Padres Prospect Interview: Aaron Breit

PEORIA, AZ-- A healthy start to the season is a breath of fresh air for San Diego Padres prospect Aaron Breit. Given his attitude and arsenal, Breit is eyeing a breakout season.

How did the elbow respond through the year and did you feel fatigue from a long season?

Aaron Breit: Towards the end, I got a little bit tired. That was tough for me, but I worked through it. When I got there, I was in the bullpen so I couldn't do as much shoulder work as I would have liked to. I got tired a little bit, but it's no excuse for how I finished up the season. But this year, I feel good, no pain, I feel strong.

What are you working on during your bullpen sessions?

Aaron Breit: Really trying to focus on hitting that outside fastball. Getting my curveball down, throwing strikes.

The opposition saw some success in stealing bases off you last year. How can you improve in that area?

Aaron Breit: This offseason I really worked on shortening up my leg kick coming out of the stretch. I think that quickened me up a little bit.

Is there a fear of losing some of that location because it's a bit new to you?

Aaron Breit: No, I focused hard on that. That was one of my main focuses this offseason. That was one of the main things I worked on so I felt pretty comfortable with it coming into spring training.

How much have you matured since coming to the Padres?

Aaron Breit: I've learned a lot. After having these two tough seasons, these past two years, I've learned a lot. I know what I've got to do to get better.

One of the things the Padres coaches have said is that you've maintained your competitiveness even through the tough times. How tough of a mental process is that for you?

Aaron Breit: It's hard. I just go out there and keep feeling it will come around and keep working on stuff and practicing before the games.

You went out to Instructs in the fall – what was it that you wanted to accomplish out there and how will it help prepare you for this season?

Aaron Breit: They really had me focus on fastball command and getting the curveball down. They took away my slider, which I'm happy about and really focusing on the curveball.

How is the curveball coming around?

Aaron Breit: It's coming around real good. I just have to make sure I bury it. Throw it for strike whenever I want to.

You moved from the rotation to the pen last year. How did the transition go and are you beginning to feel comfortable coming in as a reliever?

Aaron Breit: It was easy. I just wanted to be on the mound no matter when it is. I kind of like the adrenaline when they tell you to get up in the bullpen and then you're up. I like it a lot, but, at the same time, I like starting a lot too.

Does the routine change because you don't know when you're going in where as starting, every fifth day, I‘m going to be out there regardless.

Aaron Breit: You need to maintain a lot of focus because you don't know what you're going to do. You have to have patience in the game. And work hard so you have your field when you go out there.

The changeup has been a pitch you have worked on for the last two years. How has it come along and was it harder to work on as a reliever when you weren't sure when you might be used?

Aaron Breit: I feel like I finally got a comfortable grip this offseason I've been able to throw more of a strike in these past few outings.

How often do you go around changing a grip on a particular pitch?

Aaron Breit: For me, it's a big feel pitch, and I've tried everything possible. Finally, I feel like I've got a comfortable grip for me. So I'm a lot more comfortable with that pitch now.

So what's going to be a quality 2009 season for Aaron Breit?

Aaron Breit: Consistency. I just have to be consistent. Last year, I had good games and bad games. I just need to be consistent.

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