Heredia Getting Back On Top

TAMPA, FL. – Jairo Heredia was steadily working his way through the Yankees farm system when an injury to the shoulder took him off the radar for 2012. Before the injury, Heredia, who is known for his great command, was pitching well in the Florida State League with the Tampa Yankees and now he's back again, and feeling good.

"I feel pretty good and I'm working good, and I'm working hard," Heredia said. "I think about everything in the last year, the last two years, and about the pitch, and I'm focused this year very good. I'm feeling good."

Right now, the right-handed pitcher is working towards getting back to the dominant pitcher he once was before the surgery. In order to get there Heredia knows he must focus on regaining his power.

"My power, sometimes I feel good in the game and sometimes I feel down," he said. "I know it's my body and my shoulder, and I know I need to keep working and everything because I want to feel very good."

Heredia, who had pitched in six rehab starts with the Staten Island Yankees earlier this season, has been spending his time working to improve the velocity of his fastball.

"Right now, it's at 93, 94, sometimes 95," Heredia said. "It's average and I feel good and I'm working because I want to see my fastball higher, like a 96, 97, [more] than 94, and right now I feel good. I still have work right now."

Tampa Yankees pitching coach Jeff Ware referenced Heredia's inconsistency with his fastball velocity and insists Heredia must use the pitch more often.

"Well I've known Jairo for the last four of five years," Ware said. "I've seen his quality curveball and his quality changeup. He's always had that, and he's using those as out-pitches right now.

"[The] velocity has been a little bit inconsistent. We're trying to get him to use his fastball a little more, to locate a little bit better, have more trust, and he can use a four-seam and a two-seam fastball, but you've just got to trust a little bit more and locate it a little bit better, and pitch off his fastball rather than pitch of both of his secondary pitches."

If Heredia can learn to gain command over his fastball, trust in his pitch, and work down the zone he'll be able to locate the plate easier and throw for more strikes.

"Fastball command is the one thing we're really trying to improve, and the way we're going to do that is to keep working, trying to repeat his delivery, and keep his direction to home plate," Ware said.

Although his fastball is a work in progress from a consistent velocity standpoint, Heredia has impressed Ware yet again with his secondary pitches.

"They are really good," Ware said. "I mean, gosh, he's been getting swings and misses with both his curveball and his changeup. He's throwing them at any counts whether it's first pitch, whether it's 2-0, 0-2, or 3-2, it doesn't matter, any of those counts he's comfortable throwing them in."

Since 2011 Heredia has improved the speed of his curveball, throwing in the 82-83 ranges, but now throws in the 85-86 ranges and has perfected two types of changeups.

"Right now, it's pretty hard because my arm is very strong and my fastball is too hard, and my changeup - I've got two changeups," Heredia said. "One is slow for the strikeout and one is hard for a swing from the hitter. When I need a swing I throw it hard, when I need a strikeout I throw it slow."

Heredia is confident with his secondary pitches and is able to throw in any situation, which will certainly aid his success on the mound. However, both Heredia and Ware understand that his recovery is a work in progress and at this point the righty has only been back a month, is still working to get the kinks out, and focusing on staying healthy for the rest of the season.

If Heredia can stay healthy his power will return and he will have a chance to resurrect his career as a top pitching prospect.

"I do, yeah as long as he stays healthy, you know, he's had a couple of issues in the past, but when he's healthy and right his fastball is tough to hit," Ware said. "He's got deception with it and then like I said with his secondary pitches he's got three quality pitches.

"I think he's fully recovered and I really hope he is," Ware said. "It's just so early in the season for him because he's just starting to pitch and he's a month into it and I think he's recovering. A lot of the time when guys are coming off of injury or surgery they have to get mental confidence in their ability to where they can let the fastball go and trust that they are healthy. Sometimes that's the biggest hurdle.

"It's just believing in yourself that you are healthy and that you're not going to get hurt again. Once he starts believing that and shows that he's healthy he's going to get back on top."

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\r\n \r\n\r\n\"I feel pretty good and I'm working good, and I'm working hard,\" Heredia said. \"I think about everything in the last year, the last two years, and about the pitch, and I'm focused this year very good. I'm feeling good.\"
\r\n
\r\nRight now, the right-handed pitcher is working towards getting back to the dominant pitcher he once was before the surgery. In order to get there Heredia knows he must focus on regaining his power.
\r\n
\r\n\"My power, sometimes I feel good in the game and sometimes I feel down,\" he said. \"I know it's my body and my shoulder, and I know I need to keep working and everything because I want to feel very good.\"
\r\n
\r\nHeredia, who had pitched in six rehab starts with the Staten Island Yankees earlier this season, has been spending his time working to improve the velocity of his fastball.
\r\n
\r\n\"Right now, it's at 93, 94, sometimes 95,\" Heredia said. \"It's average and I feel good and I'm working because I want to see my fastball higher, like a 96, 97, [more] than 94, and right now I feel good. I still have work right now.\"
\r\n
\r\nTampa Yankees pitching coach Jeff Ware referenced Heredia's inconsistency with his fastball velocity and insists Heredia must use the pitch more often.
\r\n
\r\n\"Well I've known Jairo for the last four of five years,\" Ware said. \"I've seen his quality curveball and his quality changeup. He's always had that, and he's using those as out-pitches right now.
\r\n
\r\n\"[The] velocity has been a little bit inconsistent. We're trying to get him to use his fastball a little more, to locate a little bit better, have more trust, and he can use a four-seam and a two-seam fastball, but you've just got to trust a little bit more and locate it a little bit better, and pitch off his fastball rather than pitch of both of his secondary pitches.\"
\r\n
\r\nIf Heredia can learn to gain command over his fastball, trust in his pitch, and work down the zone he'll be able to locate the plate easier and throw for more strikes.
\r\n
\r\n\"Fastball command is the one thing we're really trying to improve, and the way we're going to do that is to keep working, trying to repeat his delivery, and keep his direction to home plate,\" Ware said.
\r\n
\r\nAlthough his fastball is a work in progress from a consistent velocity standpoint, Heredia has impressed Ware yet again with his secondary pitches.
\r\n
\r\n\"They are really good,\" Ware said. \"I mean, gosh, he's been getting swings and misses with both his curveball and his changeup. He's throwing them at any counts whether it's first pitch, whether it's 2-0, 0-2, or 3-2, it doesn't matter, any of those counts he's comfortable throwing them in.\"
\r\n
\r\nSince 2011 Heredia has improved the speed of his curveball, throwing in the 82-83 ranges, but now throws in the 85-86 ranges and has perfected two types of changeups.
\r\n
\r\n\"Right now, it's pretty hard because my arm is very strong and my fastball is too hard, and my changeup - I've got two changeups,\" Heredia said. \"One is slow for the strikeout and one is hard for a swing from the hitter. When I need a swing I throw it hard, when I need a strikeout I throw it slow.\"
\r\n
\r\nHeredia is confident with his secondary pitches and is able to throw in any situation, which will certainly aid his success on the mound. However, both Heredia and Ware understand that his recovery is a work in progress and at this point the righty has only been back a month, is still working to get the kinks out, and focusing on staying healthy for the rest of the season.
\r\n
\r\nIf Heredia can stay healthy his power will return and he will have a chance to resurrect his career as a top pitching prospect.
\r\n
\r\n\"I do, yeah as long as he stays healthy, you know, he's had a couple of issues in the past, but when he's healthy and right his fastball is tough to hit,\" Ware said. \"He's got deception with it and then like I said with his secondary pitches he's got three quality pitches.
\r\n
\r\n\"I think he's fully recovered and I really hope he is,\" Ware said. \"It's just so early in the season for him because he's just starting to pitch and he's a month into it and I think he's recovering. A lot of the time when guys are coming off of injury or surgery they have to get mental confidence in their ability to where they can let the fastball go and trust that they are healthy. Sometimes that's the biggest hurdle.
\r\n
\r\n\"It's just believing in yourself that you are healthy and that you're not going to get hurt again. Once he starts believing that and shows that he's healthy he's going to get back on top.\"
\r\n
\r\n

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

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\r\n

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