Saturday, May 31, 2008

The Melancon Speaks

To The Thunder Blog and discusses his velocity, repertoire as well as being labeled "The Next Joba."

Ashmore: For someone who hasn’t seen you pitch before, can you give me a scouting report on yourself in terms of what you throw and your mentality out there?

Melancon: “I have a two-seam fastball, four-seam fastball, curveball, and a changeup that I’m working on now. I feel a lot more comfortable with it than I did four or five weeks ago. I’m trying to incorporate all those pitches. Just kind of a bulldog mentality…I go after guys, and I’m not afraid to come in and locate inside. That’s kind of my mentality.”

Ashmore: I’m sure I’m not the first person to tell you this, but that curveball you’ve got is pretty nasty. Is there a certain way that you throw it that makes it so successful, or…

Melancon: “I think my arm speed. I don’t spike it, it seems like a lot of guys…the new thing to do is spike it (a different way of gripping the pitch). I never had a feel for that pitch. When my curveball’s not as good, it’s usually because my arm speed isn’t there. I tell myself to throw it hard and mimic a fastball arm speed.”

Ashmore: So do you feel like your velocity is where it was before, or do you feel like you’re throwing harder…

Melancon: “Well, in college, I’d sit 92 or around there. And that’s where I’m sitting now. I feel like I wouldn’t get that velocity earlier in the year and now I feel like I’m getting it sooner in the year. But I still haven’t thrown that many innings in competitive games to know if I’m going to gain more velocity or what. But as of right now, I’m very happy with my velocity.”

Ashmore: Everybody says stuff like “the next Joba” when it comes to you…again, I’m well aware I’m not the first person to tell you that. But when people do say that to you, or you do hear that, what comes to mind…

Melancon: “Well, I’m thankful for Joba opening the door. Him and Ian, proving that young guys can do it. But at the same time, that’s fine if they compare me to Joba, because that’s a good thing. He’s doing really well. I don’t take that to heart as a bad thing.”

Melancon goes on to describe how important it was for him to close games at Arizona U. and how difficult the "very strenuous rehab" was coming back from Tommy John surgery.

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