O'Brien Meeting Expectations

Back in 2008, Michael "Mikey" O'Brien was selected in the ninth round of the MLB Draft due to his skills and composure on the mound. Being among the top ten picks in a draft often allows for some high expectations from eager scouts and team managers, not to mention the players themselves. Since then, the high expectations have certainly held to prior predictions.

Due to a mid-back strain injury from pitcher Cory Arbiso, O'Brien landed himself on the Trenton Thunder roster just a couple of weeks ago, making his debut with a starting win against New Hampshire.

"Promotion anywhere, from Tampa to here, from here to Scranton or the big leagues, is always an honor," Thunder manager Tony Franklin said. "It says that you have done well and how you're faced with another challenge is how you are going to measure up [for the big leagues]. [And] this is what it's all about - getting people to see how you stack up against the next level."

"It's always a bit of a shock just because you're not trying to think about that stuff," O'Brien said of his promotion to Double-A. "You just kind of focus on each day. But I knew there were a couple of injuries going on. It is kind of one of those things where you just never know what is going to happen as long as you do your job, be consistent, and stay healthy."

Back down in Tampa, O'Brien went 4-1 with a 2.92 ERA this season, allowing an average of .230 before coming to Trenton. The 5-foot-11, 185 pound right-handed pitcher did all he could during his time down south, but vows that he will maintain that here in Trenton if not better.

"I've been to Tampa a number of different times," O'Brien said. "There are a good group of guys down there, a good coaching staff and a pretty good team, so it was a lot of fun. Everything was kind of working out for me there, too.

"All of my pitches were working out really well [and] I was executing a lot of [them] and making them in the right time. I was feeling pretty good and my arm felt healthy.

"It is always good to come up here. I have been just trying to maintain what I have been doing this whole season. I just have to [do that] and stay healthy."

With two starts already under his belt, the skills O'Brien possess have already proved to be Double-A and even Major League worthy.

"I like him. I like his style. I like everything about the kid and the way he handles himself out there," Franklin said. "He didn't seem to be fazed his first outing at this level of baseball and he pitched very well. His stuff is there, you can definitely see that.

"[On the 23rd ],he wasn't quite as sharp, but what I did like about him is that he really engaged himself in the game. He did well enough to keep us in the game and for a long time. He's done a nice job."

"It's been pretty exciting," O'Brien said. "It is fun to finally get to pitch in Trenton. It is good to get that [loss] under my belt even though it could have gone a little differently. I had just one rough inning. I let one bad pitch up and he made me pay for it but that is Double- A baseball. I have to get used to that.

"Before the game, I don't do anything out of the ordinary [to prepare]. I mean, I take some time to relax and get stretched out right before the game and then kind of go over the hitters and scouting reports and stuff and then try to execute."

In terms of improving, the main focus relies on staying consistent in order to rack up the wins like those against New Hampshire. Little changes have to be made in order to do so, and soon, we might see O'Brien on the big league field.

"He doesn't have to throw the ball any harder," Franklin said. "His breaking stuff is good enough to pitch at the big league level. It's a matter of command and control and consistency and all those things. When [he] starts commanding, I mean putting a measure of consistency into [his] game - that is major league stuff.

"One thing is his overall picture of his ability to pitch. He has got that now; it is just a matter of consistency. From what I see, physically, there is no reason why he can't pitch in the big leagues at some point in his career, and at some point very soon."

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\r\n \r\n\r\nDue to a mid-back strain injury from pitcher Cory Arbiso, O'Brien landed himself on the Trenton Thunder roster just a couple of weeks ago, making his debut with a starting win against New Hampshire.
\r\n
\r\n\"Promotion anywhere, from Tampa to here, from here to Scranton or the big leagues, is always an honor,\" Thunder manager Tony Franklin said. \"It says that you have done well and how you're faced with another challenge is how you are going to measure up [for the big leagues]. [And] this is what it's all about - getting people to see how you stack up against the next level.\"
\r\n
\r\n\"It's always a bit of a shock just because you're not trying to think about that stuff,\" O'Brien said of his promotion to Double-A. \"You just kind of focus on each day. But I knew there were a couple of injuries going on. It is kind of one of those things where you just never know what is going to happen as long as you do your job, be consistent, and stay healthy.\"
\r\n
\r\nBack down in Tampa, O'Brien went 4-1 with a 2.92 ERA this season, allowing an average of .230 before coming to Trenton. The 5-foot-11, 185 pound right-handed pitcher did all he could during his time down south, but vows that he will maintain that here in Trenton if not better.
\r\n
\r\n\"I've been to Tampa a number of different times,\" O'Brien said. \"There are a good group of guys down there, a good coaching staff and a pretty good team, so it was a lot of fun. Everything was kind of working out for me there, too.
\r\n
\r\n\"All of my pitches were working out really well [and] I was executing a lot of [them] and making them in the right time. I was feeling pretty good and my arm felt healthy.
\r\n
\r\n\"It is always good to come up here. I have been just trying to maintain what I have been doing this whole season. I just have to [do that] and stay healthy.\"
\r\n
\r\nWith two starts already under his belt, the skills O'Brien possess have already proved to be Double-A and even Major League worthy.
\r\n
\r\n\"I like him. I like his style. I like everything about the kid and the way he handles himself out there,\" Franklin said. \"He didn't seem to be fazed his first outing at this level of baseball and he pitched very well. His stuff is there, you can definitely see that.
\r\n
\r\n\"[On the 23rd ],he wasn't quite as sharp, but what I did like about him is that he really engaged himself in the game. He did well enough to keep us in the game and for a long time. He's done a nice job.\"
\r\n
\r\n\"It's been pretty exciting,\" O'Brien said. \"It is fun to finally get to pitch in Trenton. It is good to get that [loss] under my belt even though it could have gone a little differently. I had just one rough inning. I let one bad pitch up and he made me pay for it but that is Double- A baseball. I have to get used to that.
\r\n
\r\n\"Before the game, I don't do anything out of the ordinary [to prepare]. I mean, I take some time to relax and get stretched out right before the game and then kind of go over the hitters and scouting reports and stuff and then try to execute.\"
\r\n
\r\nIn terms of improving, the main focus relies on staying consistent in order to rack up the wins like those against New Hampshire. Little changes have to be made in order to do so, and soon, we might see O'Brien on the big league field.
\r\n
\r\n\"He doesn't have to throw the ball any harder,\" Franklin said. \"His breaking stuff is good enough to pitch at the big league level. It's a matter of command and control and consistency and all those things. When [he] starts commanding, I mean putting a measure of consistency into [his] game - that is major league stuff.
\r\n
\r\n\"One thing is his overall picture of his ability to pitch. He has got that now; it is just a matter of consistency. From what I see, physically, there is no reason why he can't pitch in the big leagues at some point in his career, and at some point very soon.\"
\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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