Pirates Prospect Interview: Tim Alderson

Right-hander Tim Alderson, the pitcher the Pirates received from the Giants for Freddy Sanchez, has gotten off to a great start with the Double A Altoona Curve. He tossed six-no hit innings allowing just one base runner in his second start in a Curve uniform on August 7. The 20-year old is 2-0 with a 0.77 ERA with the Curve. PiratesDugout.com's George Von Benko spoke with Alderson recently.

GVB -- What was your initial reaction when you heard you had been traded to Pittsburgh?

TA -- Just mainly shock, I definitely wasn't expecting anything to happen and when it did, it kind of caught me off guard. It's been a crazy week and a half or so, but I'm starting to get settled in here at Altoona and I'm looking forward to it.

GVB -- You apparently are settled in on the mound; you had a no-hitter through six innings recently. On the field have you settled in?

TA -- Yeah, I feel real comfortable with all these new teammates that I have here; we've got some really good catchers here. It's been a really easy adjustment and they've been very helpful.

GVB -- You had a no-hitter through six innings – I'm assuming you were removed because of the pitch count – right?

TA -- Yeah, I was just over 90 pitches and that's usually what I've been at all year, maybe a little higher, but I felt like they made a good decision taking me out, no point in going over a pitch count too much. We closed out the game so I wasn't upset or anything.

GVB -- It's tough changing organizations, but there is quite an opportunity to move up quickly in this organization. Do you view it that way?

TA -- Definitely, it seems like the Pirates are in quite a rebuilding stage – so I'm just looking forward to being a part of that, and I'm just really excited for the next couple of years or so and hoping for a long career with the Pirates. I'm just excited to have the opportunity to help be a part of that.

GVB -- I saw some reports that your velocity is down because of the increased workload from what you did in high school. Is that a concern?

TA -- If it is – it's not down by too much. There are some factors going in that are different from high school ball to pro ball. I'm pitching on shorter days and more innings obviously. You have some time where you get tired and some starts you are not feeling a hundred percent, but it's a long season and I think I've come a long way with some other pitches – so I'm feeling good about where I am right now and I'm looking forward to learning something after each start. The velocity will come back once I get everything under control.

GVB Tell us about your repertoire – what do you rely on?

TA -- Obviously fastball, I like my curveball a lot, I like to sometimes pitch behind in the count and just drop a curveball in there, but I've really been working a lot on my changeup this year and I think it's coming along really well and I'm excited about that.

GVB -- Are there any facets of your game that you are really working on?

TA -- I think if the hitter is going to get himself out on the first pitch – let him do it. I'm not trying to worry to much about the strikeout numbers, the more pitches you throw you are going to get taken out of the game early and into the bullpen, which is tire them out. I think just keep my pitch count down and go as many innings as possible. I'm pitching more to contact, last year I wanted to get a bunch of strikeouts, because that's the kind of pitcher they wanted me to be, but learning to read hitters – if they are going to get themselves out early – you can stay in the game longer.

GVB -- You've got an unorthodox delivery that includes a hitch your leg kick and an unusual arm slot. Could that be a problem later?

TA -- When I'm doing it, it feels smooth to me. I don't even notice, so I guess that helps.

GVB -- You are still only 20-years old, do you have a timetable for making it to the big leagues and do you feel you are on schedule?

TA -- I think everyone wants it to happen sooner than later, but you can't worry about that. You've just got to come to the field everyday and try to get better with certain things and not try to worry too much about what's going to happen in the future because that will just ruin everything else that's going on at the time. You stress about why I am not getting moved up, that's going to take away from your starts. I'm going to try to stay focused on each start and try to get better after each one.

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