minorleagueinterviews

In our Stealth Bomber series, we talk to players in the farm system who aren’t yet on the New York radar, but hope one day to be so.

In our debut edition, NoMaas’ Gary Wallace talks with the 2008 6th round draft pick, RHP Brett Marshall.

Brett was touted as a flamethrower coming out of high school when the Yankees gave him an overslot deal. They wasted no time and took an aggressive approach to his development, choosing to send him to full season ball at Low-A Charleston at the tender age of 19. Unfortunately, he pitched only 87.1 innings before hurting his elbow, an injury that required Tommy John surgery. Now, six months removed from his operation, we see how Brett is doing…

Gary Wallace: You had Tommy John surgery on July 31st and the obvious question is how is your arm is feeling right now?

Brett Marshall: It’s feeling wonderful, haven’t had any problems yet. The elbow’s feeling healthy and normal. Shoulder is still a little tight from taking sixteen weeks off from throwing, but it’s going to feel like that.

GW: What’s the rough timetable for your recovery look like?

BM: I’m on my throwing program right now. I believe this is week twelve and it’s a sixteen week throwing program. Once that gets through I’ll take a week off then get back to throwing on flat ground or off half mounds. I’m hoping to be back on the [full] mound by the end of March. I won’t be ready for games until the end of May or June. I’ll probably start a few games down here in Tampa in the GCL.

GW: The Yankees have a habit of taking away sliders from their high school draftees and took that approach with you. How was your curveball development last year?

BM: I’ve always thrown a curveball but my senior year of high school I starting throwing my slider a lot more. I worked on my curveball all last year at Charleston. I threw curveballs everyday just trying to get a feel for it. I’d have some good games where it was unhittable and the next game I couldn’t throw it for a strike. I just couldn’t get a good feel for it last year. Actually, the game after I hurt myself my pitching coach, Nardi Contreras, told me I could bring out my slider.

GW: Are you planning on changing your mechanics at all due to the injury?

BM: I’ve been working on my mechanics since pitching instructs, since day one basically. I think [my mechanics] hurt me from throwing so much in high school. I played every position there was and never really gave my arm a break. I just had bad mechanics back then. I look at them now and they were not good at all. I’d mainly leave my arm behind and have to catch it up which puts a lot of stress on the elbow.

GW: Andrew Brackman was a teammate of yours at Charleston and was pitching competitively for the first time since his TJ surgery. Did you two talk at all about what to expect from the surgery or what it was like?

BM: I did. I talked to him before I even knew I was going to have it. He and everyone else I talked to just said it’s a long process trying to get back to throwing. [Brackman] said it was different getting back on the mound. It’s kind of hard to let it loose. He said it takes a while; he’s actually still trying to figure out just what exactly it feels like. I think he’ll have a lot better year. I’ve seen him a couple times and he looks really good.

GW: A lot of people looking in at the 2008 draft saw Gerritt Cole not sign, you get a huge deal in the 6th round and started thinking you were the savior of that draft. Was that in your mind at all?

BM: Not really. I thought about it, sure… I’ve read a couple of things like the 2008 draft was bad for the Yankees. I don’t think so. We got a lot of good pitchers, a lot of good players [in that draft] like Corban Joseph and DJ Mitchell. There were some good guys we got.

GW: You seemed to have a reverse split in your abbreviated 2009 season. Was there anything too that or was the season too short to read into?

BM: The reason I was good against lefties was because I threw my changeup a lot and they were late behind that. The changeup I worked on pretty well. Righty wise, I think I missed a lot and kept leaving the ball up. [The Yankees] took away my two seam and my four seam only has a little movement so it’s dangerous to leave that up. I only had three pitches really and the curveball was just a working on pitch, so I really only had fastball-changeup.

GW: Brett, thanks for taking time out to talk to NoMaas. Hope you get better quickly.

BM: Thanks for having me.