DeHoyos' fastball is the key

PEORIA, AZ-- San Diego Padres general manager Kevin Towers liked what he saw from Gabe DeHoyos when he saw the right-hander throw in San Antonio. Now, DeHoyos is looking to take that next step.

You received an invite to major league camp. In what ways has it and will it benefit you?

Gabe DeHoyos: Oh, man – I'm excited! I'm just really excited to be here, and I thank God that I was able to get this opportunity. I just want to make the best of it, see what I can do, and learn from all these other veteran guys.

You struck out more than a batter an inning last year. What was the reason for such success?

Gabe DeHoyos: I think just fastball command, honestly. You know how I worked both sides of the plate more last year than I ever had, and I think that was behind it right there.

You are a straight over the top pitcher with a 12-to-6 curveball. Does it ever surprise you that hitters can't seem to time the pitch?

Gabe DeHoyos: No. I think that even if the hitter knows what's coming, if you make a quality pitch that you still have an advantage as a pitcher. You could tell them fastball outside or even curveball, and if you make a quality pitch down low, I think you still have the advantage.

So even if the hitter knows what to expect, you still have the edge?

Gabe DeHoyos: Yeah, I think so. If you make a quality pitch, it's hard to hit.

You are one of the few pitchers that can effectively pitch up in the zone. How does that help your game?

Gabe DeHoyos: Well, keeping batters honest by even changes in their eye level really helps a lot. You know, you go up and away hard and then come back soft. I think that really helps in setting up the batter.

How important has pitch sequencing become to you through the years?

Gabe DeHoyos: Well, for me – I'm about 90 percent fastball. I just believe very strongly in the fastball. My pitch sequence doesn't vary too much – it's fastball after fastball.

Of the 15 runners you inherited last season, just three scored. Is there a different mentality when there are another pitcher's runners on base?

Gabe DeHoyos: Well, when I go out there knowing that they're not my runs, I go and pretend that they're my runs. I don't want to give those up, especially someone else who's been battling.

(Jokingly) What if it's someone you don't like?

Gabe DeHoyos: (Laughs) Nah, not even then! You know, every guy battles his butt off and you want to try and help him. Because one day he might come in when your runs are out there – it's a team thing.

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