OKLAHOMA CITY -- Tommy Hunter feels good and is working on getting his arm strength up as quickly as possible so that he's in position to return to the club when they need him. Here's some of what he had to say when I visited with him on Tuesday.
Q: What's the plan for how many pitches you're going to throw?
A: I'm building up. I went five innings and got just 55 pitches or so, but other guys have to pitch too. I'm trying to get innings up, but you can't go over to the other team and tell them not to swing early. That would be an ideal situation for me.
Q: How do you feel?
A: I feel good. It's a matter of going out there and being able to get my pitch count up. It's different getting pitch counts up and you're a contact pitcher. You do the best you can. I just haven't been able to get the count up. The side work is going good. In Arizona, I was throwing a lot of BPs and everything was coming out well. I just have to wait and get the count up.
Q: What pitches in particular are you working on?
A: Well, for sure the changeup. That's been an ongoing process for the last four years. So, that's of course the No. 1 ideal pitch that needs to be worked on. I threw some in the bullpen the other day and we worked on trying to stay back, make sure I get out in front. It worked well in the bullpen. We'll see what happens. Maybe I can get deep enough in the bullpen next week to actually use it. I want to throw it to lefties, but you have to work them into it. The lefties I'm facing they swing at the first pitch, so you can't even trick them. It's frustrating, but I can't be frustrated about the results I'm getting.