Patrick Teale

We sat down with Yankees pitching coordinator Danny Borrell for a Q&A session

We sat down with Yankees' minor league pitching coordinator Danny Borrell for a Q&A session. In part one of this multi-part series to be released in the coming weeks we get his take on whether or not he believes Brady Lail can make the Triple-A adjustment, how Nick Goody and Nick Rumbelow looked in 2015, if Johnny Barbato can be equally as effective, how Jacob Lindgren looked before his injury, and much, much more!.

PinstripesPlus.com: Let's talk about Brady Lail. I know he struggled a little bit early in Scranton but it seems as if once he gets to a new level he initially struggles, makes the adjustment, and just becomes a much better and different pitcher after some adjustment time. Talk about the season he had. Does he still have some ceiling to him?

Borrell: He does. The kid's still growing. We forget how young he is and for the most part he's moved pretty quickly. He did the same thing last year in Tampa; he got a little tired there at the end and rightfully so because he threw a lot of innings. At his best mid-season he was up to 94 mph, sink to both sides of the plate, obviously we all know he's got that great curveball, his changeup is probably just as good as his curveball, and he's got a nice little cutter that he uses. In Triple-A Scotty was working with him to turn that cutter into a slider versus righties just to get a little two-plane depth. I wouldn't worry at all about the performance he put up in Scranton because of how he sinks and how smart a kid he is; he'll make that adjustment and he'll be just fine next year.

PinstripesPlus.com: Let's talk about Nick Goody because I personally expected him to have the season he had this year. We know the fastball is quality and we know he has the breaking ball. He mentioned wanting to further develop the changeup. Is the changeup where his other pitches are?

Borrell: Obviously he's got an elite fastball, elite swings and misses. He's not going to blow it up to 96-97 mph but what a great pitch for him. Big deception. He's got huge extension. It registers 92 mph but it's playing mid to upper-90s when it's coming in and you can just tell because of all the swings and misses he gets. He commands it and the slider came along. He got to the big leagues on his fastball and slider. He hasn't had to use his changeup as much and I'm not sure how much he's going to have to use it moving forward. I did see him throw it a bit in Triple-A and it's there. It's certainly a good pitch if he needs to throw it but he didn't really need to do much of that this year. You could tell just from his numbers that it was a great year.

PinstripesPlus.com: Johnny Barbato had a really good year too. Is he a little Goody-like?

Borrell: He's got three Major League pitches [too] and has a smooth power arm. He's different though in that he's up to 97 mph pretty much every outing. He spins the crap out of his curveball and he has a nice changeup. It was great to see him pitch this year, just to see him get those innings in. He's got a chance to help us pretty soon at the Major League level.

PinstripesPlus.com: Is his biggest -- I don't want to use the words Achilles heal because it suggests a major weakness and it's not -- but is his biggest bugaboo just leaving pitches up in the zone?

Borrell: Yeah, for some guys that's their miss. We have zeroed in on why that is the case and it's just a matter of him finishing his pitches. When the focus is there on a pitch to pitch basis then it's as good as it gets stuff-wise. He knows the adjustments he has to make and he certainly did make them at the end of the year.

PinstripesPlus.com: I know he was up and down all season between Triple-A and New York but give us your thoughts on Nick Rumbelow.

Borrell: Obviously he showed what he can do. New York liked what they saw and he got a pretty extended look in New York. He'll do the same for them next year. He'll be more prepared, not that he wasn't this year, but I think he knows what kind of pitcher he is now. Fastball, curveball, change, and he's just going to go up there and let it loose.

PinstripesPlus.com: Let's switch gears and go to Jacob Lindgren. I know the Jacob Lindgren we all saw at the big league level is not the real Jacob Lindgren. What did you see from him before he got hurt?

Borrell: Before he got hurt it was the same guy we saw [last year]. It's a fastball that you've never seen before; it cuts, it sinks, even he doesn't know what it's doing so the hitters aren't going to know what it's doing. Catchers have a hard time catching it. I've seen him up to 95 mph and it's video game-like stuff. He actually threw a few more changeups this year in Triple-A too. But he wasn't the same guy [in the big leagues]. We'll finally get to see the real Lindgren again when he comes back in 2016. I can't wait for him to be healthy again.

PinstripesPlus.com: On the subject of high-impact southpaw relievers, let's talk about James Pazos. It's extremely difficult for somebody to put up the numbers that Pazos has and have the stuff that he has and yet be so underrated. Why is he underrated?

Borrell: I don't know. I don't think he's underrated anymore only because he pitched in the big leagues for us. Maybe it was because the stuff didn't really show up until later but man it's 97-98 mph -- I saw him at 98 mph up in Toronto against the Blue Jays -- elite fastball obviously. His slider plays well, especially for what he does coming out of the pen. He's going to do the exact same thing next year. I know he's going to work his butt off in the offseason and he'll be ready to force his way on to our 25-man roster in April.

PinstripesPlus.com: How is the changeup? Or is like a Goody situation where he doesn't need to throw it too often? Does he throw it?

Borrell: Oh yeah. No he throws it. I don't know how much he's going to throw it at the Major League level. I know he will versus righties but it's certainly there. All of his pitches flash plus, it's just a matter of if he needs to use them.

PinstripesPlus.com: The Yankees as everyone knows have a lot of solid left-handed bullpen options at the big league level right now and we just talked about Lindgren and Pazos, and we haven't even talked about Tyler Webb, yet another left-handed reliever who has done nothing but put up numbers when he's been healthy. What did you see from him before he got hurt?

Borrell: He was the same guy. He was having a good year again but unfortunately that finger issue knocked him out for the remainder of the season. He's out in the [Arizona] Fall League now, he's healthy, and he looks strong. He'll do the same thing he's always done. He's going to perform next year and hopefully he gets a shot in New York.


Pinstripes Plus Top Stories