Casadiego Has New Role With Trenton

At the age of twenty-six, Venezuelan born Gerardo Casadiego is a minor league veteran of sorts. From 1998 to 2004 Casadiego played affiliated ball in the Montreal/Washington organization, but due to a lackluster 2004 season where he posted an 8.27 ERA, he was released and forced to play independent baseball for the Pensacola Pelicans last season.

"People say independent league baseball isn't a good league but there are a lot of great ball players playing in that league. If you do your work and try to learn, you can really learn a lot playing with the players that are in the league," said right-handed reliever Gerardo Casadiego.

"Playing in Pensacola last year really helped me a lot. I realized that I'm lucky to be doing what I'm doing and the experience made me a better pitcher and person."

In 2005, Casadiego bounced back having a solid season for Pensacola. In 71.1 innings of work, Casadiego posted a 5-4 record with a 5.05 ERA while starting 11 games. This led to his off-season signing.

Casadiego started the season with class-A Tampa. Before his July 3rd promotion to Trenton, he was 1-1 with a 3.06 ERA and 14 saves, earning All-Star honors in the Florida State League.

"I was very happy to get called up to play here. I know a few guys on the team so it's going to be nice to play with them. I just want to do my job and help this team win games and hopefully a championship," said Casadiego. "I just hope I can continue to pitch as well as I threw in Tampa. This season I've thrown the ball the best I have in years."

"He's got a great arm. He was big for us down in Tampa," said former Tampa and now Trenton teammate Jeff Kennard. "I know he did real well in Venezuela during the fall and he carried that success over to the regular season with Tampa to start the season. He throws the ball hard and has a real good slider and changeup."

Casadiego's pitch repertoire consists of a low 90's two-seam sinking fastball, a changeup, and sharp breaking slider that he considers his out-pitch.

"I throw a two-seam fastball that sinks a lot and I try to use that against right-handed hitters or to get ground ball outs. When I'm in a big situation, I try to go to my slider," said Casadiego.

"He's a sinker and slider guy. He's a strike thrower that tries to induce a lot of ground balls," said Thunder Pitching coach Dave Eiland. "I've really only seen him pitch live once, but I really think he's a guy that will help us."

As the case with most ground ball pitchers, Casadiego points to location as the key to his further success and progression in the Yankee system.

"I've been working hard on keeping my location low. I've worked on my release point and bending my back so that the ball stays low. I need to keep my pitches right around the hitter's knees to be successful," said Casdiego.

"It's every player's dream in this locker room to someday play for the Yankees. Hopefully if I can keep working hard and work my spots I'll get my chance to play with the Yankees."

Casadiego joins an already stellar Trenton bullpen, but with the recent string of extra-inning games, and the Yankee imposed pitch count on Phil Hughes (80 pitches or 5 innings), the team will look to Casadiego to be a strong middle and long reliever.

"He's going to be a middle to long guy until he settles in. I know he closed a decent amount of games for Tampa, but we have Justin and J.B. for the late innings right now," said Eiland.

At the age of twenty-six, Gerardo Casadiego may be older than most high-ranking prospects. But the life and baseball lessons he's learned over his past eight years in professional baseball may just be immeasurable.

Pinstripes Plus Top Stories

\r\n \r\n\r\n\"People say independent league baseball isn't a good league but there are a lot of great ball players playing in that league. If you do your work and try to learn, you can really learn a lot playing with the players that are in the league,\" said right-handed reliever Gerardo Casadiego.
\r\n
\r\n\"Playing in Pensacola last year really helped me a lot. I realized that I'm lucky to be doing what I'm doing and the experience made me a better pitcher and person.\"
\r\n
\r\nIn 2005, Casadiego bounced back having a solid season for Pensacola. In 71.1 innings of work, Casadiego posted a 5-4 record with a 5.05 ERA while starting 11 games. This led to his off-season signing.
\r\n
\r\nCasadiego started the season with class-A Tampa. Before his July 3rd promotion to Trenton, he was 1-1 with a 3.06 ERA and 14 saves, earning All-Star honors in the Florida State League.
\r\n
\r\n\"I was very happy to get called up to play here. I know a few guys on the team so it's going to be nice to play with them. I just want to do my job and help this team win games and hopefully a championship,\" said Casadiego. \"I just hope I can continue to pitch as well as I threw in Tampa. This season I've thrown the ball the best I have in years.\"
\r\n
\r\n\"He's got a great arm. He was big for us down in Tampa,\" said former Tampa and now Trenton teammate Jeff Kennard. \"I know he did real well in Venezuela during the fall and he carried that success over to the regular season with Tampa to start the season. He throws the ball hard and has a real good slider and changeup.\"
\r\n
\r\nCasadiego's pitch repertoire consists of a low 90's two-seam sinking fastball, a changeup, and sharp breaking slider that he considers his out-pitch.
\r\n
\r\n\"I throw a two-seam fastball that sinks a lot and I try to use that against right-handed hitters or to get ground ball outs. When I'm in a big situation, I try to go to my slider,\" said Casadiego.
\r\n
\r\n\"He's a sinker and slider guy. He's a strike thrower that tries to induce a lot of ground balls,\" said Thunder Pitching coach Dave Eiland. \"I've really only seen him pitch live once, but I really think he's a guy that will help us.\"
\r\n
\r\nAs the case with most ground ball pitchers, Casadiego points to location as the key to his further success and progression in the Yankee system.
\r\n
\r\n\"I've been working hard on keeping my location low. I've worked on my release point and bending my back so that the ball stays low. I need to keep my pitches right around the hitter's knees to be successful,\" said Casdiego.
\r\n
\r\n\"It's every player's dream in this locker room to someday play for the Yankees. Hopefully if I can keep working hard and work my spots I'll get my chance to play with the Yankees.\"
\r\n
\r\nCasadiego joins an already stellar Trenton bullpen, but with the recent string of extra-inning games, and the Yankee imposed pitch count on Phil Hughes (80 pitches or 5 innings), the team will look to Casadiego to be a strong middle and long reliever.
\r\n
\r\n\"He's going to be a middle to long guy until he settles in. I know he closed a decent amount of games for Tampa, but we have Justin and J.B. for the late innings right now,\" said Eiland.
\r\n
\r\nAt the age of twenty-six, Gerardo Casadiego may be older than most high-ranking prospects. But the life and baseball lessons he's learned over his past eight years in professional baseball may just be immeasurable.
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