Kozlowski Brings Relief to Scranton

This baseball offseason, the Yankees made headlines with the well publicized restocking of their farm system. Much of this attention however has gone to the starting pitching, such as new members of the organization Ross Ohlendorf and the injured Humberto Sanchez. Scranton aslo sports some quality relief pitching, including left-handed reliever Ben Kozlowski.

Ben Kozlowski, who spent last year with Louisville and Cattanooga and is currently one of three left-handers in the Scranton bullpen, has gotten off to a strong start in his first year with the Yankees organization after signing with the team this offseason as a free agent.

"As a new guy coming into the organization, you know they have scouting reports, but they still need to make their own decisions on what they see," said the 26-year old. "That's kind of what I want to do, I want to go in there and set the bar for myself, and let them know what I'm all about and that they can include me in their plans sometime in the future."

Kozlowski came into the organization and appeared briefly on the mound for the Yankees during Spring Training, despite spending the majority of his time in big league camp.

"I was up there till about the last week," he said of his time in Spring Training. "I only had about an inning and a third in. As far as I feel about that, I think they're trying to get a feel of what I'm all about what I'm all about."

"I think to me and a couple of other guys who have tested the field," he said referring to free agency, "stability is one thing, but going out there and knowing you're pitching for the team that you're on, but also that you're pitching for all teams that scout you out, so it's always important to go out, no matter what team you represent, and do the best you can."

Kozlowski knows there's a chance there won't be a spot for him in New York, but that doesn't bother him. He is happy with his decision to be where he is.

"If you don't fit in the equation for the Major Leagues for one team, keep in mind that there are other teams out there. But when you're here, playing for the New York Yankees, I couldn't think of a better team to play for."

He's also more than confident that Scranton/Wilkes-Barre will provide him and the rest of the pitching staff an effective coaching staff.

"Dave Miley was manager of the Reds a couple years ago. I was over with the Reds then so I have some experience playing under the guy. Dave Eiland, he's fairly new to me, but he's going to be very instrumental to a lot of us," said the 6-foot-6 left.

More importantly, he knows what is expected of him by Miley and Eiland.

"You know, overall, I think it's just a basic understanding," he said of his role with the team. "You have a manager, a pitching coach, and you have a left handed reliever. They're expecting me to go out there and handle the left handed situations and provide innings. That's my role, and that's what I need to do."

"When you're at this level [Triple-A], you should understand where you sit, as far as what your set-up is."

Being a left-handed pitcher, Kozlowski understands how important his role is to any team.

"Left-handers are first and foremost, are most important thing," he admitted. "We need to come in the game, and get that guy out."

At the same time, he also understands he won't only face left-handed batters.

"We need to come in and get that guy out that we're facing right then. We're always working. We never want to limit our roles. That's the thing, you have to continue to work."

"I don't want to limit myself in my job capabilities," he said when asked of his importance of working on facing both righties and lefties. "I want to be that left-hander who can be put in that situation where you need to get a chain of righties out."

Keeping this in mind, Kozlowski persists in continuing to develop his pitches throughout his career."

"I feature three pitches that I've been throwing since the beginning of my career. If anything, it's establishing consistency with those pitches each and every time out there," referring to what he continues to work throughout his daily workouts. "There will be times where I lag in certain areas or others, but for the most part I've got to go out there and remain consistent."

Kozlowski's improvement will be a great asset to his competing for a spot on the Major League roster and amongst his own teammates. The competition, however, is friendly.

"There's always friendly competition, but we're out there pulling for each other. We want everybody to do well out here. Winning is a great feeling and it brings teams together, it brings the chemistry together. I think that's one of the things you'll see around here, that you'll see a lot of positive team chemistry," he said when asked on his thoughts on how the competing for a job affected the team's chemistry.
"You'll see guys that have big hearts and want to go out there and get the job done. As far as the competition factor, competition is always good."

Solid chemistry aside, he believes those deserving will see their time in the majors.

"That's what we're doing; we're battling another team, that's competitive in itself. We try to put aside our differences, as far as I'm trying to battle you to get to majors, and just focus on the little things. That's you going out there and doing the best you can. We'll just go out and see what lies at the end of the season."

In the end, his motivation doesn't seem to have an end in sight, as he prepares to take every day in turn and continue to work.

"You've got some great guys playing up there in New York, as well as other Major League clubs," said the former 12th round pick of the Atlanta Braves. "It's always motivation. The motivation is always getting to the major Leagues. Then you're rubbing shoulders with some of the main guys up there."

Like many of his teammates, Kozlowski understands he has to focus his attention on pitching in the International League.

"For the most part, you can't get overwhelmed by that stuff," he said of pitching in New York. "You've got to focus on where you're at right now and then when you get up there, you focus on what you've got to do up there. You can't be too much caught up that you want to be up in the majors. You have to focus here, now, and today."

At the end of the day, when one sees Ben Kozlowski on the field, they'll know he's out there ready to embrace any opportunity to pitch, no matter what the situation.

"I'm going to do the best I can out there every time out."

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\r\n \r\n \r\nBen Kozlowski, who spent last year with Louisville and Cattanooga and is currently one of three left-handers in the Scranton bullpen, has gotten off to a strong start in his first year with the Yankees organization after signing with the team this offseason as a free agent.
\r\n
\r\n\"As a new guy coming into the organization, you know they have scouting reports, but they still need to make their own decisions on what they see,\" said the 26-year old. \"That's kind of what I want to do, I want to go in there and set the bar for myself, and let them know what I'm all about and that they can include me in their plans sometime in the future.\"
\r\n
\r\nKozlowski came into the organization and appeared briefly on the mound for the Yankees during Spring Training, despite spending the majority of his time in big league camp.
\r\n
\r\n\"I was up there till about the last week,\" he said of his time in Spring Training. \"I only had about an inning and a third in. As far as I feel about that, I think they're trying to get a feel of what I'm all about what I'm all about.\"
\r\n
\r\n\"I think to me and a couple of other guys who have tested the field,\" he said referring to free agency, \"stability is one thing, but going out there and knowing you're pitching for the team that you're on, but also that you're pitching for all teams that scout you out, so it's always important to go out, no matter what team you represent, and do the best you can.\"
\r\n
\r\nKozlowski knows there's a chance there won't be a spot for him in New York, but that doesn't bother him. He is happy with his decision to be where he is.
\r\n
\r\n\"If you don't fit in the equation for the Major Leagues for one team, keep in mind that there are other teams out there. But when you're here, playing for the New York Yankees, I couldn't think of a better team to play for.\"
\r\n
\r\nHe's also more than confident that Scranton/Wilkes-Barre will provide him and the rest of the pitching staff an effective coaching staff.
\r\n
\r\n\"Dave Miley was manager of the Reds a couple years ago. I was over with the Reds then so I have some experience playing under the guy. Dave Eiland, he's fairly new to me, but he's going to be very instrumental to a lot of us,\" said the 6-foot-6 left.
\r\n
\r\nMore importantly, he knows what is expected of him by Miley and Eiland.
\r\n
\r\n\"You know, overall, I think it's just a basic understanding,\" he said of his role with the team. \"You have a manager, a pitching coach, and you have a left handed reliever. They're expecting me to go out there and handle the left handed situations and provide innings. That's my role, and that's what I need to do.\"
\r\n
\r\n\"When you're at this level [Triple-A], you should understand where you sit, as far as what your set-up is.\"
\r\n
\r\nBeing a left-handed pitcher, Kozlowski understands how important his role is to any team.
\r\n
\r\n\"Left-handers are first and foremost, are most important thing,\" he admitted. \"We need to come in the game, and get that guy out.\"
\r\n
\r\nAt the same time, he also understands he won't only face left-handed batters.
\r\n
\r\n\"We need to come in and get that guy out that we're facing right then. We're always working. We never want to limit our roles. That's the thing, you have to continue to work.\"
\r\n
\r\n\"I don't want to limit myself in my job capabilities,\" he said when asked of his importance of working on facing both righties and lefties. \"I want to be that left-hander who can be put in that situation where you need to get a chain of righties out.\"
\r\n
\r\nKeeping this in mind, Kozlowski persists in continuing to develop his pitches throughout his career.\"
\r\n
\r\n\"I feature three pitches that I've been throwing since the beginning of my career. If anything, it's establishing consistency with those pitches each and every time out there,\" referring to what he continues to work throughout his daily workouts. \"There will be times where I lag in certain areas or others, but for the most part I've got to go out there and remain consistent.\"
\r\n
\r\nKozlowski's improvement will be a great asset to his competing for a spot on the Major League roster and amongst his own teammates. The competition, however, is friendly.
\r\n
\r\n\"There's always friendly competition, but we're out there pulling for each other. We want everybody to do well out here. Winning is a great feeling and it brings teams together, it brings the chemistry together. I think that's one of the things you'll see around here, that you'll see a lot of positive team chemistry,\" he said when asked on his thoughts on how the competing for a job affected the team's chemistry.\r\n
\r\n\"You'll see guys that have big hearts and want to go out there and get the job done. As far as the competition factor, competition is always good.\"
\r\n
\r\nSolid chemistry aside, he believes those deserving will see their time in the majors.
\r\n
\r\n\"That's what we're doing; we're battling another team, that's competitive in itself. We try to put aside our differences, as far as I'm trying to battle you to get to majors, and just focus on the little things. That's you going out there and doing the best you can. We'll just go out and see what lies at the end of the season.\"
\r\n
\r\nIn the end, his motivation doesn't seem to have an end in sight, as he prepares to take every day in turn and continue to work.
\r\n
\r\n\"You've got some great guys playing up there in New York, as well as other Major League clubs,\" said the former 12th round pick of the Atlanta Braves. \"It's always motivation. The motivation is always getting to the major Leagues. Then you're rubbing shoulders with some of the main guys up there.\"
\r\n
\r\nLike many of his teammates, Kozlowski understands he has to focus his attention on pitching in the International League.
\r\n
\r\n\"For the most part, you can't get overwhelmed by that stuff,\" he said of pitching in New York. \"You've got to focus on where you're at right now and then when you get up there, you focus on what you've got to do up there. You can't be too much caught up that you want to be up in the majors. You have to focus here, now, and today.\"
\r\n
\r\nAt the end of the day, when one sees Ben Kozlowski on the field, they'll know he's out there ready to embrace any opportunity to pitch, no matter what the situation.
\r\n
\r\n\"I'm going to do the best I can out there every time out.\"
\r\n
\r\n

\r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n\r\n
\r\n

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\r\n

\r\n

Become an annual subscriber today!

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