Padres Prospect Interview: Neil Jamison

San Diego Padres prospect Neil Jamison is healthy again and avoided surgery but was held back in extended spring while he worked on a new arm angle.

Talk about the injury and the recovery process you have undergone.

Neil Jamison: Last year, it kind of started at the beginning of the year. I kind of pitched through it a little bit and then got shut down, did rehab stuff, came back, was good for an outing or two, and then it king of reoccurred. So I ended up being shut down for the next month and a half. I had a couple of MRIs, but nothing – no surgery needed, just rest and rehab, and I finished up in Arizona doing that, continued into the offseason. I feel pretty good now and hopefully I'll stay healthy for the full year.

How have your workouts been at Spring Training?

Neil Jamison: Good - I'm trying to get used to a new arm slot – throwing from down below now. I just starting doing that this off-season, and I'm just trying to get used to it and make adjustments.

What led you to change arm angles?

Neil Jamison: When I was out here in Arizona rehabbing, I just talked to [Mike] Couchee about it, the pitching coordinator, and he kind of threw it around a little bit and before I left, we kind of just decided that let's give it a shot in the offseason and see where it goes from there.

Being on the sidelines can make you look at the game a little differently. Do you feel like you are seeing things you may not have seen before?

Neil Jamison: Well, you realize what you're missing out on – having to sit there and watch games for a month and a half and you can't do anything. It makes you miss the game a little bit and you want to get back out there.

What were you able to focus on while rehabbing that makes you believe you can come back even stronger this season?

Neil Jamison: Just all-around strengthening – elbow, shoulder. You know, you've got nothing else to do. Not just the elbow, where my injury was, but getting time to strengthen my shoulder, just overall strength. Hopefully I'll get stronger than I was even when I was healthy.

You were having a positive year before the injury. What was working so well for you?

Neil Jamison: Well, the previous year I kind of got away from my strength, which was throwing the ball in the zone, forcing contact. My walks were up and I was falling behind in counts. Last year, I was able to get strike one, get ahead of guys, and keep the ball in the zone, limit the passes and really go at hitters.

And obviously, I think being in the league a second year, you're familiar with everything that's going on and it kind of helps your confidence knowing that you've been there before.

How have you matured as a baseball player since entering professional baseball?

Neil Jamison: Just picking up on things from other players. You're around older guys and you just take things that everybody does and try to build them into your own routine. So I just think learning things from other guys has been a big part since coming into pro ball.

What will be a successful year for Neil Jamison?

Neil Jamison: Just staying healthy. If I can stay healthy the whole year, I'm confident enough in myself to let it fall where it may. But if I can stay healthy and just give myself a chance, that will be a good year for me.

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