Stephen Faris expects to join Fort Wayne

Peoria, AZ-- Stephen Faris suffered a sprained shoulder as camp opened and has been nursing back to health in extended spring training. The expectation is, once healthy, Faris will head out to Fort Wayne and the Midwest League.

You got off to a bit of a slow start in Eugene but really came on in the end – what changed?

Stephen Faris: Just getting back into it. You know, I signed late, it was kind of a slow start for me, but I think it ended up being like three or four weeks later. You know I took a little bit of time off before I signed. I think it took me a little bit just to get back in the flow of things, just to get my pitches back. I was throwing some, but I was trying just to rest my arm in that little time that I had. Nothing special, nothing big. Just getting back into things and getting in the flow and getting the feel for my pitches back.

You were pretty stingy with runners in scoring position – is there a difference between the consistency in your delivery between the windup and stretch or something else?

Stephen Faris: It probably has to do a little bit with that. From college into what I've learned since I got to Eugene to where I am now is just how important it is to keep guys where they are. If they get on base – obviously you try not to make get them on base – but when they do, keep them there. They can get to first, second, or third. Just make sure they don't get to home plate. You can't always – in a perfect world they'd want us never to do that. But as long as we score more than the other team I do my job. That's kind of all that I work on doing. I just make sure we have more runs than the other team, and whatever I can do to keep those runs down, that's what I try to do.

There were some games where it seemed like you struggled in innings one and two and then became stronger as the game wore on – how can you change that.

Stephen Faris: Maybe it's just bearing down a little bit. For whatever reason – I don't know why – first and second innings have always been my nemesis. Once I get into third, fourth, fifth, even into the sixth inning – I don't know if it's a confidence thing. I don't know if it's adrenaline pushing me. I don't know what it is, but for whatever reason, first and second inning I'm just – maybe I'm thinking about doing it. Maybe I'm thinking, ‘Get through the first, second, and third inning and then after that's good.' Maybe just something that's in my head. Maybe just a little more concentration. I'm coming out there, you know, every game you get the butterflies, you're a little nervous. After a while you settle down. You get into a rhythm. Maybe just trying to get into that rhythm a little bit earlier. Could be something as easy as that. There's no one specific thing that I'd pick out that's a problem. Just get me through the first two innings and I'll go from there.

You have four pitches – is that sometimes too many pitches to have?

Stephen Faris: Maybe for some people. I don't think so as a starter as long as long as you use them reasonably, as long as you use them when they need to be used. Don't overuse one pitch over the other in certain situations and get away from having the fastball and commanding the fastball and whatnot. I feel like I have command over all four of those pitches, and I have the confidence to throw them at any time, then I should definitely use it if I can. I think it's a good thing. I think if it's something that you have them and you can use them effectively any time in a game, I feel like it's a good thing.

Is there something specific you are working on this spring?

Stephen Faris: Right now, I'm just getting my arm back in shape. I actually sprained my shoulder before we started. So I'm actually just getting back into things. I've thrown twice now: one inning the first time and two innings now. So really, I was trying to get my arm strength back, just trying to get back into things. I'm a little bit behind here. I think I might stay here an extra week, then I think they're going to send me to Fort Wayne after that. They're not sure about that yet. From what I hear, that's what they're going to do. But right now I'm just trying to get arm strength back and make sure everything's healthy and make sure all that's fine first before I try to do anything else. And just working on little things on the side – just delivery, just little things, PFPs. Nothing in particular right now other than just trying to keep my arm healthy.

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