Pelzer out to prove his mettle

Wynn Pelzer thought he would go to the Cape Cod League to make an impression on the San Diego Padres. The only impression was that which a baseball left on his fractured kneecap. Now in his first professional season, he is looking towards increasing his leg strength, working the fastball down and away while scrapping one pitch in favor of another.

Cape Cod League – you go out there to prove yourself a little bit more and things didn't go quite as expected.

Wynn Pelzer: Yea. I went out there to pitch and took a line drive off the knee and fractured it – surgery and the doctors said six months. Six months was February and the leg is feeling good now.

What was the mental process like for you. I know you wanted to prove you were better than the season you had at South Carolina.

Wynn Pelzer: I felt like I was better than a ninth-round pick. I felt I could go up there and show them what I was really all about. Go out and pitch a couple of good games and let them see. It just didn't work out like that.

How do you feel now?

Wynn Pelzer: I feel comfortable. I feel good. Spring was my first time throwing a baseball since July. I got that itch and am ready to keep it going.

Last year when we talked, you mentioned you threw a splitter. When I got to see you this spring, it appeared like you were throwing some changeups now.

Wynn Pelzer: The Padres organization is big on changeups. I shelved the splitter right now and am trying to work on the changeup. That is a pitch they like a lot so I am trying to work on it. I threw a couple of good ones and am making progress on it.

How difficult is it to shelve a good pitch you are taking into games and bring around a new one that you need to have confidence in.

Wynn Pelzer: It doesn't feel bad when it is not a game situation but when I get in a game and I want to get a lefty out, I am thinking, ‘I wish I could throw a splitter right here because I am more comfortable with it.' I feel confident in the changeup and am getting better with it. It is not as bad as I thought.

Are you worried a little bit about your stamina this season because you haven't had that off-season to prepare and condition yourself?

Wynn Pelzer: I don't think so. I feel like I am a high energy guy and am in good shape. I am thinking I am going to realize when I get tired. I am hoping I am smart enough to realize it and work through it.

I am expecting it and hopefully will fight through it and continue to have a good season by pitching well.

What is the thing you feel like you have to work on?

Wynn Pelzer: The slider and changeup have been good but I have to work on fastball command. Down and away fastballs to everyone. That is a big pitch in baseball. It is the hardest pitch in baseball to hit – even listening to hitters. I have to work on that. Other than that, I have felt good about how I have pitched.

I need to work on some mechanical things and hopefully I put it together.

Did you feel like you lost a little mechanically from being off for so long?

Wynn Pelzer: I will tell you what – probably not the greatest thing – but getting hurt slowed down the game for me. I got to watch what other people were doing a lot more. I was hurt on crutches. I got to watch a lot of baseball. I got to watch how the best guys in the big leagues did it. I felt like I gained a little bit mentally – it was just getting back into the flow of pitching. I gained by sitting down and watching the game.

Has the velocity come back as you expected?

Wynn Pelzer: I feel like my arm is in pretty good shape and well-rested. My biggest thing is my legs because I wasn't able to work out on them. Hopefully, I get them underneath me and I can work out a little more and get stronger. I feel like I am throwing pretty well – the low-90s – which is pretty good since I hadn't been able to do a lot of leg work. I can get it back up to where it used to be.

is it a daily feel still for you with the legs?

Wynn Pelzer: The training staff is really good. I talk to them and have the conditioning guys who make sure I don't push it. I want to test it and go full speed a couple of times to know I have it in me if I need it. I am taking it easy to make sure I don't do any damage to it but it feels good. That is a plus.

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