TigsTown: Since the Fall Instructional League finished, what has your off-season consisted of?
Jade Todd: Since my shoulder injury last spring, I have been working out and maintaining the strength of my shoulder. I've also been spending time with family and friends and deer hunting.
TT: I assume you are starting to think about heading to Lakeland in the coming weeks. Have you decided when you'll head to Florida?
JT: I have been invited to mini camp and will arrive in Lakeland on February 21st.
TT: Let's go back to last season, you missed a big chunk of time with an injury. Can you explain to our readers what was wrong?
JT: It was a muscle strain or slight tear, but no major tendon or ligament damage. It was tough to deal with as I've never had an arm injury.
TT: What did the rehab process consist of?
JT: It consisted of difficult workouts and lots of conditioning. The trainers and I worked together and got my shoulder stronger than ever.
TT: After seeing you pitch last fall in Lakeland, I trust the shoulder is feeling better?
JT: It is feeling great with no problems since rehab. Actually I have come back stronger than before.
TT: Can you describe your arsenal and your approach to pitching?
JT: I am a left-handed pitcher that does not have a mid 90s fastball. However, I feel my fastball is hard enough in the 90-92 range. I have good control and off-speed pitches which consist of a circle change and what I consider to be a 12/6 curveball. I also throw a 2 seam fastball and am in the process of developing a slider/cutter that I hope will give me another out pitch.
TT: When you were healthy in 2009, you made the jump from the rookie-level Gulf Coast League to full-season ball in West Michigan. What was the biggest difference you had to adjust to between the two leagues?
JT: The hitters in rookie ball seem to give you more swings and misses with pitches out of the strike zone. In A ball I found hitters to be more patient and therefore I had to make more quality pitches.
TT: In 2008, you debuted in the GCL, and promptly set the league on fire, posting some really, really strong numbers. Did the Tigers make some tweaks to help you get off to a start like that, or were you just on a roll from the get-go?
JT: The first month I was there, my coaches made minor tweaks as I struggled getting used to pro ball. After that, everything seemed to click.
TT: How was the experience of being drafted in 2008? Can you talk me through that day?
JT: I had signed a scholarship with the University of Alabama, but I felt I had a good chance of being drafted. Scouts had called me all week telling me that I would probably go between the 3rd and 6th round. When I didn't go on the first day I was disappointed, however I still had hope. My dad received a phone call from Jim Rough, the Tigers Scout for Alabama, the next morning asking if I would sign if taken in the 7th round. The rest is history. My family and I celebrated that day as I became a Tiger.
TT: Were you aware that the Tigers were in on you, or were you surprised when they selected you?
JT: I was aware they liked me, but didn't know I would actually be selected by them.
TT: Looking forward now, what did you learn from your first spring training last year, and how can you apply that to this spring?
JT: I had a nice spring and learned that for me to be successful I must become more consistent with all my pitches. In rookie ball I could miss 3 inches and get away with it, but the higher you go, that gap narrows.
TT: What goals have you set for yourself in 2010?
JT: I want to become more consistent with all my pitches and be able to make quick adjustments while on the mound. Also, my goal is to pitch at least 150 innings with an injury free season.
TT: In closing, I want to give you the chance for the last word. This is your opportunity to close with whatever final thoughts you may have for Tiger fans.
JT: First of all I want to thank God for giving me the ability and talent to pursue this dream. Even though I had the ability, my dad has been my biggest supporter and taught me so much about baseball. I thank my parents and family for such great support. I am excited about the upcoming season and am thankful for the opportunity of playing with the Detroit organization.
TigsTown would like to thank Jade for taking time out of his off-season and preparation for spring training to speak with us. We wish him a full season of health and success on the hill, and look forward to seeing him climb the ladder as a member of the Tiger organization!