detailing the progress and careers of players from high school, the minors, and the pro ranks.

Sample the CapitolDugout.com Total Access Pass™ at no risk for 7 days, then pay only $7.95 or $21.95. If you want to save 2 months off the monthly subscription price, simply choose the annual CapitolDugout.com Total Access Pass™ at $79.95.

Capitol Dugout Top Stories