Padres Prospect Interview: Jackson Quezada

Jackson Quezada was added to the San Diego Padres 40-man roster prior to the 2009 season and subsequently spent the entire year on the disabled list. He is throwing again and hopes 2010 is his year.

Talk to me about the injury you suffered – perhaps in spring training?

Jackson Quezada: I came from the Dominican Republic a little bit hurt. When I came here, I kept throwing and throwing and got more hurt.

I came back and was throwing in extended and was almost ready to go when I felt it a little bit. It started hurting again and I had to go get surgery on my shoulder.

I am ok now and am almost ready to go again.

What was it like for you mentally?

Jackson Quezada: The first couple of days was hard. Then, I thought about it and decided it was ok. These things happen. It is normal. I have to keep working hard to get ready for next year. My focus is on spring training and working hard to make a team.

Was it tough especially after you were added to the San Diego Padres 40-man roster for the first time and are trying to show them it was a wise move?

Jackson Quezada: It was hard for me. It is ok, though, because that stuff happens. I prepared my mind and now am ready to go. I am stronger now than before. I have to get back there again and just do it.

Now that you are close to being back, do you feel like the pitches are going to be there for you?

Jackson Quezada: Yes, all of them feel good when I throw. I will be 100 percent pretty soon. I know the stuff won't be there right away. I am just trying to hit the target, let it go a little bit and see how I feel.

Sometimes when you step away from the game you get to see things that you don't normally see. Did that happen for you?

Jackson Quezada: Yes, I got to study the hitters more. I got to watch other pitchers throw bullpens and see what they do successfully. Now, I am working hard every day to get back and use some of the tools I have found.

What pitches do you want to work on when you are at 100 percent?

Jackson Quezada: I want to work hard on my slider and changeup. I want to improve my slider so I have a pretty good one – better than I have. I feel good with my mechanics right now.

What will be a successful offseason. I understand you want to throw but then you don't want to throw too much so you aren't tired at the end of next season.

Jackson Quezada: That's true. I am going back to the complex in the Dominican to keep working with the trainers. I will throw some bullpens and maybe see a couple of hitters. I am going to be 100 percent when I come back next year.

Jackson Quezada: I was in school and the first game that I pitched, I threw seven innings at 12 years old. I loved it. The next day, my arm was really tired and sore! I said, ‘I am not going to pitch anymore.' I went back and started to throw nice and easy and realized, ‘I like pitching. I love it. This is what I am going to do.'

I don't know how fast I was throwing but I enjoyed it. I love the game.

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