Welcome to Wally's World

Wally's World is pitching. Former major leaguer Wally Whitehurst has spent two seasons working with the youngest players in the San Diego Padres minor league system, tutoring them in extended spring training through the Eugene Emeralds season. We caught up with Whitehurst to discuss some of the top arms in the farm that came through Eugene this year.

On Drew Miller:

Wally Whitehurst: Drew Miller has a live arm. He has a lot of potential and a feel for three different pitches. Has a fastball, curve, changeup – started off a little slow and I think the one thing Drew needs to work on is having more of an attitude and presence on the mound. He pitched well his last three outings. It is coming for him, it is just going to take some time.

On Ernesto Frieri:

Wally Whitehurst: Ernie has done a pretty good job. This is his first year pitching out of the bullpen and I think he has adapted to that pretty well. There are still some things he needs to do. He gets under a lot of pitches; he needs to stay on top more. He needs to work on his changeup and slider. It is coming. He is another young kid that has done well.

On Orlando Lara:

Wally Whitehurst: O, the first time in the United States, has done an outstanding job. He really has a plus changeup, good fastball – breaking ball needs a lot of work. He doesn't have a lot of arm speed with it. That comes with time. First time in the US, he has done an outstanding job.

Jackson Quezada, what can you tell us about his delivery?

Wally Whitehurst: There are some things that need to be tweaked. He leans a lot and gets his body out in front of his arm. He doesn't allow himself to catch up. When he stays on top he has an electric arm. He will pitch anywhere from 90-94. He is a great kid who tries things that you get him to do on the side. It will take some time.

On Stephen Faris:

Wally Whitehurst: Stephen came to us and probably was a little tired. He started off slow and I think that was the 2-3 weeks he had between the draft and his college season. He really pitched well his last four or five outings. His off-speed stuff needs work but he spots his pitches well, moves it in and out and did a nice job for us. He was just started to find it before he left again.

On R.J. Rodriguez:

Wally Whitehurst: R.J. has been a tremendous pitcher out of the bullpen for us. Second in the league in saves, he has a plus changeup, his slider needs a little work but he is not afraid to take the ball anytime we ask him to pitch. He is aggressive, throws strikes, and has done a hell of a job.

On Rolando Valdez:

Wally Whitehurst: Ro, tied for second in the league in wins, has done a tremendous job for us – the first time he is pitching in the United States. He is a converted outfielder who has only been pitching two or three years. At times shows a plus changeup, average curveball, good fastball. He started off having some control issues but cleaned that up and was great for us.

Ben Krosschell started off slowly – did you see signs that point to him coming around?

Wally Whitehurst: He is in the strike zone better with his pitches but we didn't get the opportunity to get him in as many games as we would have liked or he would have liked. There are some things he has to work out – not arm-wise, but mentally. That is a hit and miss type of deal for him. I hope he gets it. We all love Ben.

Is there anything you can do as his pitching coach?

Wally Whitehurst: I don't know if there is anything I can do. It has to come from within.

On Matt Buschmann:

Wally Whitehurst: Bushy did a hell of a job for us. A great kid coming out of Vanderbilt. He has a plus changeup, his slider is pretty good, he has a three-quarter arm slot that when he stays on top of the ball has real good life down in the zone and throws strikes. He has a chance to move pretty quick.

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