Thursday, May 21, 2009


So we didn't want to announce anything in case it didn't happen, but we're very excited to bring to you an e-interview with Twins pitching star Pat Neshek. Pat broke into the Majors with the Twins in 2006 at the age of 25. He pitched in 32 games that year and established himself as one of the premiere set-up men in the Game, compiling a 2.19 ERA and a 4-2 record that season, a season in which the Twins won their division only to exit in the first round of the playoffs. In 2007, Pat continued his winning ways appearing in 74 games with the Twins which was good for 5th most appearances by any reliever in the league. Pat was so dominating in 2007 that he was on the ballot for the final all-star spot (he eventually lost out to Okajima). He ended up going 7-2 that season as the primary set-up man for the Twins with a sparkling ERA of 2.94. Unfortunately for the Twins, and Twins fans, Neshek suffered a tear in his UCL early on in the 2008 campaign and eventually elected to have Tommy John surgery. Pat will be out this season as well but we are all eagerly awaiting his return in 2010.

At any rate, he's a cool guy, a hometown guy, grew up in Brooklyn Park, MN and went to this author's high school (Park Center High School). He's an avid baseball card collector and overall fan of the game and he runs his own blog chronicling his own Major League experience which can be found here: On The Road with Pat Neshek This is way too much of me talking though, so here's the interview:

Let's start with some word association to get the blood flowing, I'll give you a topic, give me a word, or two:
1.) Ron Gardenhire - Reminds me of Santa Claus
2.) Game 163 (last year) - tease
3.) Manny Ramirez - Tough Hitter - Bad Decision
4.) Zack Greinke - Raw - Dominating
5.) Target Field (next season) - Boo
6.) New Yankee Stadium - Thank God the old one is gone
7.) AJ Pierzynski - weirdo
8.) VORP - A Great Concept
9.) Being a Major Leaguer - My dream
10.) Park Center High -  Green & Gold

Alright, now for some bonafide questions:
1. What have been the most physically and demanding aspects of your rehab?
Doing the same things everyday for a year...mentally you have to stay fresh

2. You have a unorthodox delivery, have you been (or will you be) forced to alter your mechanics at all since the surgery?
Nope, I hate that question. Go to wikipedia and look at all the guys that are currently in the bigs that have had comes out to nearly 1 of 8 guys in the Show have had it...For me I feel like I got worn out and didn't get enough rest. My arm has went through a lot coming up through the minors it's amazing it lasted that long.

3. What is your daily routine like for an average night game when you're healthy and playing?
Before I got hurt it was get to the field around 2-3 pm. Do fan mail for an hour. Head out to bp, stretch and catch. get done with that around 5:15. Come in and eat dinner, listen to a scouting report if it's the 1st game of the series. Once done with that I will watch video of the guys I'm facing and try to find out how to k them and learn what they like to hit. After that get dressed and get ready for the game.

4. As a pitcher, do you still enjoy taking batting practice and do you sometimes practice hitting?
I really don't like BP anymore.  It seemed like the last couple years doing it I became really sore in my forearms and I didn't like having weird soreness...We practice hitting before interleague.  I think I would be a good hitter if I got to practice for a couple months...right now I'm a joke if I stepped up to the plate.

5. I know you're a big fan of the game despite the fact that you are in the Bigs, but in your opinion who has the best pitch, fastball, slider, whatever, in the Majors?
Roy Halladay dominates every year he pitches...whatever he does impresses me.

6. A lot of baseball players (especially) are superstitious, do you have any superstitions, or rituals that you do, to ensure your success?
2 pieces of bazooka in my back right pocket and when I get up to get ready to come in they go in my mouth. That's about it.

Thanks Pat!!! We really appreciate it!


  1. I'll be honest, I think its misdirection to say that the injury isn't related to poor mechanics by stating that 1 in 8 pitches have had TJ surgery. There are good mechanics, and there are bad mechanics, and pitchers who do certain things with their arms are more likely to get TJ than others. Liriano and Neshek were more likely than Maddux, Clemens, and Santana, and there are concrete reasons for this.

    This may require a post of its own. But while I agree that "wear and tear" can contribute to a ligament tear necessitating TJ, I do think that unusual and/or bad mechanics will accelerate that process a great deal.