Pope Pushing Through

Being on the 40-man roster of the New York Yankees initiates the opportunity to prove yourself to the organization that you have what it takes to wear the most famous pinstripes in major league baseball history. For reliever Ryan Pope, being on the roster is just a bonus of high expectations.

"It's a good feeling," Ryan Pope said. "The Yankees gave me a lot of opportunities here and being on the [40 man] roster just kind of gave me an extra one. It's a special meaning knowing that they have high expectations for [me]. I'm grateful for the opportunity and it's a privilege."

The 6-foot-3, Florida native feels that he is lucky to have met the needs of the Yankee organization all while hoping that they've seen his strengths rather than his few weaknesses.

"I try to go out there and compete and throw strikes and hopefully they have seen that," said Pope. "They don't really tell me why they put me on there but I guess I met their expectations of what they wanted. I guess they see me in their future plans and I'll just go out there and compete every day."

Getting the honor of being put on the roster during the offseason, Pope still saw the movement to the top as a surprise. With a shoulder injury that kept him from the mound for some time, Pope knows now that his hard work has paid off.

"I was dealing with some shoulder problems up [in Scranton] and tried to push through them," Pope explained. "I went on the DL for my shoulder and then got healthy and came down here. When you're not healthy you try to push through things and you're not going to give 100 percent and your obviously not going to get the best results.

"I tried to push through it but it didn't work out for me. But I think everything happens for a reason and I'm here for a reason and I'll push through it. I've been healthy ever since. It's been a big change and my stuff has been a lot better. I've been able to locate my fastball and been able to pitch a little more down here."

"Sometimes when you are not doing well you need a change of scenery just to get jump started again," said Thunder manager Tony Franklin. "Maybe that's something that has helped him. [With] what was going on with him up there, I really don't know, but sometimes a change of scenery is really good for the guys.

"Since he's been here, he's been fine. Hopefully he will get a chance to go back but I really don't know. He's been doing well since he's been here and that's the main thing. If you can get it turned around, that's good; everybody's happy."

Now that he is back on the mound, Pope has realized the differences of the two levels in which he has played for. He sees the different kinds of players and the universal differences of the game and where it's being played.

"Patience is a big difference [between the two teams]," stated Pope. "They make you throw an extra ball or two up in Triple-A, whereas here you may have a little more aggressive young hitters. Basically, you have to hit your spot or they're going to hit you.

"So I think the biggest difference is location. [What I do] is go out every day and work on [location] whether we are losing or not. Every time I pitch, it is the way I would up in Triple-A since I remember what it was like. I stick to that plan."

Now, in the middle of August, Ryan Pope is eager to move ahead in the game and show off the rest of his talents as a pitcher. Time can certainly only tell what he is made of.

"Throw one inning at a time," said Pope. "My goal is obviously New York, but I'm just taking it one inning at a time and we'll go from there. Whatever the Yankees decide to do is up to them."

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\r\n \r\n\r\n\"It's a good feeling,\" Ryan Pope said. \"The Yankees gave me a lot of opportunities here and being on the [40 man] roster just kind of gave me an extra one. It's a special meaning knowing that they have high expectations for [me]. I'm grateful for the opportunity and it's a privilege.\"
\r\n
\r\nThe 6-foot-3, Florida native feels that he is lucky to have met the needs of the Yankee organization all while hoping that they've seen his strengths rather than his few weaknesses.
\r\n
\r\n\"I try to go out there and compete and throw strikes and hopefully they have seen that,\" said Pope. \"They don't really tell me why they put me on there but I guess I met their expectations of what they wanted. I guess they see me in their future plans and I'll just go out there and compete every day.\"
\r\n
\r\nGetting the honor of being put on the roster during the offseason, Pope still saw the movement to the top as a surprise. With a shoulder injury that kept him from the mound for some time, Pope knows now that his hard work has paid off.
\r\n
\r\n\"I was dealing with some shoulder problems up [in Scranton] and tried to push through them,\" Pope explained. \"I went on the DL for my shoulder and then got healthy and came down here. When you're not healthy you try to push through things and you're not going to give 100 percent and your obviously not going to get the best results.
\r\n
\r\n\"I tried to push through it but it didn't work out for me. But I think everything happens for a reason and I'm here for a reason and I'll push through it. I've been healthy ever since. It's been a big change and my stuff has been a lot better. I've been able to locate my fastball and been able to pitch a little more down here.\"
\r\n
\r\n\"Sometimes when you are not doing well you need a change of scenery just to get jump started again,\" said Thunder manager Tony Franklin. \"Maybe that's something that has helped him. [With] what was going on with him up there, I really don't know, but sometimes a change of scenery is really good for the guys.
\r\n
\r\n\"Since he's been here, he's been fine. Hopefully he will get a chance to go back but I really don't know. He's been doing well since he's been here and that's the main thing. If you can get it turned around, that's good; everybody's happy.\"
\r\n
\r\nNow that he is back on the mound, Pope has realized the differences of the two levels in which he has played for. He sees the different kinds of players and the universal differences of the game and where it's being played.
\r\n
\r\n\"Patience is a big difference [between the two teams],\" stated Pope. \"They make you throw an extra ball or two up in Triple-A, whereas here you may have a little more aggressive young hitters. Basically, you have to hit your spot or they're going to hit you.
\r\n
\r\n\"So I think the biggest difference is location. [What I do] is go out every day and work on [location] whether we are losing or not. Every time I pitch, it is the way I would up in Triple-A since I remember what it was like. I stick to that plan.\"
\r\n
\r\nNow, in the middle of August, Ryan Pope is eager to move ahead in the game and show off the rest of his talents as a pitcher. Time can certainly only tell what he is made of.
\r\n
\r\n\"Throw one inning at a time,\" said Pope. \"My goal is obviously New York, but I'm just taking it one inning at a time and we'll go from there. Whatever the Yankees decide to do is up to them.\"
\r\n
\r\n

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

Are you a monthly or 3-month subscriber to PinstripesPlus.com? Why not get two months free AND get 4 issues of our PinstripesPlus Magazine included by becoming an annual subscriber? Upgrade today to get the most out of your subscription.

\r\n

\r\n

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