Q&A with Cory Stuart

Not many people seem to remember when the Yankees selected RHP, Cory Stuart in the 5th round of the 2003 draft. Stuart, a closer, was an outstanding Yankee discovery out of the University of British Columbia. The hard throwing reliever sat out the 2004 season due to injury but we caught up with Cory for a chat session to update his status.

PinstripesPlus: You spent an entire season on the disabled list. Do you feel you'll be ready to go come spring training this year?

Cory Stuart: Right now, I think I'll be ready to go. I'm on my workout program that the Yankees gave me and it is going well. It has been a long time and I just want to get back into game action. It has been long enough and I'm ready to get back.

PP: Now, what exactly was the injury that kept you out for so long?

Cory Stuart: Well, it started out right after I signed in 2003. It was kind of like a chronic tendonitis in my elbow and eventually we had to shut it down. So, I went to Dr. Andrews and it supposedly was kind of a strange injury. There was this band of tissue that was like wearing down. And, they had to go in there and fix some things. It was just rough in there I guess. But, I was told it would be a long rehab process. I had to wait a while before I could throw but I'm on my throwing program now.

PP: You were a closer at the University of British Columbia, do you see yourself as a starter or a reliever in your professional career?

Cory Stuart: I think I could start but I relieved all through college. I've gotten pretty use to it and I think it is a good role for me. I have two good pitches so it is probably a more natural role for me. I think I take the right attitude for relieving as well.

PP: What type of pitches do you have in your repertoire?

Cory Stuart: I throw a fastball in the low 90's, sometimes around like 93 MPH. I get pretty good movement with that. I also have a good slider; that's like my out pitch. And, I do have a changeup but I don't throw it that often.

PP: Now, where do you believe that you'll be pitching by the time the season rolls around?

Cory Stuart: I've heard both Charleston and Tampa. But, it all depends how I look in spring training. If I come back at total full strength, I could maybe be in the Tampa or Charleston bullpen. But, if the organization feels that I need some time in extended spring training, I'm fine with that too. I'm not real sure where I'll start but I think I have a general idea what the plan is. It just depends on how I look in spring training.

PP: Did the Yankees ever approach you before the draft to show their interest in you?

Cory Stuart: Actually, no. Most people I talk to say that it is the same case with them too. The Yankees don't seem to like to let on what their interest is in you. They just come out real quietly and watch you. I knew they were interested in me and everything. I was contacted by every organization I think. But, I really didn't expect the Yankees to be a big player for me in the draft. But, I couldn't be happier when they picked me. I was thrilled.

PP: So, when will you be reporting to Tampa?

Cory Stuart: I'll be leaving on January 27th. I should get right into action when I get down there. I can't wait to get going.

PP: What type of mentality do you take to the mound?

Cory Stuart: My main objective is to get my job done. If I don't get the outs that I need, I haven't gotten the job done. I like to stay aggressive and throw strikes. Throwing strikes is the key for me. I have good stuff and I just need to let it happen. If I can do that this season, it should be a great year.

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