Falcon trying to locate fastball

SURPRISE, AZ - Left-hander Ryan Falcon is entering his second full professional season with a 3.30 ERA in 117.2 innings. Lone Star Dugout caught up with the 24-year-old after his first outing of the spring on Tuesday.

The Rangers' 29th round pick in the 2007 MLB Draft, Ryan Falcon burst onto the scene with short-season Spokane that summer. The left-hander logged 47 innings out of the Indians' bullpen, posting a 2.68 ERA. He surrendered 39 hits, walked just six, and struck out 62.

Falcon jumped to High-A Bakersfield for the entire 2008 campaign. While he wasn't as dominant, he was still solid performer in the hitter-friendly league. Falcon went 6-2 with a 3.69 ERA in 70.2 innings with the Blaze. He finished his first full season on a strong note by putting up a 2.41 ERA during the season's final month.

With a fastball that generally ranges between 83-86 mph, Falcon is far from overpowering, but he has one of the system's best changeups. The 24-year-old's change is a true plus pitch. He also mixes in a curveball at times.

Falcon made his first appearance of Spring Training on Tuesday afternoon. The UNC-Greensboro product pitched one scoreless inning, allowing two singles. He recorded two strikeouts, both of which came on changeups.

Jason Cole: You had your first Spring Training outing today. How did it go?

Ryan Falcon: I think it went pretty well. I was just trying to throw strikes and work on some pitches. Overall, I think it went pretty well.

Cole: Tell me about the way you finished in Bakersfield last season. How did you feel about it?

Falcon: I think it went pretty well. My last two or three outings went real well. That was good to finish up the year on a strong note after going through a little bit of a rough spot.

Cole: Tell me about your offseason. What did you do to stay in shape and how much were you throwing?

Falcon: Normally I don't start throwing until December. I just take about a month off of working out. Then I get back to working out hard and trying to eat well and stay in shape. Then in December I'll start long tossing and then whenever you start feeling good – a month, month and a half into it – you start getting off the mound a little bit.

Cole: Have you changed anything from last year?

Falcon: No, I don't think so. I'm just trying to really keep the ball down a little more consistently – especially my fastball. Other than that, that's about it.

Cole: What are you looking for out of yourself this season?

Falcon: I'm just trying to be able to perform every day. I want to stay healthy wherever I go. Wherever they want me to pitch, I just want to try and go out there and get some outs.

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