Reed adjusting to starting role

Third-round pick Evan Reed had arguably the most impressive debut for a 2007 Rangers draft pick this past summer, as he posted a 1.91 ERA and limited opposing batters to a .143 average in 37.2 innings with Spokane and Clinton. Lone Star Dugout recently caught up with the pitcher for a FREE Q&A session.

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A closer Cal Poly, the Rangers eased right-hander Evan Reed into the starting rotation after drafting him in the third round of the 2007 MLB Draft. Reed performed well with short-season Spokane before earning a late-season promotion to Single-A Clinton. The 6-foot-4 hurler made four regular season starts with the L-Kings – totaling 20 innings – and allowed just four earned runs on nine hits.

The Rangers seem committed to developing Reed – who has a low-90s fastball, a slider, and a changeup – as a starting pitcher. The 21-year-old recently attended Fall Instructional League with many of the club's other top draft picks from this past season.

Lone Star Dugout was able to speak with Reed about his performance at instructs and his expectations for 2008.

Jason Cole: You got to pitch at instructs in September and October. How did you feel that went for you?

Evan Reed: Instructs went well. It wasn't the end of my first real pro season, it wasn't a full season for me, but it was the longest I've ever played for an extended amount of time. My body has to get used to that. They made some changes that they took notes on over the year on some of my mechanics. I got to try to incorporate some stuff that will hopefully help me in the future.

Cole: You mentioned never playing that much before. Did you feel your body and arm were tired by the time you reached instructs?

Reed: I wouldn't say my body felt tired, but I could tell I had used my body in my baseball motions more than I ever had in my lifetime. That's just something I've got to get used to because next season I've got a lot more games to play than I did this season. It's just something I'm going to have to get used to.

Cole: After closing in college, you were eased into a starting role with Spokane and Clinton. Did that make things harder on your arm?

Reed: I wouldn't say it was harder. The one big difference is going into a game with your mental approach. When you're coming out of the pen, you've got to get three outs or you have to leave a runner on second. It's kind of an all or nothing thing. Starting is more of learning how to minimize the damage. You sort of have to manage the game a little bit better as a starter. That was my biggest adjustment.

Cole: What were the mechanical adjustments the Rangers made during instructs?

Reed: A little bit in my mechanics, sometimes I seem to leak a little of my energy across my body. They tried to straighten me out a little bit in order to allow all my momentum and power to go straight to home plate. Hopefully in the end it'll also help my command.

Cole: Is that something you knew you were doing before the Rangers pointed it out?

Reed: I could feel it a little bit on my arm. When I throw across my body, I get a little sore. When I was putting all of my energy towards home plate, it just felt effortless in my arm. It didn't really feel used the day after. Right now I'm not to the point where 100 percent of the time I do exactly what I want mechanically, which is where I need to be. But my body lets me know how my mechanics were the next day based on how sore I am. I had an idea of it, but I didn't know exactly how to fix it. They helped me out with that.

Cole: I guess it's safe to assume you will continue to work on that once you resume throwing bullpens again?

Reed: Oh yeah. I can do reps with it. Just in order to teach my body, or re-wire my body, how I want it to move when I'm going down the hill.

Cole: Did you spend any time working to develop your changeup during instructionals?

Reed: Yeah. I actually messed around with some different grips and I'm starting to feel one that's feeling comfortable coming out of my fingers. The changeup is such a feel pitch, I need to consistently throw it and integrate it into my long toss. I just need to get a really good feel for it and be able to throw it whenever I want.

Cole: It was fairly well-publicized that the Rangers really wanted to create a team atmosphere and get everybody in the system to know each other at instructs. How did you feel the atmosphere was for you?

Reed: It was great. We all stayed in the hotel. A lot of us didn't have cars, so we were pretty dependant on each other. You found a buddy that had a car and you could hang out with him. If not, there were a lot of people at the hotel that you could hang out with. We got there early for early-morning meetings. Between the time that you eat and have meetings, you're just in the clubhouse with the guys, hanging out, and getting to know everybody. I think what they had in mind worked.

Cole: Have the Rangers told you where you will start your first full season?

Reed: No. That's up to them. This will be my first spring training. I've heard what to expect, and I've got a lot to look forward to. But as of now I have no idea.

Cole: Will you be in the starting rotation next year?

Reed: Yes. They did tell me that I will continue to start next year.

Cole: What are you doing to stay in shape and get prepared for spring training?

Reed: Here in San Luis Obispo, there's a guy here that actually used to work out a lot of fighters. It's a real big UFC area around here. He actually just started his own business. A lot of it is core strength, which is really what I need to work on. I've been going to that gym, working out with a guy named Ryan. I work out there four days per week and I'll be going there until February when I report to spring training.

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