Wehrle Focusing On His Future

Infielder Ryan Wehrle is excited to be in Staten Island after starting this season in the Gulf Coast League. Wehrle, the Yankees' 20th round draft pick out of Nebraska, hit .280 with three home runs in 30 games before his promotion last weekend.

"This is a good town for professional baseball and I'm having fun so far," said Ryan Wehrle. "I love the ballpark. It's a real fan-friendly place."

Wehrle was immediately implanted in the starting lineup by Staten Island manager Mike Gillespie upon his arrival on Monday.

"They kind of just threw me into things so far. They haven't really sat me down and talked one-on-one with me yet," he said.

The versatile infielder has switched between shortstop and third base thus far for the Yankees.

"I've been playing shortstop longer so I feel more comfortable there, but I don't have a problem with third base either," he said. "It's really not that big of a change."

The 2007 Preseason All-American admits that he was a little surprised when the Yankees sent him down to Tampa, Florida, to hone his skills at the rookie level after being drafted.

"I was expecting to come here [to Staten Island] but they sent me down there for a reason," he said. "They just said they were going to start me down there and if I did well, they'd move me up. It wasn't my decision, but I just took it and ran with it."

Though starting his career in the rookie league was unexpected for the Lincoln, Nebraska native, Wehrle is grateful for the time he spent there.

"I learned a little bit about professional baseball," said Wehrle. "It's day in and day out. We played everyday at noon in the heat so it was tough, but I had fun. You've got to go through the grind sometimes."

A big question mark surrounding Wehrle at the start of the ‘07 NCAA season was the health of his surgically repaired knee. He was originally picked by the Cincinnati Reds in the 18th round of the '06 amateur draft but decided to return to the Cornhuskers program following knee surgery. His average dropped from .367 his sophomore season to .241 last season after the operation.

"I had real bad patella tendonitis so they just went in there and shaved the tendon," he said. "I do strengthening exercises, knee extensions, and other stuff like that just to keep it up to shape."

"It was starting to wear down a little bit down there [in the Gulf Coast]," he admitted. "Now, I'll be playing mostly night games and that should help me out. [The knee] feels great."

Wehrle had some off the field issues while at Nebraska as well. He was suspended for three games his freshman year following a citation for driving under the influence. Wehrle's collegiate career abruptly ended on a sour note last May when Nebraska manager Mike Anderson dismissed him from the team in the middle of his junior season for unspecified reasons.

"All that stuff is very much behind me. I was just a little freshman and the whole college experience caught up with me," he said. "If you're going to go out and drink, you've got to be smart about it and take responsibility for your actions. I made some bad decisions but I've learned from them and moved on."

For now, Wehrle is anxious to put his past behind him and is focusing on his future with the Yankees.

"I just want to get used to professional baseball, being out here everyday and proving that I belong here," he said.

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Pinstripes Plus Top Stories

\r\n \r\n\r\n\"This is a good town for professional baseball and I'm having fun so far,\" said Ryan Wehrle. \"I love the ballpark. It's a real fan-friendly place.\"
\r\n
\r\nWehrle was immediately implanted in the starting lineup by Staten Island manager Mike Gillespie upon his arrival on Monday.
\r\n
\r\n\"They kind of just threw me into things so far. They haven't really sat me down and talked one-on-one with me yet,\" he said.
\r\n
\r\nThe versatile infielder has switched between shortstop and third base thus far for the Yankees.
\r\n
\r\n\"I've been playing shortstop longer so I feel more comfortable there, but I don't have a problem with third base either,\" he said. \"It's really not that big of a change.\"
\r\n
\r\nThe 2007 Preseason All-American admits that he was a little surprised when the Yankees sent him down to Tampa, Florida, to hone his skills at the rookie level after being drafted.
\r\n
\r\n\"I was expecting to come here [to Staten Island] but they sent me down there for a reason,\" he said. \"They just said they were going to start me down there and if I did well, they'd move me up. It wasn't my decision, but I just took it and ran with it.\"
\r\n
\r\nThough starting his career in the rookie league was unexpected for the Lincoln, Nebraska native, Wehrle is grateful for the time he spent there.
\r\n
\r\n\"I learned a little bit about professional baseball,\" said Wehrle. \"It's day in and day out. We played everyday at noon in the heat so it was tough, but I had fun. You've got to go through the grind sometimes.\"
\r\n
\r\nA big question mark surrounding Wehrle at the start of the ‘07 NCAA season was the health of his surgically repaired knee. He was originally picked by the Cincinnati Reds in the 18th round of the '06 amateur draft but decided to return to the Cornhuskers program following knee surgery. His average dropped from .367 his sophomore season to .241 last season after the operation.
\r\n
\r\n\"I had real bad patella tendonitis so they just went in there and shaved the tendon,\" he said. \"I do strengthening exercises, knee extensions, and other stuff like that just to keep it up to shape.\"
\r\n
\r\n\"It was starting to wear down a little bit down there [in the Gulf Coast],\" he admitted. \"Now, I'll be playing mostly night games and that should help me out. [The knee] feels great.\"
\r\n
\r\nWehrle had some off the field issues while at Nebraska as well. He was suspended for three games his freshman year following a citation for driving under the influence. Wehrle's collegiate career abruptly ended on a sour note last May when Nebraska manager Mike Anderson dismissed him from the team in the middle of his junior season for unspecified reasons.
\r\n
\r\n\"All that stuff is very much behind me. I was just a little freshman and the whole college experience caught up with me,\" he said. \"If you're going to go out and drink, you've got to be smart about it and take responsibility for your actions. I made some bad decisions but I've learned from them and moved on.\"
\r\n
\r\nFor now, Wehrle is anxious to put his past behind him and is focusing on his future with the Yankees.
\r\n
\r\n\"I just want to get used to professional baseball, being out here everyday and proving that I belong here,\" he said.
\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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