Padres Prospect Interview: Yesid Salazar

A slow start last year turned into an impressive finish for Yesid Salazar and he is looking to do the same this year. The right-hander worked hard last year and appears on the same track this year, not allowing a run over his last seven outings.

Talk about the pitches you throw and what speeds you throw them at.

Yesid Salazar: I throw a changeup, curveball, slider and fastball. My curveball is 71-72, my slider 82-83, my changeup 78-81, and my fastball is 90-91.

You have worked a lot with Razor (pitching coach Dave Rajsich) over the past two years. Talk about how he has been able to help you grow.

Yesid Salazar: He is a great man. He works very well with the Latin guys. He worked with me on my balance, particularly when I throw the breaking ball because when I throw my breaking ball I open my shoulder and don't have very good balance.

How do you think you did your first year in the United States.

Yesid Salazar: I think I did pretty good for the league. It was a more advanced league than I played in 2005 in the Venezuelan Summer League. I learned to throw more strikes. In Venezuela, I had a lot of walks. I worked hard with Razor on my control, especially of my fastball and changeup. I think it was a good league.

Were you more comfortable when you moved into the starting role? You have done both since you arrived here and are back relieving now.

Yesid Salazar: Yes, I felt more comfortable as a starter. I learned a lot more everyday. I also watch the big league teams every day to learn as much as I can. I have more confidence when I start.

How is the changeup coming along for you after not using that pitch before coming to the states?

Yesid Salazar: The changeup is a much better pitch than when I first started. The curveball is the best. When I throw the fastball and can command the changeup, the hitter has his timing thrown off. I can get a lot of outs throwing the changeup with ground ball outs.

Do you consider yourself to be a ground ball pitcher?

Yesid Salazar: Yes. When I throw my fastball and changeup down in the zone, the hitter doesn't have a chance to lift it. Last year, I only gave up one homer.

Yesid Salazar: Happy. Very happy.

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