Padres' Prospect Interview: Jose Oyervidez

With four quality pitches, Jose Oyervidez was able to stay at the Double-A level last season, despite not pitching above Eugene. We recently talked to him about his experience with the Mobile BayBears, his walk totals, and much more.

Last year, you came into the Southern League after not pitching above Eugene. How difficult was that?

Jose Oyervidez: It was tough. I was having a good spring training and we had a couple of days off in early April and they let me know that I was going to Mobile – a starter had tested positive for steroids – so I got my bags ready to come here. There was always the possibility – if you do well you might be able to stay. So, I came and just tried to do a good job over here. I ended up staying.

You had just 70 innings under your belt as a minor leaguer?

Jose Oyervidez: The year I got hurt they had already told me that they wanted to make me a starter. I was pretty excited about that but I didn't think they would put me into the starting role after the surgery. Actually, that spring training I was a reliever and I did real well that spring training and thought I had a chance to go to the Lake Elsinore team. I didn't give up a single hit nor a single run during that spring training. I thought I had a good shot at Lake Elsinore but they told me they wanted me to stay in extended because they wanted me as a starter and it worked out pretty good.

Talk about the surgery on your arm and the recovery from it.

Jose Oyervidez: After I had the surgery, the first month I gained a lot of weight. You can't do anything and basically you are sitting around getting fat. I gained the weight and when they allowed me to do the cardio, I started working my rear end off and got into real good shape. I dropped 20 pounds and started to get a little stronger and felt good when I started my throwing program I felt strong. My treatment was good. The trainers in Arizona worked really well with me. My arm felt great.

The big key for you moving forward has to be not walking hitters. If you throw out that stat, you have been dominant.

Jose Oyervidez: As you can see, I struggle with a bit of control problems here and there. I am trying to work hard on that. I know to move onto the next level you have to get the walks down. I am trying real hard not to walk people and maybe that is the thing that is affecting me, thinking about it too much. That is just throwing the way I know how to throw.

How do you forget about the walks while you are on the mound and focus mentally on throwing strikes?

Jose Oyervidez: It is not easy. You know you have to do it to move on to the next level walking so many people. You know that at the next level you can only get away with walking so many hitters because it will end up hurting you in the long run. That is my main focus this year, trying to keep my walks down.

I know the first two or three outings this season I did a pretty good job and then all of a sudden I hit a bump and could not find it anymore. This past outing I did a real good job and hopefully it carries on, and on and on.

Talk about the off-season preparation coming into the year and how important it was to be strong for the long haul.

Jose Oyervidez: I know I was going to a full season league somewhere. Here, we have a great pitching staff and I was looking forward to this year. It is nice knowing where you are going ahead of time. You have a job and can work on things to get ready for the season to start.

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