Whitley's Stock Is Sliding Up

TAMPA, FL - Last year's 15th round pick Chase Whitley made it look very easy in his professional debut season, going a combined 4-2 with a 1.46 ERA and 50 strikeouts in 37 innings. He did that though on the strength of his fastball-changeup combination. He appears to have taken his slider to a new level in camp this year, however, and his stock is now on the rise.

"It's been going good so far," Chase Whitley said of Spring Training. "I'm really excited about the season starting and everything.

"I've been working on some things and everything has been pretty good so far. Like I talk about a lot, it's just being consistent with everything and maximizing my pitches."

He certainly is maximizing his slider recently. It was a pitch last year that had shown some plus potential but it lacked the overall consistency for it to be a reliable strikeout weapon in 2010. That appears to no longer be the case so far in 2011.

"It's coming along pretty good," he said with a big smile. "I'm throwing it a lot early this Spring. It's really been a surprise to me. I'm excited about it."

And why wouldn't he be excited about it. It was just a week ago when he entered a Spring Training game and struck out all three batters he faced, thanks to his newfound consistent slider. Four days later he struck out another two batters in one inning of relief, both on the slider.

The former collegiate third baseman turned pitcher had been throwing a curveball in his early days and he and the Yankees have been working diligently behind the scenes to make better use of his power arm and turn that into a slider.

"I'm very confident with it," he said. "I've been able to throw it for strikes this Spring. I'm as confident with it as I am with my changeup right now."

Considering just how good his plus changeup is, that's quite the statement. In fact, Whitley believes he can have as good a season as he did last year and perhaps even better now that his slider is really rounding into form.

"I think so," he said adamantly. "I like being where I am right now, being an under the radar kind of guy. That's where I like to be and just go out there and do what's best. If I do what I do out on the field, I think I'll be okay."

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\r\n \r\n\r\n\"It's been going good so far,\" Chase Whitley said of Spring Training. \"I'm really excited about the season starting and everything.
\r\n
\r\n\"I've been working on some things and everything has been pretty good so far. Like I talk about a lot, it's just being consistent with everything and maximizing my pitches.\"
\r\n
\r\nHe certainly is maximizing his slider recently. It was a pitch last year that had shown some plus potential but it lacked the overall consistency for it to be a reliable strikeout weapon in 2010. That appears to no longer be the case so far in 2011.
\r\n
\r\n\"It's coming along pretty good,\" he said with a big smile. \"I'm throwing it a lot early this Spring. It's really been a surprise to me. I'm excited about it.\"
\r\n
\r\nAnd why wouldn't he be excited about it. It was just a week ago when he entered a Spring Training game and struck out all three batters he faced, thanks to his newfound consistent slider. Four days later he struck out another two batters in one inning of relief, both on the slider.
\r\n
\r\nThe former collegiate third baseman turned pitcher had been throwing a curveball in his early days and he and the Yankees have been working diligently behind the scenes to make better use of his power arm and turn that into a slider.
\r\n
\r\n\"I'm very confident with it,\" he said. \"I've been able to throw it for strikes this Spring. I'm as confident with it as I am with my changeup right now.\"
\r\n
\r\nConsidering just how good his plus changeup is, that's quite the statement. In fact, Whitley believes he can have as good a season as he did last year and perhaps even better now that his slider is really rounding into form.
\r\n
\r\n\"I think so,\" he said adamantly. \"I like being where I am right now, being an under the radar kind of guy. That's where I like to be and just go out there and do what's best. If I do what I do out on the field, I think I'll be okay.\"
\r\n
\r\n

\r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n\r\n
\r\n

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\r\n

\r\n

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