Martin Griff

We sat down with Yankees co-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 Dietrich Enns is underrated, if Jordan Montgomery is big league ready right now, where Chances Adams is development-wise, and much, much more!.

PinstripesPlus.com: Let's talk some of the pitchers closing in on being big league ready, starting with Dietrich Enns first.  He came back from his Tommy John surgery in the second half of the 2015 season and dominated, and seemingly picked up right where he left last season.  He flies under the radar though.  Talk about his game.

Borrell: You're right, he just competes.  This is a guy who came back from Tommy John surgery and heck I don't think he's had an ERA above 2.00 in his career.  The stuff isn't going to jump out at you.  He doesn't throw 98 mph but it's low-90s, it's a funky angle, and hitters just don't see him that well.  And when you have a special fastball like he does it eases the stress on the offspeed pitches and he has solid offspeed pitches.  He's a tremendous guy and he works his tail off. 

PinstripesPlus.com: Is the fastball mainly good because of the funky arm angle?

Borrell: Yeah there's funk to it but at the same time it's still 90-94 mph from the left side and it's got some big-time carry and a little cut to it, and he pitches to both sides of the plate.  He can command too.  He's walked some guys here and there but I've seen games where he's both sides of the plate and these batters have no chance just with his fastball.

PinstripesPlus.com: Yeah he doesn't really have the one knockout plus pitch and seems more like a sum is greater than the parts kind of guy, no?

Borrell: Yeah without a doubt.  We have several guys like that but he's got the intangibles too.  When he's up on the mound and if a guy gets to third base he's not going to score.  His ERA has suggested that as well.  He's done a great job.

PinstripesPlus.com: You mentioned having several pitchers where the sum is greater than the parts.  Would Jordan Montgomery fall into that category?

Borrell: Yeah but he's throwing a bit harder from the left side.  He's more 92-94 mph but he seems to get stronger each outing.  After his first season in Staten Island he was just worn down from the long college season but ever since then when he was throwing 88-89 mph it's gone up to 91-92 and this past season he sat 92-94 mph.  He'll hit some 5s and 6s here and there, and he can command.  He loves pitching inside to both lefties and righties, solid average offspeed pitches across the board, and another one of our guys who really performed.

PinstripesPlus.com: Talk about the secondary pitches in particular.  He throws the changeup, curveball, and slider, correct?

Borrell: Yes he does.  He throws all three.  We just started with the slider this past season and he picked it up quickly.  It's mid-to-upper-80s and he has the ability to jam it in on the hands of righties.  He can back-foot them and to lefties.  The curveball is around 80 mph and his changeup is a plus pitch for him.  And he uses all of them in any count and in any situation.

PinstripesPlus.com: I saw him a number of times last year.  I know the Triple-A experience so far is pretty limited but in my opinion he seems big league ready right now.  Would you agree with that?

Borrell: He has certainly pitched his way into that conversation.  I mean it's hard to say that he's not.  The fastball command is there.  We want to get these guys as Major League ready as we can but he's knocking on the door.  He has every right to say 'hey, I'm ready to go'. 

PinstripesPlus.com: Let's move on to Chance Adams because in my opinion he's right up there with the other two as closing in on being big league ready.  He had a hell of a year last season.  Where is he development-wise?

Borrell: You know how I feel about that kid and he's certainly backed that up.  He's a great competitor and he has the stuff to back it up.  He averaged I think 93.5 mph in Tampa and then upon his promotion to Trenton he wound averaging 95 mph, and you're talking about a kid who hadn't started before and he actually gained velocity throughout the season and that's elite velocity.  He's developed his changeup to where it's an above average weapon.  You know, the numbers probably could have been even better last season if we didn't force the changeup on him but he knows it's going to make him a better Major League pitcher and he's used it.   He's a special young man.  We expect some big things out of him and I'm sure he expects some big things out of himself.

PinstripesPlus.com: How are the curveball and slider?

Borrell: Curveball and slider, he's got both of them.  [Which one is better] depends on the day.  Both are potential plus pitches.  I catch most of these kids and it's usually you can pick this pitch is better than the other one but heck both of his [breaking balls] show plus potential.  .

PinstripesPlus.com: You said the changeup has come so far so fast, what is the big thing that he needs to work on going forward?

Borrell: Yeah just keep using the changeup.  Develop the changeup, keep having the confidence to throw it to righties and lefties, and continue working on fastball command because he only has 180 minor league innings so far so he's still relatively young.

PinstripesPlus.com: I think those three guys -- Montgomery, Adams, and Enns -- get most of the headlines as far as closing in on being big league ready, and rightfully so after the seasons they had last year, but lost in the shuffle is Brady Lail.  He's a guy though who prior to last season had performance on his side but now seems to be the forgotten man, at least among the fans and media, no?

Borrell: Yeah it's unfortunate.  You get a kid who's 22-years old and who's made it to Triple-A already.  That in of itself is very impressive.  Yeah he has been lost in the fray a little bit in terms of publications and [stuff] but we certainly look at him as a Major League option and very soon.  Just with everyone else it's about fastball command and he's still growing into his body.  He signed out of high school so it seems like he's been around a while but he's just now growing into his body.  He has a big arm -- we've seen mid-90s out of him, two solid average breaking balls, he's got a nice changeup, and it's just a matter of getting his fastball command where he needs it.  And when he does he'll be an effective Major League pticher.

PinstripesPlus.com: So you expect a much better season out of him this coming year?

Borrell: Oh without a doubt.  Heck, 22-year old pitching in Triple-A, he's going to make mistakes.  He's very young and now he's one year older, he has Triple-A experience, and I'm sure he expects a better season too.


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