DSL Q&A with Pat McMahon

We sat down with Yankees Coordinator of International Development Pat McMahon for a Q&A session to get his thoughts on the various prospects in the Dominican Summer League, including thoughts on Rafael DePaula, the early book on pitchers Luis Severino and Dallas Martinez, how Sandy Brito and Christopher Tamarez are developing, and much, much more!

PinstripesPlus.com: Shortstop Christopher Tamarez is obviously hitting real well down there in there in the Dominican Summer League, but he's seen a lot of time at third base and even more time at designated hitter -- has that been a designed plan to let him get confident in the bat or are you not as sure about him defensively at short and just want to see what he would look like at other positions?

Pat McMahon: It is definitely by design, giving a young player the flexibility to play a couple of different positions is important and trying to let his offense work for him, and see where he projects for us down the line and to see if his offensive game can continue to improve. He's had an outstanding year. The doubles as a young player, will that equate to more home runs down the line is something you try to look and focus on. He's swinging the bat tremendously well and defending well at this point. This is really important -- one of our developmental challenges down there, and this is the reason for it, young players that were signed as shortstops or played a lot of shortstop -- some of the young Dominican players don't play as many games [growing up]. They try out an awful lot so trying to get them game repetitions. is very, very important. Doing that, giving them game reps, is one of our focuses. When you have five or six shortstops the player development challenge is to give them a number of game reps at that primary position in the middle of the infield and you are only playing two games a day so how do you do that? We've designed a plan that's pretty interesting; one is to move guys to let them play [in games and] two is our sim game plan when guys are pitching off to the side to allow guys to get some game reps, that's what we're trying to do. That targets Christopher too; give him playing time at short, give him playing time at third, give him DH time for some ABs.

PinstripesPlus.com: I've opined for a while that he really needed to get stronger because he was just way too skinny. Has he done that? Has he gotten stronger in your opinion?

McMahon: A lot of that has to do with our eating plan and weight training plan. You don't want to try to rush that because by normal attrition -- eating properly, speed and agility training is a key component, we're doing a lot of hill running with Christopher to help with his speed program -- all of those are key components. You don't want to rush that but you want to develop that. But yes, he has gotten stronger.

PinstripesPlus.com: Let me skip over to pitcher Chris Cabrera. Reports are that he's back to throwing hard again, hitting 95 mph again. In your mind is he fully back from his injury?

McMahon: There were some issues with him with that very, very difficult injury. Under the medicine [he was on], a lot of the training, the medicine was a big part of his training [that prevented him from doing certain things]. He's worked himself back into outstanding shape which we think has been a big part of that process. His velocity is starting to increase, he can really spin the ball, and he's starting to improve with his consistency. As with many young pitchers, consistency and commanding the fastball is a big component for his success equation.

PinstripesPlus.com: Wilmer Romero missed about three weeks this Dominican Summer League season. What was his injury?

McMahon: We've really tried to guard young players in regards to injuries, but his was a leg issue. He was still doing work and extra work with that -- he's worked extremely hard on his defensive game -- and he's working very well with his swing. With younger players and particularly players there, we have a normal progression that we really try to stay in-tune with from a training perspective to make sure you're not rushing somebody to come back. It's really easy to do that but with younger players you have to make sure you do a good job at that part of it.

PinstripesPlus.com: The numbers for outfielder Jose Figueroa are ridiculous. He's a smaller player though by the bio -- 5-foot-10, 170 pounds. Is that accurate?

McMahon: He's a little less than that. He's a little small but he's had an outstanding season. He plays so hard everyday and we're just really, really proud of his development. The numbers he's putting up, and he plays so hard coupled with that -- he's an outstanding defender and plays the game the full tilt. He plays better than his tools. He maximizes his abilities. We're very excited about him. He's putting up numbers and we put an emphasis on performing, so when he does it with tools it's exciting. He's a smaller-bodied Ramon Flores, but Flores has better tools. With the injuries we had -- Brito, Polanco, Romero -- he had the opportunity to play and take advantage of it.

PinstripesPlus.com: You mentioned his name so let's talk about Sandy Brito. Where's he at in his development right now?

McMahon: He's been working extremely hard on his defensive play and he's made himself into an average [defensive] player. A knee injury slowed his progress for a while but now he's back away from that, very healthy, his base running reactions have become very well, and he's a guy who understands the strike zone. His strikeouts and walks compare at that young level is something that as a switch-hitter he's starting to hit with some power and he's an interesting player down the line.

PinstripesPlus.com: Is he still switch-hitting? He's listed as a right-handed batter only this year.

McMahon: No, no, no, that's inaccurate. He's a switch-hitter. He's 6-foot-4, 179 [pounds] and he's a switch-hitter.

PinstripesPlus.com: Let's move on to 17-year old shortstop Aviatal Avelino. What are his offensive and defensive tools like?

McMahon: He's one of our interesting young prospects. I'm really excited about this kid. He's an outstanding defender at shortstop and he really plays above his age. He's an average runner but his run game plays up in the games. He defends well, he throws well, and he's a very exciting player for us. Offensively he's a contact guy learning to hit in the league. He's made tremendous strides offensively. We're excited about his future in the middle of the field.

PinstripesPlus.com: He shows good plate discipline, at least judging from the numbers. Catcher Daniel Vavrusa shows good discipline too from the numbers. How has Vavrusa's game been developoing?

McMahon: One of our focuses from a hitting perspective with our young hitters is strike zone discipline. We've worked extremely hard for strike awareness. Daniel Vavrusa is an exciting young player, a catcher whose receive skill, block skill -- he's done an outstanding job. He's also playing some first base but catching is his primary position. He's got leadership skill, leadership ability, he receives the ball extremely well, and his bat is coming along.

PinstripesPlus.com: I know you've been high on Dallas Martinez since he signed. What have you seen from him in his first season this year?

McMahon: Dallas Martinez is a young right-handed pitcher and we really like his upside. He has plus spin and he has been pitching in the mid-90s. He's a competitive young man that we're very excited about.

PinstripesPlus.com: I got a chance to see Giovanny Gallegos, who, in my opinion, might be the best pitching prospect in the Gulf Coast League this year for the Yankees. How do the two compare?

McMahon: They mirror each other. That's kind of a group with Cesar Vargas and that type of crew -- if you look at that type of guys, the deliveries are similar, the arm strokes are similar, the spin is similar -- that's an exciting group of guys. Luis Niebla is in there too, he's another guy that we're excited about too. [Martinez] is kind of in that mold.

PinstripesPlus.com: Let's move on to outfielder Barfil Munoz. He's hit some home runs obviously. What can you tell us about him?

McMahon: Barfil is an interesting player. He's a left fielder working hard on his defense. He has an average run tool. He's a guy with the bat who really has the chance to hit for some power for us. He's an extremely hard worker and a young player who continues to improve. He's got some power so he's an interesting player for us.

PinstripesPlus.com: What about Renzo Martini?

McMahon: He made the All Star team down there. He's got the ability to be an outstanding hitter. He's a third baseman/first baseman. He has outstanding hands and his bat is his biggest asset. At third base he's a good defender. We're giving him as much playing time as we can [that's why he's playing first base too]. In the sim games we're giving him a lot of reps at third base. That's one of the player development challenges, to give guys ample time at premium positions. If his power starts to come for him, he has the unique ability to barrel the baseball. Putting the barrel on the ball is a good sign for a young hitter.

PinstripesPlus.com: Bryan Cuevas is a young guy too, another All Star. What's the book on him?

McMahon: He fits into the Avelino, Jorge Mateo - Bryan is playing shortstop and second base. His bat has really come along and he's a good defender. He has the chance to be an outstanding player in our system.

PinstripesPlus.com: Is there player currently in the farm system in the U.S. that you could compare his game to?

McMahon: Jose Rosario type guy. He doesn't throw as well as Jose. Bryan is a good runner, Rosario is a click quicker than that, but he has the ability to play short and second [base].

PinstripesPlus.com: He almost sounds like Jose Pirela a little bit, no?

McMahon: That's a pretty good mix. That's probably a bit better mix there. He's playing two to three days to shortstop. The guy we haven't even talked about yet is [Angel] Augilar, who can really play shortstop and his bat is coming along. That's a pretty nice group of middle infielders for us.

PinstripesPlus.com: You mentioned Aguilar, what's his offensive game like?

McMahon: He has a wonderful knack of playing the game -- he has a great feel for the game as a young player. His baseball awareness is a neat deal. When he has to throw, he throws. When he doesn't have to, he doesn't. When he needs to back off, he does that. He has a great feel for the game. Offensively he has the chance to become a really good player for us.

PinstripesPlus.com: I'd be remiss if I didn't ask about Rafael DePaula because the numbers are tremendous. We all know though that he throws hard and has a good breaking ball, but how is the changeup coming? Is he throwing it down there?

McMahon: Very much so. In our objective package -- he's working extremely hard on his fastball command -- he's been a strike-thrower. He's working on being able to throw the breaking ball and his changeup is a third pitch to the package. As a result he's continuing to work on his arm stroke and his hand speed with his changeup -- that would be graded as his third pitch right now but his first two are at least above average so if he can continue his development there [with his changeup], wow! It's coming along great. We force that in player development. Those pitches are graded, those pitches are forced to be thrown, and we put a percentage basis on throwing those pitches. He's a pretty exciting kid and he competes his tail off.

PinstripesPlus.com: What can you tell us about pitcher Luis Severino, another 18-year old Dominican arm?

McMahon: He's another one of our pitchers that we're very excited about. The fastball is mid-90s, the breaking ball is slider shape with hard spin, and the third pitch becomes his changeup. He's working extremely hard on commanding the fastball. He's very exciting. One of the exciting things is the combined working efforts of the scouting department, the player development [department], and moving that forward. It's exciting. We have some exciting young players that are working extremely hard and are continuing to grow. And from a coaching perspective, the DR coaches, I don't know that they get enough credit for the hard work their pushing together. That's a great group of guys down there with a lot of bodies, they work extremely hard and it mirrors the plan in the United States.

PinstripesPlus.com: What can you tell us about Freddery Arias?

McMahon: He's a new pitcher for us with a good arm and good spin. That's an exciting group right there. One of the things we're trying to do with the middle guys, the new players, new pitchers particularly, many of the new Latin pitchers don't play in a lot of games. They try out more and [don't play in] many games. We're trying to get them to understand the concept of pitching in a game, that's a big part of the player development challenge and process. We work hard on our pitcher's BP and our pitcher's sim game plan to equate that to games. So we're trying to get to get the middle signed pitchers, the ones who graded out in the middle of the board, to emerge. That to me is a huge part of the player development challenge. I use that word a lot but that's what we talk to our pitching coaches a lot about -- who is that new group of pitchers, the signees, you're going to see some of them that we're excited about who might have a level of walks because they're learning to use their pitch package and not just be throwers but pitchers. He's an interesting pitcher for us. He'll throw in the mid-90s. There's five or six pitchers like him that I'm really excited about. Now will they emerge? We may never hear their names or they will emerge. That's the fun part of the process.

PinstripesPlus.com: You mentioned there's five or six pitchers in the group besides Arias. Who are they?

McMahon: You have Jose Acuna. Daury Aquino is a young man who has pitched very, very well. He piggy-back's in the rotation with Rafael DePaula. A kid name Havid Burgos is throwing well. Raudy Guzman has a good arm. A kid named Brayan Alcantara can really spin the breaking ball. Rafael Ordaz...

PinstripesPlus.com: Ordaz was one of the guys I wanted to ask about. He's not getting many innings it seems but reports are he has a really good arm.

McMahon: The fastball is in the mid-90s, the breaking ball is slider shape with spin, and he's working extremely hard on his command.

PinstripesPlus.com: He almost sounds like Erick Canela. How has Canela's development been going?

McMahon: He's an interesting guy; 92-94 mph and has an 80 mph curveball spin and a firm changeup. He's not a real big guy but he's got a good arm.

PinstripesPlus.com: Eduardo Rivera has got great stuff too but the walks keep piling up. How has he been in his development?

McMahon: He's an interesting prospect for us. His tempo has been much better. He's working hard on fastball command but he has above average spin and he's working on his changeup. He just needs time. A lot of Dominican pitchers that are in a tryout mindset, they need to work on pitching in games. We've been going at it since January 15th with these guys and they're working extremely hard.

PinstripesPlus.com: I know you've been traveling around to the various minor league affiliates lately and have been able to check out Staten Island. Fans are starting to get a little concerned with Ravel Santana it seems. Do you think he's starting to come around a little bit?

McMahon: Ravel is very hard on himself. For a young player playing under the lights in that environment, the first opening game with seven or eight thousand fans in Brooklyn, that's a huge difference to a player in trying to do so much. That's a big adjustment plus overcoming a very difficult leg injury -- in most people's eyes he'd be ahead of schedule. Those things are transitions that young players have to go through and be able to handle that. I'm not worried about him.

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Pinstripes Plus Top Stories

\r\n \r\n\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: Shortstop Christopher Tamarez is obviously hitting real well down there in there in the Dominican Summer League, but he's seen a lot of time at third base and even more time at designated hitter -- has that been a designed plan to let him get confident in the bat or are you not as sure about him defensively at short and just want to see what he would look like at other positions?
\r\n
\r\nPat McMahon: It is definitely by design, giving a young player the flexibility to play a couple of different positions is important and trying to let his offense work for him, and see where he projects for us down the line and to see if his offensive game can continue to improve. He's had an outstanding year. The doubles as a young player, will that equate to more home runs down the line is something you try to look and focus on. He's swinging the bat tremendously well and defending well at this point. This is really important -- one of our developmental challenges down there, and this is the reason for it, young players that were signed as shortstops or played a lot of shortstop -- some of the young Dominican players don't play as many games [growing up]. They try out an awful lot so trying to get them game repetitions. is very, very important. Doing that, giving them game reps, is one of our focuses. When you have five or six shortstops the player development challenge is to give them a number of game reps at that primary position in the middle of the infield and you are only playing two games a day so how do you do that? We've designed a plan that's pretty interesting; one is to move guys to let them play [in games and] two is our sim game plan when guys are pitching off to the side to allow guys to get some game reps, that's what we're trying to do. That targets Christopher too; give him playing time at short, give him playing time at third, give him DH time for some ABs.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: I've opined for a while that he really needed to get stronger because he was just way too skinny. Has he done that? Has he gotten stronger in your opinion?
\r\n
\r\nMcMahon: A lot of that has to do with our eating plan and weight training plan. You don't want to try to rush that because by normal attrition -- eating properly, speed and agility training is a key component, we're doing a lot of hill running with Christopher to help with his speed program -- all of those are key components. You don't want to rush that but you want to develop that. But yes, he has gotten stronger.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: Let me skip over to pitcher Chris Cabrera. Reports are that he's back to throwing hard again, hitting 95 mph again. In your mind is he fully back from his injury?
\r\n
\r\nMcMahon: There were some issues with him with that very, very difficult injury. Under the medicine [he was on], a lot of the training, the medicine was a big part of his training [that prevented him from doing certain things]. He's worked himself back into outstanding shape which we think has been a big part of that process. His velocity is starting to increase, he can really spin the ball, and he's starting to improve with his consistency. As with many young pitchers, consistency and commanding the fastball is a big component for his success equation.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: Wilmer Romero missed about three weeks this Dominican Summer League season. What was his injury?
\r\n
\r\nMcMahon: We've really tried to guard young players in regards to injuries, but his was a leg issue. He was still doing work and extra work with that -- he's worked extremely hard on his defensive game -- and he's working very well with his swing. With younger players and particularly players there, we have a normal progression that we really try to stay in-tune with from a training perspective to make sure you're not rushing somebody to come back. It's really easy to do that but with younger players you have to make sure you do a good job at that part of it.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: The numbers for outfielder Jose Figueroa are ridiculous. He's a smaller player though by the bio -- 5-foot-10, 170 pounds. Is that accurate?
\r\n
\r\nMcMahon: He's a little less than that. He's a little small but he's had an outstanding season. He plays so hard everyday and we're just really, really proud of his development. The numbers he's putting up, and he plays so hard coupled with that -- he's an outstanding defender and plays the game the full tilt. He plays better than his tools. He maximizes his abilities. We're very excited about him. He's putting up numbers and we put an emphasis on performing, so when he does it with tools it's exciting. He's a smaller-bodied Ramon Flores, but Flores has better tools. With the injuries we had -- Brito, Polanco, Romero -- he had the opportunity to play and take advantage of it.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: You mentioned his name so let's talk about Sandy Brito. Where's he at in his development right now?
\r\n
\r\nMcMahon: He's been working extremely hard on his defensive play and he's made himself into an average [defensive] player. A knee injury slowed his progress for a while but now he's back away from that, very healthy, his base running reactions have become very well, and he's a guy who understands the strike zone. His strikeouts and walks compare at that young level is something that as a switch-hitter he's starting to hit with some power and he's an interesting player down the line.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: Is he still switch-hitting? He's listed as a right-handed batter only this year.
\r\n
\r\nMcMahon: No, no, no, that's inaccurate. He's a switch-hitter. He's 6-foot-4, 179 [pounds] and he's a switch-hitter.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: Let's move on to 17-year old shortstop Aviatal Avelino. What are his offensive and defensive tools like?
\r\n
\r\nMcMahon: He's one of our interesting young prospects. I'm really excited about this kid. He's an outstanding defender at shortstop and he really plays above his age. He's an average runner but his run game plays up in the games. He defends well, he throws well, and he's a very exciting player for us. Offensively he's a contact guy learning to hit in the league. He's made tremendous strides offensively. We're excited about his future in the middle of the field.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: He shows good plate discipline, at least judging from the numbers. Catcher Daniel Vavrusa shows good discipline too from the numbers. How has Vavrusa's game been developoing?
\r\n
\r\nMcMahon: One of our focuses from a hitting perspective with our young hitters is strike zone discipline. We've worked extremely hard for strike awareness. Daniel Vavrusa is an exciting young player, a catcher whose receive skill, block skill -- he's done an outstanding job. He's also playing some first base but catching is his primary position. He's got leadership skill, leadership ability, he receives the ball extremely well, and his bat is coming along.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: I know you've been high on Dallas Martinez since he signed. What have you seen from him in his first season this year?
\r\n
\r\nMcMahon: Dallas Martinez is a young right-handed pitcher and we really like his upside. He has plus spin and he has been pitching in the mid-90s. He's a competitive young man that we're very excited about.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: I got a chance to see Giovanny Gallegos, who, in my opinion, might be the best pitching prospect in the Gulf Coast League this year for the Yankees. How do the two compare?
\r\n
\r\nMcMahon: They mirror each other. That's kind of a group with Cesar Vargas and that type of crew -- if you look at that type of guys, the deliveries are similar, the arm strokes are similar, the spin is similar -- that's an exciting group of guys. Luis Niebla is in there too, he's another guy that we're excited about too. [Martinez] is kind of in that mold.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: Let's move on to outfielder Barfil Munoz. He's hit some home runs obviously. What can you tell us about him?
\r\n
\r\nMcMahon: Barfil is an interesting player. He's a left fielder working hard on his defense. He has an average run tool. He's a guy with the bat who really has the chance to hit for some power for us. He's an extremely hard worker and a young player who continues to improve. He's got some power so he's an interesting player for us.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: What about Renzo Martini?
\r\n
\r\nMcMahon: He made the All Star team down there. He's got the ability to be an outstanding hitter. He's a third baseman/first baseman. He has outstanding hands and his bat is his biggest asset. At third base he's a good defender. We're giving him as much playing time as we can [that's why he's playing first base too]. In the sim games we're giving him a lot of reps at third base. That's one of the player development challenges, to give guys ample time at premium positions. If his power starts to come for him, he has the unique ability to barrel the baseball. Putting the barrel on the ball is a good sign for a young hitter.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: Bryan Cuevas is a young guy too, another All Star. What's the book on him?
\r\n
\r\nMcMahon: He fits into the Avelino, Jorge Mateo - Bryan is playing shortstop and second base. His bat has really come along and he's a good defender. He has the chance to be an outstanding player in our system.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: Is there player currently in the farm system in the U.S. that you could compare his game to?
\r\n
\r\nMcMahon: Jose Rosario type guy. He doesn't throw as well as Jose. Bryan is a good runner, Rosario is a click quicker than that, but he has the ability to play short and second [base].
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: He almost sounds like Jose Pirela a little bit, no?
\r\n
\r\nMcMahon: That's a pretty good mix. That's probably a bit better mix there. He's playing two to three days to shortstop. The guy we haven't even talked about yet is [Angel] Augilar, who can really play shortstop and his bat is coming along. That's a pretty nice group of middle infielders for us.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: You mentioned Aguilar, what's his offensive game like?
\r\n
\r\nMcMahon: He has a wonderful knack of playing the game -- he has a great feel for the game as a young player. His baseball awareness is a neat deal. When he has to throw, he throws. When he doesn't have to, he doesn't. When he needs to back off, he does that. He has a great feel for the game. Offensively he has the chance to become a really good player for us.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: I'd be remiss if I didn't ask about Rafael DePaula because the numbers are tremendous. We all know though that he throws hard and has a good breaking ball, but how is the changeup coming? Is he throwing it down there?
\r\n
\r\nMcMahon: Very much so. In our objective package -- he's working extremely hard on his fastball command -- he's been a strike-thrower. He's working on being able to throw the breaking ball and his changeup is a third pitch to the package. As a result he's continuing to work on his arm stroke and his hand speed with his changeup -- that would be graded as his third pitch right now but his first two are at least above average so if he can continue his development there [with his changeup], wow! It's coming along great. We force that in player development. Those pitches are graded, those pitches are forced to be thrown, and we put a percentage basis on throwing those pitches. He's a pretty exciting kid and he competes his tail off.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: What can you tell us about pitcher Luis Severino, another 18-year old Dominican arm?
\r\n
\r\nMcMahon: He's another one of our pitchers that we're very excited about. The fastball is mid-90s, the breaking ball is slider shape with hard spin, and the third pitch becomes his changeup. He's working extremely hard on commanding the fastball. He's very exciting. One of the exciting things is the combined working efforts of the scouting department, the player development [department], and moving that forward. It's exciting. We have some exciting young players that are working extremely hard and are continuing to grow. And from a coaching perspective, the DR coaches, I don't know that they get enough credit for the hard work their pushing together. That's a great group of guys down there with a lot of bodies, they work extremely hard and it mirrors the plan in the United States.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: What can you tell us about Freddery Arias?
\r\n
\r\nMcMahon: He's a new pitcher for us with a good arm and good spin. That's an exciting group right there. One of the things we're trying to do with the middle guys, the new players, new pitchers particularly, many of the new Latin pitchers don't play in a lot of games. They try out more and [don't play in] many games. We're trying to get them to understand the concept of pitching in a game, that's a big part of the player development challenge and process. We work hard on our pitcher's BP and our pitcher's sim game plan to equate that to games. So we're trying to get to get the middle signed pitchers, the ones who graded out in the middle of the board, to emerge. That to me is a huge part of the player development challenge. I use that word a lot but that's what we talk to our pitching coaches a lot about -- who is that new group of pitchers, the signees, you're going to see some of them that we're excited about who might have a level of walks because they're learning to use their pitch package and not just be throwers but pitchers. He's an interesting pitcher for us. He'll throw in the mid-90s. There's five or six pitchers like him that I'm really excited about. Now will they emerge? We may never hear their names or they will emerge. That's the fun part of the process.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: You mentioned there's five or six pitchers in the group besides Arias. Who are they?
\r\n
\r\nMcMahon: You have Jose Acuna. Daury Aquino is a young man who has pitched very, very well. He piggy-back's in the rotation with Rafael DePaula. A kid name Havid Burgos is throwing well. Raudy Guzman has a good arm. A kid named Brayan Alcantara can really spin the breaking ball. Rafael Ordaz...
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: Ordaz was one of the guys I wanted to ask about. He's not getting many innings it seems but reports are he has a really good arm.
\r\n
\r\nMcMahon: The fastball is in the mid-90s, the breaking ball is slider shape with spin, and he's working extremely hard on his command.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: He almost sounds like Erick Canela. How has Canela's development been going?
\r\n
\r\nMcMahon: He's an interesting guy; 92-94 mph and has an 80 mph curveball spin and a firm changeup. He's not a real big guy but he's got a good arm.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: Eduardo Rivera has got great stuff too but the walks keep piling up. How has he been in his development?
\r\n
\r\nMcMahon: He's an interesting prospect for us. His tempo has been much better. He's working hard on fastball command but he has above average spin and he's working on his changeup. He just needs time. A lot of Dominican pitchers that are in a tryout mindset, they need to work on pitching in games. We've been going at it since January 15th with these guys and they're working extremely hard.
\r\n
\r\nPinstripesPlus.com: I know you've been traveling around to the various minor league affiliates lately and have been able to check out Staten Island. Fans are starting to get a little concerned with Ravel Santana it seems. Do you think he's starting to come around a little bit?
\r\n
\r\nMcMahon: Ravel is very hard on himself. For a young player playing under the lights in that environment, the first opening game with seven or eight thousand fans in Brooklyn, that's a huge difference to a player in trying to do so much. That's a big adjustment plus overcoming a very difficult leg injury -- in most people's eyes he'd be ahead of schedule. Those things are transitions that young players have to go through and be able to handle that. I'm not worried about him.
\r\n
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