Reliever Cory Arbiso is entering his fourth season in the Yankees organization, after being drafted by the team in the 22nd round in the 2008 Draft. The twenty-six-year old right-hander pitched for the Double-A Trenton Thunder in 2010 and 2011, logging 166 innings combined. In 2011 he went 5-5 finishing with a 5.23 ERA.
He begins the season with a strong sense of who he is on the Thunder ballclub, as well as learning confidence with a new pitch. he spoke with Gotham Baseball Tuesday during the Thunder’s media day/fan fest.
On working with Thunder pitching coach Tommy Phelps: I’ve worked with Tommy the last two years and he’s helped me tremendously, especially with mechanics and my skills, as far as getting ahead in counts.
On the new pitch in the arsenal: I added a curve ball just to give myself that fourth pitch. It will really help in the role they’ve had me in [long relief/spot starter]. It’s helped me in changing hitters eye levels.
On whether he was disappointed to be back in Double-A for a second year: It’s not a bad thing being back here and I wasn’t entirely surprised. There’s nothing wrong with working on the same stuff and trying to improve in all areas [at this level].
On being a ‘veteran’: I do feel that way and I don’t mind it. I’ve always liked the leadership role. I want the younger guys to feel free to ask me anything.
Looking ahead to the first half: I’m not a big strikeout guy. It’s all about getting my command and getting quick outs.
On his relationship with former Thunder catcher Austin Romine: Austin caught me when we were in California, for the first time, when he was sixteen. He said mine was the first fastball he ever caught, which now is not what it was because I am a command guy. He really understood me. We had a good sense of what pitch to call and were usually on the same page. He’s a smart catcher and a good receiver. It’s a big part of the reason I want to get up there to Triple-A; to work with him again.