Posted by Jay Floyd, Sat, July 13, 2013 08:00 AM Comments: 0
After a troublesome beginning (5.71 ERA in 10 games) to 2013 with Class-A Advanced Clearwater, righty reliever Mike Nesseth is having a strong campaign with Double-A Reading this year, posting a 1-1 record with three saves, a 1.96 ERA and a .204 batting average against. With teammate Kyle Simon sidelined with an injury, Nesseth, who stands 6-foot-5 and is listed as weighing 210 pounds, took over the closer role and has been very solid for the Fightins.
The Minnesota native was drafted in the 17th round in 2010, while already recovering from Tommy John surgery. After a somewhat delayed start to his pro career, Nesseth entered this season with a 3.07 ERA in 53 professional games over three seasons.
I spoke with Mike recently about his change of roles within the bullpen, his boost in velocity, players he looked up to as a youngster and plenty more. Read ahead for that full interview.
- Mike, you’ve landed in the closer role here for Reading recently. What can you tell me about being the guy the coaches selected to take on that new spot in the ‘pen?
I don’t try to think of it as much of a closing role, obviously I’m pitching the late innings. I’ll try not to think much of it, between the 7th, 8th and 9th (innings), you still want to do the same things. Be aggressive, attack the strike zone, execute your pitches. Obviously, in the 9th inning, depending on the situation, your lead, the batter that’s up, there’s a few scenarios you’ll pitch differently, but otherwise, that’s the only difference there is pitching in the 9th inning, I guess. Otherwise, I’ll just stick to what I try to do and that’s attack the strike zone, throw strikes, get ahead and try not to walk guys and let them put the ball in play.
- The back innings roles are spots reserves for dependable guys. Does that help your outlook when, clearly, the coaches have a lot of confidence in you to hand over key relief duties to you?
Yeah, it definitely gives me confidence that they feel that way. It’s a very streaky, streaky game and just like hitters, pitchers; we’re gonna have our ups and downs. We’re gonna have our hot streaks. You know, we just hope our good streaks outweigh the low streaks. Obviously, I think any of the guys in the bullpen at any time can do the type of things I’m doing. It’s just, right now, that’s where I’m at. It’s good to see that they have that confidence in me, so it does give me confidence. Continue reading PN Interview: RHP Prospect Mike Nesseth