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James Reeves, currently in Extended Spring Training rehabbing his way from an injury, wants to focus on the little things.

TAMPA, FL -- Left-hander James Reeves has made a name for himself in his two years in the Yankees organization, making it up for a stint with the Double-A Trenton Thunder last season. He was even a non-roster invitee to the Major League camp for Spring Training this year but an injury kept him sidelined and forced him to start the season in Extended Spring Training. Rehabbing his way back, Reeves, back on the mound, is anxious to get to a long-season affiliate soon.

In his second season as a member of the Yankees organization Reeves put together an extremely solid season last year, combining for a 2.22 ERA between three minor League affiliates, most of which came with high-A Tampa. His performance and potential were enough to get him a shot to make the big-league roster as he was invited to the Major League camp. However, a mild UCL sprain suffered in a bullpen session cut his Spring Training short after only a couple weeks, and without making an appearance in a game.

Starting and relieving, last year’s season provided Reeves opportunities to have many different roles on different teams. While although he is going to remain a relief pitcher, he said he thinks the experience of different things will help him down the line.

“I got to do a lot of different things last year in terms of starting and relieving,” Reeves said. “That was a big experience for me, just by seeing different jobs within the job.”

Reeves’ standard repertoire consists of a fastball, which can top out around 92, a slider which sits around 78, and a changeup.  Known more for his fastball-breaking ball combination, the development of his changeup was a major point of emphasis for him over the offseason.

“I really worked on my changeup a lot,” Reeves said. “It’s really been the big pitch I’ve been trying to develop over the last couple years or so.”

Reeves believes that the advanced development of his changeup will be able to help him succeed at any level of the game when he does return from his rehab.

“The development of that third pitch will help me in the long run,” Reeves said. “It will let me keep hitters off-balance for a longer period of time.”

Another thing Reeves has been working on ever since he became a pro two years ago has been the mental aspect of the game.

“It might not necessarily show up on the mound all of the time, but just the mental preparation,” Reeves said, "showing up every day and watching video and all the little things you got to do to be successful over a long period of time.”

Reeves is currently in the rehab process to get back from his UCL injury, but he said he thinks he should be back in game shape sooner rather than later. Reeves has even began throwing again in Tampa.

The rehab process is giving Reeves an opportunity to make small adjustments to his overall game that will be beneficial once he is assigned to a long season affiliate.

“It’s giving me a chance to work on some things and get going again,” Reeves said, "little tweaks in my mechanics that can help me be more consistent.”

Reeves has made two appearances so far in the Extended Spring Season and said he is proud of what he has accomplished with those two appearances down in Tampa.

“Coming off the injury it was my first time seeing live hitters in quite a while. I’m really just happy that I’m feeling healthy and strong,” Reeves said. “Continued command and being healthy are the main things right now.”

Reeves realizes his success should place him in a good spot with the organization once he gets healthy and back in official game action, but he isn’t trying to focus anywhere else. Reeves is keeping a one day at a time approach.

Reeves said he thinks that if he keeps his mindset consistent, it will go a long way in determining his future success with the Yankees.

“I just want to pitch well and do the best I can every day and we’ll see where that takes me,” Reeves said. “Just focusing on a day to day basis and stay glued into that day every day.”


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