Matt Handley, Drew Miller talk changeup

Peoria, AZ-- The changeup – Matt Handley has a terrific beat on the pitch and can use it in any count. Drew Miller's changeup needs work and that is his primary goal this year.

Left-hander Matt Handley went 2-0 with a 2.40 ERA and three saves over 22 appearances in two leagues last year. He began this season in extended spring training.

Talk about your pitches and the speed you throw each at.

Matt Handley: I throw a four-seam fastball, a change, and a slider. The fastball is usually around anywhere from 84 to 88 at the most. The changeup is probably around 76 at least. The slider's a little faster.

You don't throw extremely hard but the opposition hit .163 off you last year – what has been the key to your success?

Matt Handley: I think it's pretty much my changeup. It's the pitch I went to all year last summer. It was good for me last summer so I stayed with that. I threw that pretty much anywhere in the count.

You came into a system that stresses the changeup – how nice is it knowing you have a solid one?

Matt Handley: It's good. It's good to know. I mean, I had a lot to work on last summer with the changeup. It got a lot better as the games went on, but it's good to know that since, like you said, I didn't throw very hard.

Is there also some deception in your delivery that hides the ball?

Matt Handley: Not really.

Was there anything major that you were looking to work on this spring?

Matt Handley: My slider needs a little bit of work. And when I first got up here, my changeup wasn't really all that good, but it's gotten better since I got up here. Just those two things.

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Right-hander Drew Miller is 0-1 with a 5.19 ERA this season for the Fort Wayne Wizards - after two starts. He went 5-1 with a 3.56 ERA over two leagues last season.

There were some times where you struggled a little to find the strike zone in Eugene and they usually came in spurts – what was that a result of?

Drew Miller: Sometimes I over-think in a situation, and just my mechanics a little bit – a bit of faulty mechanics. But mainly just over-thinking the situation.

You came back and won "Most Efficient Pitcher" at Instructs – talk about winning that award and the progress you made.

Drew Miller: It was basically just challenging the hitters. Just put the fastball in there, put a little two-seam in there and say, ‘Here it is, hit it.' If you can, good for you. If you can't, well - you're out.

The changeup was coming in a little hard last year – how has it developed since then?

Drew Miller: It's still coming in a little hard, but we're working on it. We're working on slowing it down a little bit, but it's coming along.

There are some who say you have to have more of an attitude on the mound – what does that mean and how do you accomplish that?

Drew Miller: It's just having a little bit of a demeanor. Just going out there a little bit pissed off. Basically it's a challenge between you and the hitter. You've just got to look at it that way. That's my attitude right there.


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