Ernesto Frieri: It was exciting and a good experience to meet all the big league guys. I got a chance to learn something from them. I went back to minor league at the end of spring ready for anything with a lot more experience behind me and ready to do what I needed to do.
Last year, early in the year when I saw you the velocity was somewhere between 88-91 MPH and by the end of the year it was hitting 94 and 95 MPH. What changed?
Ernesto Frieri: I just worked hard every day. It feels like I get ready during the season and am throwing 90-91 early on and when the season goes on I get my fastball up to 94-95 like you said.
Early this year, I wasn't throwing as hard as I was last year and I worked hard to get back there.
Have you also changed some of your mechanics in the process?
Ernesto Frieri: They were working with me on my breaking balls because I really don't have a great changeup. I don't get out in front on it so I am working hard on that.
A lot of people have asked me why I am pitching differently and the Padres want me to throw like that, and I have to do what they want me to do.
You got a chance to go to China as well this spring. What was that like?
Ernesto Frieri: It was wonderful. It was great. It was fun. It was fun to meet people from a different culture and play for the San Diego Padres over there.
You have had some ups and downs this season? Talk a little about that.
Ernesto Frieri: I always want to take the ball and I always want to pitch. It isn't always the Ernesto Frieri I know but I am trying to get better.
What did you learn from your experience in big league camp this year?
Ernesto Frieri: I paid a lot of attention to guys like Trevor Hoffman, Greg Maddux and Jake Peavy. I ask a lot of questions. What I noticed – it doesn't matter how hard you throw. It is about location. Location. Throw the baseball where you want to. Throw a high fastball when you want to. Same delivery with every pitch. That is why they are superstars in the big leagues.
You got put on the 40-man roster this year. How exciting was that for you?
Ernesto Frieri: Oh my gosh – when they called me, I didn't believe it. ‘Are you kidding me? Is that true?'
I cried. I cried, I was so happy. My family, my girlfriend, were so happy. ‘Wow, my goals are coming true.'
As soon as they told me I was on the 40-man, I started to work out harder. I went to the gym. I gained weight to be stronger for the season. I will continue to work hard. I am excited. I think I can pitch in the big leagues.
What does being added to the 40-man mean to you?
Ernesto Frieri: I want to pitch. They are giving me the opportunity and I am going to take it. If they give me a chance to get (to the big leagues), I will.
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