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Joe Paterson: The 2013 Interview

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In early 2012, we interviewed left-handed reliever Joe Paterson about life with the D-backs (here are part 1 and part 2). While in town for Cactus League action and the WBC, snakecharmer got the chance to catch up with Joe again, and see how he was doing this spring

Jake Roth-US PRESSWIRE

AZSP: How've you been this off-season?
Joe: Oh, hd a great off-season - enjoyed my time, got away from baseball for a little bit, so that was pretty good.

AZSP: Did you have a workout program, or do anything different from the previous year?
Joe: I've kinda always done the same thing. I scheduled it for a little earlier in the morning, that helps me mentally, just because if I'm working out in the rain at 5 a.m, you feel tougher or you're working harder, I guess! So I was working out about 5:30 in the morning. It was good mentally, I think.

AZSP: You spent almost all of last year in Reno. How did you do? We kept waiting for you to come up!
Joe: I felt great. I felt like I had a pretty good year, considering how I started it with Arizona. I felt really good versus lefties, and it's always been a struggle finding my identity versus right-handed hitters - I'm feeling a lot better about it this year. I'm excited to get started. I came into spring with a better plan against those right-handed hitters, so I'm going with that and running with it.

AZSP: So you've been working specifically on your approach to right-handers?
Joe: Not really. Pretty much just my mindset. I've always been labeled as a "lefty specialist," and I'd actually never really been in that role until I came to Arizona, so you kinda lose what you're doing, for me at least. So it's just getting back to pitching a right-handed hitter like I would a left-handed hitter, just attacking them, instead of trying to trick everybody - throwing funky, and doing certain things. I need to pitch them like a left-handed hitter, where I just attack 'em.

AZSP: Have the coached worked with you on that, or suggested you change anything?
Joe: Yeah, people are working with me. I just kinda felt, watching what I did, I feel I've done better - like, last year, I ran into a lot of problems, going in and facing a lot of guys when we were up 9-0. The "tricking" and all that doesn't work as well when there's not a whole lot of pressure on the hitter. So it's just getting better at those situations, because I'm going to be called to do that kind of thing. Unfortunately, it was a hard lesson to learn, but I've definitely learned it. Watching myself last year, facing those guys, I was like "Man, you're really fooling around out there."

AZSP: You were watching tape a lot?
Joe: You don't get a whole lot there - I was more watching other guys on TV, how they pitch, guys who throw similar, and how they attack right-handed hitters. Basically, I'd watch anybody that's a left-handed reliever! Just get ideas, stuff like that, because I'm very comfortable facing left-handers, and it's just getting to that same spot versus a right-handed hitter. And I think I'm just about there.

AZSP: Well, we hope you're back with the team this year!