JT - Yeah I saw it right when I got up to Triple A. In that clubhouse guys were going up and down every day and that's something I've never been exposed to before. It definitely gives you a feel that you're getting close and with some hard work you can be up there and contribute.
PD - You've got the fastball down and the curve ball is very good. How is the change up coming along?
JT - You've just got to throw it and be comfortable with it, I'm throwing it games, I'm throwing it in the bullpen and I'm just making sure that I'm staying on top of it and throw it and stay sharp with it.
PD - Are you pleased with your progress through the Pirates minor league system?
JT - At Triple-A, development is not as significant. It's time to show what you've got. I get that. You see more professional at-bats, better team play. I was excited to go up there at the end of last season. It was definitely a jump, more about winning and the proper club atmosphere. I do feel like I've hit every level, and learned a lot. I've come a long way, become a more complete pitcher. But I've got more work to do on consistency. I've got the package to be successful but, even last year, different pitches would kinda take the day off.
PD - Are you looking forward to your second big league camp?
JT - Yeah, I remember last year I was pretty rattled with the schedule and was worrying about where I needed to be and all of that nonsense. This year I know how to approach that and I know all the coaches and all the players for the most part. This year is really about baseball and nothing else.
PD - Your buddy Gerrit Cole made it to the majors last season, your thoughts on his progress?
JT - It was cool and I thought he was ready and no spot was too big for him. It didn't really shock me that he was doing so well. It was really cool, I think I watched every start of his at least a little bit. He's the first guy I really know on a personal level that's in the big leagues, so getting to see him go about his business and succeed was really neat.
PD - One major media source (USA Today) predicted you to be the 2014 National League Rookie of the Year. Any reaction to that?
JT - It's definitely an honor to even be talked about in those terms. But it comes before I've even thrown a pitch in the big leagues, so I don't read too much into it.
PD -- The Pirates farm system is rated as one of the best in baseball, you are a big part of that. Is the organization on the right track?
JT Yeah, there's just a good feel about the organization all the way through mini camp and rookie ball and all the way up to the big leagues. I think it starts with our coaches and development staff, they are doing a great job and the players are putting the work in. I think what makes it really extra special is we have a lot of high character guys, a lot of really good individual guys. It's cool to see so many guys doing well and getting the national attention.