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Jordan Foley, a starter with success last year, is doing well as a reliever this season.

TAMPA, FL -- Tampa Yankees right-handed pitcher Jordan Foley is known for his aggressiveness while striking players out. However, this season he is transitioning from being a starting pitcher; a position he has played for most of his life, to being a reliever.

“I was a starter for my whole life, so it's been a little bit of an adjustment coming into a game later,” said Foley, a starter in 18 of 19 games last season. “I like having the ball in the beginning of the game but it's also nice coming into a game in a tough spot, getting the team out of that tough spot and passing the torch down to the next guy.”

Foley is a pitcher who enjoys getting his team out of a tough situation and paired up with his aggressive pitching nature, he is the perfect candidate for coming out of the bullepn.

Switching from a starting pitcher to a relief has also helped Foley tremendously, according to Tampa Yankees pitching coach Tim Norton. Norton believes that all of the experience that Foley has had through the course of being a starter will help him in the bullpen in the long run.

“He was a starter for a lot longer so you can get put in a lot of different situations you tend to see everything during the course of a 142-game season,” Norton said. “You start learning timing, so just being able to know the spots over the course of the years is going to help him grow as a pitcher.”

Being moved to a different position can be a lot to adjust to, and sometimes you won’t see the results that you are accustomed to. Foley feels like he has struggled a bit in the bullpen.  However, he also sees what he needs to improve on.

“I've struggled a little bit just falling behind guys and not throwing a lot of strikes, Foley said.”[I’m] trying to find sense of things mechanically.  Hopefully I'll clean up all that stuff so I can throw more strikes and stop walking so many guys.”

Foley’s ability to strike batters out prevents the opposing team to score, even if they have players on base.

“He may walk a guy but he will strike out two, so having the confidence that when he comes into the game that he's going to be able to generate some outs without the ball being put in play.” Tampa Yankees manager Pat Osborn said.

Foley did not really change his repertoire as he switched from a starting pitcher to a relief pitcher.  Some of Foley’s success can be attributed to his fastball, which reaches about 94 miles per hour. Foley is very aggressive with his fastball which helps him throw strikes and strike people out. Foley’s ability to throw get batters to miss is Osborn’s favorite trait of Foley.

“He has the ability to strike people out; obviously that's a really, really good thing to have and he does it with his fastball,” Osborn said. “A lot of people do it with offspeed pitches: breaking balls, sliders, curveballs, change ups, but he gets strikeouts with his fastball. That's something that people look for in this game, is guys that can generate swings-and-misses using their fastball. That's what stands out with Jordan for me.”

Aside from his fastball, Foley also has a splitter which was his best pitch last year and a slider that he is working on religiously.

“I've had a new slider that’s working out really well for me, (I’m) tinkering with my splitter again and trying to get that going, that was my best pitch last year,” Foley said.

The coaching staff believes that Foley is transitioning well to his new role. Foley is still able to integrate all of the pitches he had as a starter with him coming out of the bullpen and to be aggressive and strike people out consistently.

“I love his aggressiveness, he's a drop and drive guy with a really good fastball,” Norton said. “Not many guys get on that fastball.  He's going after them and getting ahead.”

As he continues to work on his secondary pitches, it seems pretty unlikely for Foley to be switched back to the starting rotation but anything could happen. He has been able to transition one way, so it wouldn’t be a stretch to transition back down the road.

“You never know," Norton said. "You never say never.  He's got three good pitches, he's got two really good pitches, so he's in the spot now that I really think he could flourish; you never know, he could do it,” Norton said. “He adjusted this way and could probably adjust the other way, that's what he does.”

But it does not bother Foley being in the bullpen either. He trusts that the Yankees organization is making the best decision for him and his professional future.

“I’ll do whatever.  Whatever the organization wants me to do I'm fine with whatever way,” Foley concluded.


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