Jose Oyervidez and Paul Abraham talk the walk

Peoria, AZ-- Jose Oyervidez and Paul Abraham were teammates in Double-A Mobile. Both have above average fastballs and are trying to prove something this year. Oyervidez is looking to bring down his walk totals and make use of his repertoire. Abraham is also shoring up his walk totals and proving he is healthy again.

Oyervidez went 6-12 with a 3.92 ERA over 28 starts for Mobile. In 149.1 innings, the right-hander walked 75 while holding the opposition to a .257 average.

What is the key to this season for you?

Jose Oyervidez: The key for me I think is just to cut down on my bases-on-balls. Make the hitters beat me instead of beating myself. I think if I do that I'll be all right this season.

How do you go about gaining better command inside the zone and limiting your walks?

Jose Oyervidez: I've been working on my mechanics a little. Every strike counts. I take my bullpens very seriously, and I've been doing a lot of work there. I think that will help me in cutting down on my walks.

Scouts have said that if you are throwing strikes you are nearly unhittable – does it get into your head on those days where command is a little tough to come by?

Jose Oyervidez: No. I mean, you have your good days and your bad days. You just take what you have that day and try to get outs.

Will you be disappointed if you repeat Double-A this year?

Jose Oyervidez: No, I wouldn't be disappointed. There are so many good pitchers here. You know, you've just got to appreciate that you have a job and do the job somewhere.

I saw you pitching the other day. How comfortable were you?

Jose Oyervidez: I'm feeling very comfortable. I was feeling real good. I was having some elbow problems earlier this spring that have been going a lot better. And since I've been working a little on my mechanics, everything just feels a lot better right now.

========== Abraham was lost for the season after surgery to his throwing arm in mid-August. The right-hander went 3-4 with a 3.18 ERA over 43 appearances for the BayBears but walked 32 in 65 innings.

How is the elbow?

Paul Abraham: The elbow is fantastic.

Did you have surgery and what has been the rehab program?

Paul Abraham: Yeah, I did. I had my ulnar nerve moved up, and I had a couple of bone spurs taken out, but fantastic. (The rehab process) was easy. Just come, get the surgery. I was here for about two and a half months and that was it. When I left here I was already throwing bullpens. So I took three weeks off in the off-season and got to fire up again in January and I was good to go.

You have always been a fan of studying hitter's tendencies – has that ever got you into trouble where you think too much on the mound?

Paul Abraham: It's not so much of hitter's tendencies. I just kind of look at the body. I go by hitter's body. Of course, you know, there's always a guy who may not look like a power guy but can hit for power. Sometimes that jumps out at you. But you can never study too much. You can always find something in there that may put someone off course.

You had a few more walks last year than the year before – did anything change and, if so, what?

Paul Abraham: Yeah, in the first half of the season. I was pulling off a little bit, my front hip was flying open. Once me and Mr. Abbott – Glen Abbott - got that thing figured out, we were good to go for the second half. You know, intentional walks in there kind of makes it look inflated a little bit. But yeah, it was way more walks than the year before. We're get them back down to a reasonable level this year.

What's the biggest thing you're looking forward to working on this year?

Paul Abraham: Throwing strikes low in the zone. Keeping the ball down. I could care less about strikeouts. Just get as many outs as possible and see how many wins we can get on the board for our team this year.


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