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Run by The Trentonian's Nick Peruffo, this blog will provide daily multimedia coverage of the Trenton Thunder.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Full Nardi Contreras transcript -- Part 1

As mentioned earlier on the blog, Yankees pitching coordinator Nardi Contreras was in Trenton yesterday. Mike Ashmore and I sat down with him for about 10 minutes in the Thunder dugout before the game. What follows is the first half of that conversation. Enjoy.

MA: So, which teams have you seen so far this season?
NC: I've seen Tampa, I've seen Charleston and I've seen Scranton. This is the last stop.

MA: In those stops, who have you seen that you're excited about that we might be seeing here sometime soon?
NC: (Hector) Noesi has pitched well. (Adam) Warren has pitched well. ... Noesi and Warren would be the only two that have a chance right now, that are pitching well.

MA: What about those two makes them stand out?
NC: Being able to command the fastball and throw the offspeed pitches for strikes.

JN: How close a call was it to start Noesi in Trenton rather than Tampa?
NC: None at all. He just needed more time at Tampa to pitch.

JN: What about (Pat) Venditte? Is there a chance we seem here this year?
NC: There's always a chance to see anybody. Right now, no, unless someone gets hurt. Then I'd have to look in the bullpen to see who's pitching well and who's not.

Right now, anybody can come. Ortiz has pitched well closing. (Craig) Heyer has pitched well. (Brandon) Braboy is back, but he'll have to pitch a little bit more. (Dan) Kapala, we've stuck him in as a starter, and he's pitched well as a starter, but he's a reliever. Trenton Lare has pitched well at times, too.

JN: What is the situation right now with Banuelos? Was it an appendectomy?
NC: Yeah, he's still back in Mexico. We haven't seen him. It'll be a while.

JN: What is the typical recovery time for an appendectomy?
NC: I have no idea. My granddaughter, which happened just last year. The difference is: She was 5 years old. They don't take out the appendix when hers burst, because of all the infection. Adults, they go ahead and take it out.

So, I wouldn't know (about how long Banuelos might still be out of action). She (the granddaughter) was in the hospital for 32 days, in the hospital, with all the infection that was there. ... It was ugly. Hopefully that doesn't happen to us.

The first baseman/third baseman who was here last year (Jorge Vazquez). He's now back in the states, he's now hitting and working out. (He also had an appendectomy). His happened a week or two weeks before Banuelos. The time frame, I don't know, but he's back now.

I'm guessing, hoping -- hoping --that Banuelos will be coming back soon, because he's going to be a star.

MA: You've got some guys rehabbing now down in Tampa as well. Is (George) Kontos making any progress?
NC: They're all making progress. (Dellin) Betances has a chance to start at Tampa within a week or 10 days. Paul Bush will pitch tomorrow (in extended spring training) for the second time. So, I would say, one more week for him.

Kontos and (Brett) Marshall and (Andy) Shive are further away. They are doing bullpens now. They haven't started batting practices. Betances and Bush are close.

JN: What is (Andrew) Brackman working on down in Tampa?
NC: Brackman's working on, well, he's throwing strikes. That's the positive he's doing. ... His last game, numbers-wise, it looks ugly. He got two hard-hit balls against him. They day I saw him pitch was they day that -- and we weren't aware of it -- his finger was hurting him. He cut his finger during spring training. ... He had some infection and tried pitching. He gave up six, seven, eight runs the day I saw him, but everything but one ball was all groundballs in the infield or through the infield.

What he is doing is throwing strikes. He's learning now, because last year he didn't throw many strikes. He's throwing strikes now, and he's learning how to command. He needs to know how to command. He's throwing his curveball. He's learning the slider and the change-up, too. He's learning some other pitches to go along with his curveball and his fastball.

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