Anthony Bass: Moving into a starting rotation like I did back in college; using all four pitches is definitely key to my success, kind of like last year in Eugene. Even though I was a closer, my manager Greg Riddoch said use all my four pitches when I came in to relief, even though I was closing, still working on all four of my pitches. Whenever I did that, I always had success with it. So I think that I'm going to carry on all four of those pitches in the starting and go from there.
Is there something you are working on when you go out and throw your bullpens?
Anthony Bass: I am trying to keep my upper body straight. Sometimes I tend to tilt my upper body back towards the first baseline, and Grady (Fuson) was giving me pointers on staying on the third base side, keeping my body straight up instead of arching it. I am working on that. I had a little trouble at first on the wind-up, but I feel pretty comfortable. I'm adapting to it.
It seems that the curveball is the one pitch you have to work on improving more than the others. What kind of situations do you want to be able to use it in?
Anthony Bass: That's definitely one of my pitches, I think that kind of lacks compared to my three other pitches that I have: my slider, my circle changeup and my four- seam. My curveball is kind of like a get-me-over pitch right now. I kind of like to start it early in at-bat because a lot of good hitters tend to take those curveballs in the beginning. So I kind of want to make it a little bit harder, make it a little more of a tight spin on it so I can throw it deeper in the counts. Hopefully make it another out pitch that I have.
Only one runner attempted to steal a base on you last season. What has runners scared to run off you?
Anthony Bass: I don't know. That's a good question. When I go out there, I like to mix things up. Sometimes I like to set, hold the ball for a little bit, and then I go to the plate. Sometimes I like to have a quick slide set before I go to the plate. Sometimes I like to have a big leg kick. Sometimes that helps me to keep runners at bay and not stealing on me.
You mentioned to us that the landing of your foot isn't something you think about in your delivery. How do you compensate if you fall off line?
Anthony Bass: When I land my front foot, I feel like I get a good firm dig in the ground. I feel comfortable doing it. But sometimes when I tilt, like I said earlier, after I throw the pitch, I tend to fall to first base. But we're fixing that right now. As far as my stride and my landing goes, it's just kind of a thing that's grown on me, and I feel comfortable with my length, my stride length, and, right now, I'm just focusing on keeping in line with the target instead of falling to the left.
You were very successful with runners on base last year. Can you pinpoint a reason behind that success?
Anthony Bass: With runners on base I like to think of it almost like, ‘they got on base off me, they won the battle with me, so I'm going to keep them where they are and not let them get further.' So I like to play a game inside my head, ‘I'm not letting them get any further than first base or second base.' That's what helps me get along. I'm really competitive inside, and I don't like failing.
What happens when you do fail? Do you sort of spiral out of control at times?
Anthony Bass: Failure is a part of the game, so when I do fail, I just have to show them that failing doesn't affect me. So, if I give up run or a hit, I just have to go back up on the mound and I have to get on with my game plan. I can't show weakness because my fielders behind me feed off the pitcher, and also the other team if they see it in my body language, they feed off that too. So I like to get out there and say ‘let's start over, OK new batter.'
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