Reliever Zac Reininger spoke yesterday, via text, about the 2014 season in the Midwest League, bouncing back from an injury, and what he's focused on improving in the Arizona Fall League. With the Glendale Desert Dogs,
he's pitched 4 innings in 4 appearances, allowing 4 earned runs on (you guessed it) 4 hits. He's walked 3 batters and struck out...4.
Here's what he had to say Monday:
I felt prepared to go into my first full season. After the long off-season I was ready to get back to playing again. Missing the first month was tough, but I had to bounce back, regain my strength, and get back to one hundred percent. [Reininger finished 2014 with a 2.54 ERA, and allowed 42 hits and 17 walks, while striking out 58 through 56 innings]
I had to make some adjustments. Coach [Mike] Henneman was there to work with me on mechanics, and give me some pointers to help me get heading in the right direction. That helped me stay away from giving batters free passes. I had a few more walks this year than I did the year before. I’m starting to get more movement on the ball, so I had to just adjust that.
[Editor's Note: Reininger suffered a right ankle injury and that was the reason for the lost time to start the season] I took it slow getting back, then felt like I came back better than before.
[Arizona Fall League] is an amazing experience and I’m so glad I get to be part of fall league. I feel like I need to focus on getting control of all four pitches, and work on getting my changeup where it needs to be to continue moving up in my career.
Here's a 2013 interview with Reininger, when he talked to this blog about his transition to the bullpen:
He was named New York Penn League 'Reliever of the Year' here that same year:
Photo courtesy of MiLB.com
Over On Minor League Ball....
Yesterday my piece went up for Minor League Ball on fall league participants that included Rays pitcher Jaime Schultz, and Mets outfielder Brandon Nimmo, and second baseman LJ Mazzilli. Having covered all three in the New York Penn League and Eastern Leagues, I reviewed their careers to this point, as well as their future potential, and their early fall league results.
Thank you to Matthew Cerrone for highlighting parts of the story on Mets Blog.