Pazos Dominating Once Again

SCRANTON, PA - James Pazos really turned some heads in 2014 when he finished the year with a WHIP of 1.13 and had 75 strikeouts in 67 innings. 2015 seemed like the perfect opportunity for him to make it to the majors but he suffered a shoulder injury to start the year and was out for nearly two months, but now Pazos is back and his numbers have never been better.

“I was tweaking a few things with my mechanics, my arm angle and building up strength,” Pazos said about his rehab in Tampa.

He missed nearly the first two months of the season this year rehabbing the injury. After he was given the okay to pitch again, he went back to Double-A Trenton and picked up where he left off last year. He only threw 9.2 innings before getting called up to Scranton. He struck out 12 and had a WHIP of 0.41 in AA. It was a quick call-up and it wasn’t a surprise to James.

“They told me before, they just wanted to make sure I could pitch at that level again because of the injury,” he said.

So far in Scranton Pazos is making it look easy yet again. He's allowed three earned run so far, has 24 strikeouts and has a WHIP of 1.08 in 24 innings. But those numbers are not good enough for him.

“So far it’s been up and down," he said. "Lately walks have gotten me into some trouble, but I have to figure it out and get back in the zone.”

Pazos had a stretch of three games where he walked two batters in each appearance [six walks in four innings]. His control has always been a strength and been great throughout his minor league career, but Pazos is a big guy at 6-foot-3 with a decent wingspan and a bit of a funky delivery. Mechanics will be important to Pazos in his career because if they get out of tune he could get a little wild.

On July 24th Pazos pitched 1.2 innings while giving up three hits [one was an infield single, the other was a bloop] and two strikeouts. His fastball was mostly at 93 mph it peaked at 95 and its lowest was at 90. He also featured a slider at 85 and a changeup at 81-83. Pazos threw his fastball 17 times of his 24 pitches.

Veteran catcher Austin Romine had nothing but good things to say about Pazos.

“He’s a guy who attacks the zone," Romine said. "He’s not afraid to pitch inside to righties. He’s got a good fastball and a good slider. He isn’t afraid.”

Romine has caught in the big leagues so what does Pazos have to improve on to get to the next level?

”Keep pitching the way he’s pitching," he opined. "His mentality will carry him to the next level pretty well, if he keeps being aggressive, keeps getting after his fastball and make his slider even better than it is now."

It feels like the Yankees call up a different reliever everyday so what does improvements does Pazos have to make to his over game in order to get called up?

“Keep attacking the zone and get outs,” Pazos simply said.

If Pazos can stay in the zone and can keep putting up the numbers he is now, a phone call to the majors isn’t that far ahead.


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