Murray building on spring training success

Lone Star Dugout's Lance Maxwell caught up with Oklahoma Redhawks relief pitcher A.J. Murray Friday night. The southpaw discusses his nickname and his early success, among other things.

The weeks spent in Surprise, Arizona have long since passed, but Oklahoma Redhawks left-handed reliever A.J. Murray continues to build on the success he accomplished there. After turning in several strong appearances against some of the Major League's top hitters during spring training, he has built on that success early this season in Oklahoma City.

Oklahoma Redhawks Correspondent Lance Maxwell caught up with Murray to get his take on what things have helped him get off to a great start. Murray has spent most of his career battling shoulder problems, but he appears to have turned a corner this year.

LSD: Tell us how you got the nickname, "The Pirate?"

Murray: It originated in; I think 2001, in an instructional league. My first name is Arlington [emphasis on the Arr], so one of the guys who started calling me that was from Utah and it kind of stuck from there.

LSD: You've missed two of the last three seasons because of shoulder problems. What have you done to rehabilitate that and how do you feel now?

Murray: I actually changed my throwing style and I just keep my shoulder maintenance up the whole season; and it's been feeling great.

LSD: Could you give us a quick rundown of the assortment of pitches you throw?

Murray: I like to attack hitters with a fastball. I don't really look at speeds; I just go off of results, but I just really like to attack with my fastball and then just pitch off from there. I throw four pitches; I throw them all for strikes though. I just go off my fastball and whatever is working best for me that night.

LSD: You had quite a bit of success in spring training against some of the major league hitters. Has that given you a lot of confidence so far early this season?

Murray: Oh yeah, having a good spring always boosts your confidence, but I also came off a good fall league too so I just try to keep it going from there.

LSD: You are working out of the bullpen now and you've done some starting in the past. What is the difference like and which do you prefer?

Murray: I definitely like starting more because you know when you're going to pitch. Coming out of the bullpen, it's just the sitting around waiting is what gets to me, but I like them both.

LSD: Like I said, you've had a lot of success so far this season. Is there any one thing in particular you could point to that has led you in that direction?

Murray: Just like I said, attacking the strike zone. I don't want to walk any guys so I just keep going after hitters and making them make their own mistakes.

Lance Maxwell covers the Oklahoma RedHawks for LoneStarDugout.com. He can be reached at lancemaxwell@ou.edu.

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