"It's going good," Nik Turley said of Extended Spring Training. "It's going well. I've been focusing on throwing more changeups, getting used to that.
"My fastball-curveball combination has been pretty good and I'm just trying to incorporate my changeup more."
Always confident in his fastball command ever since he was drafted two years ago, he says his curveball, which always had great depth to it, is a pitch he can also command pretty well these days too and now he wants the same with his changeup.
"The command, being able to throw it to a lefty on the outside part of the plate, that's what I've been trying to do," he continued. "It's been getting better but it's not there yet.
"The fade on it has gotten better. The movement on it has gotten better, it's got some sink to it now. I just need to be able to command it more."
Turley is feeling very good about his stuff and his command overall these days, even touching 93 mph pretty routinely with his fastball, and he says it all starts with being able to repeat his delivery consistently.
"I feel good. I feel really good. I think that's why all of my pitches are more consistent, because I can repeat my delivery.
"There's always room for improvement. I feel good right now. I feel confident in my stuff. I know I can get people out. That's a good thing to have that [confidence].
"Overall I've been getting people out. I feel good about my performances. I came back from [a couple of unearned runs] in my last outing and just kept going.
"I feel good about that. Last year I probably would have gotten a little bit more frustrated. I feel like I've matured as a pitcher."
While he has yet to break into the long-season leagues, Turley believes he is a completely different pitcher than the one who was selected in the 50th round of the 2008 MLB Draft.
"I think I've improved a lot," he said confidently. "When I first signed I had good stuff. I could command the fastball but I wasn't repeating my delivery every time. I just think now it's just a totally different mindset.
"I've always been attacking guys, it's just that my confidence in each and every pitch is so much higher now. I'm confident in my changeup.
"In my last game I probably threw it eight times out of 60 something pitches and they were all strikes. I feel like I can throw every pitch for a strike now and get guys out. I can repeat my delivery."
He also admits that while it's been good getting his work in behind the scenes to become a more polished pitcher, he firmly believes he is ready to tackle a higher level of competition.
"I'm ready," he opined. "I feel I've been ready, but it's good. There's always something for me to work on and that's how I [approach] it. I definitely don't want to be in Extended [Spring Training], but then again I don't think anyone wants to be in Extended."
He can't help but think there is one common denominator with his stuff improving and better command. A better delivery and more consistent mechanics has led to better command of his pitches, and the end result is increased confidence overall.
"I just think it's my delivery. I'm more polished and it's easier to get up there [velocity-wise]. Better mechanics – I just feel like the ball is coming out easy. That's what I've always wanted."
Coming Out Easy For Turley
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