Jared Wells seeks redemption in the AFL

Jared Wells was well on his way towards defending his MadFriars.com Minor League Pitcher of the Year award with a lights out performance for the San Diego Padres Double-A squad. Promoted to Triple-A Portland, the struggles began and his confidence waned. Now, Wells has a chance for redemption in the Arizona Fall league.

Talk about your season in Mobile and dominating over half the year you spent out there.

Jared Wells: I got off to a really good start down there and it was pretty exciting. I felt like I was doing well and unfortunately I had the hamstring injury and that set me back a little bit.

Is that what led to some of the struggles in Portland?

Jared Wells: When I came back from it I was still doing well but I was developing a couple of bad habits and that affected me a little bit. When I got to Portland I just struggled. I was sitting there trying to work on things and couldn't really get anything done.

I had that hamstring injury and my first start up there the mound got soaked as the hose came out of the ground and soaked the mound. My first warmup pitch and my foot slid out from underneath me and I thought, ‘Oh Lord, here we go. I pulled my hamstring again.' This is two starts back from my hamstring injury. I think that had a little to do with it – not to make any excuses.

After that, it seems like you lost a little of that edge you normally have on the mound. Is that true?

Jared Wells: I know if I had the confidence that I did in Mobile – which I didn't as my confidence level was nowhere near what I had in Mobile.

I had a couple of good games in Portland. I thought I was getting it back and would go right back out and struggle. I think confidence was the majority of the reason I pitched so bad.

Was it a matter of trying to be to fine as well?

Jared Wells: Yes, exactly. Trying to do too much. I was trying to make that perfect pitch and you don't have to do that at all. It is the exact same game with a couple better hitters in the lineup – a few more hitters that can hurt you.

What was working in Mobile?

Jared Wells: Honestly, I was throwing my changeup a lot more down there. I didn't throw it as much in Portland and when I was throwing it I was standing straight up and compensating for my hamstring and throwing my arm out a little bit in Portland trying to make that perfect pitch instead of throwing it. I got to where I wasn't throwing my changeup that much in Portland. I threw it a lot in Mobile and it helped me out, making my fastball look that much harder.

How can a guy like Gary Lance help you when half the battle is mental?

Jared Wells: He did help me. I thought my last three outings, even though the numbers didn't show it, I thought they were good. I thought I threw the ball really well. He was behind me, pumping me up, giving me confidence from a coaches standpoint trying to build me up as much as possible. He helped me out quite a bit.

Talk about having your season extended and the honor of going to the Arizona Fall League.

Jared Wells: I am going to the fall league and taking John Hudgins spot. I am really excited about that. I can show I am better than how I finished up in Portland because I know I am. I am excited about this opportunity that my season won't end on a bad note.


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