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Article: Twins Minor League Report (4/20): Pitching Trio...

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Talking Pitching: Kevin Correia

When the Twins signed Kevin Correia this offseason, they knew his ceiling was not high as, say, Francisco Liriano’s would be. They also figured that Correia’s floor would not be as low as Liriano’s either. Their goal was to acquire some semblance of consistency that was grossly lacking in 2012.

To their credit, the Twins got just that – a pitcher who made every start and, after tonight’s outing, will have accumulated almost 200 innings. [PRBREAK][/PRBREAK]Attached Image: Correia.jpg Sure, the win/loss record and ERA were reflective of a slightly below average starter but when it comes to value, his innings total help offset that gap. According to Fangraphs.com’s valuation metrics Correia has been “worth” 1.1 wins above replacement equaling $5.5 million in value – or a surplus of $1.5 million compared to his $4.5 million actual contract for 2013.

With the exception of Anibel Sanchez and the aforementioned Liriano, no other starting pitching free agent was able to provide as much value as Correia has. With one year remaining on his two-year deal, Correia will likely be one of the few carry-overs to the 2014 rotation.

He recently answered a few questions from TwinsDaily.com:

Correia on his approach after switching from the National League to the American League:

No, it comes down to trying to get batters out one at a time. In the National League obvious there are different situations, like there’s a pitcher involved and you are going to have more bunting situations and you are going to be taken out of the game maybe a little earlier because your spot is coming up to bat, but as far as when you are out on the mound I got what I got. I’m gonna try to attack you with what I got that day, with the best stuff that I have. It doesn’t really change league to league.

It’s more of just learning the hitters a bit, their approaches and just going from there.

On being able to limit stolen base attempts:

I think I’m just quick to home plate. I’m comfortable slide-stepping and getting the ball quickly to home plate. Some guys like a big leg-kick and it is harder for them to slide-step and I’m comfortable with it. It’s hard to run on a slide-step. Not to mention Joe Mauer’s been there most of the time and if you want to go on the slide-step, he’s probably gonna throw you out. So it’s tough.

On his best pitch:

For me it’s any given day it can change. That’s how I pitch. I don’t have one pitch that if they know it’s coming, I might be able to get it by them. I work on being able to throw four different pitches for strikes at any point in the count. So it really changes thorough out the game.

On making changes to his approach:

I’ve changed my whole career. I came up as a hard-throwing four-seam guy with a circle-change and a slider. Now I throw more two-seam fastballs, a curveball and a split. I mean, you are constantly changing. I think if you are going to play as long as I have you have to make adjustments and I have done so when I needed too.

On throwing his changeups to same-sided hitters:

I mix it into righties, I mean, not as often as I do to lefties but like James Shields, he’s got an incredible changeup and he can throw it all day to righties. I just think I am forced to throw all my pitches.

I throw a split and a circle-change. I think my split is more like a changeup and my circle-change is more like a split. I don’t know why it’s been like that, but I try to use them both and whatever one feels better that day.

On stats:

I barely look at my ERA or anything like that. I think I was kind of before that stuff started so I never really factored that stuff in.

On game preparation:

I look at video a lot. I know my stuff isn’t moving a ton. I face these guys four times this year and I’ll watch pretty much…I’ll get the lineup and I’ll watch how I faced all these guys before. I don’t really look at…a lot of guys like to look at a pitcher who kind of compares to them and how they pitched them but I kind of like how I’ve done in the past because it gives me and idea of what they might be looking for or whatever they’ve been successful off of. I go with feel a lot. I like getting in a game and feeling how it is going.


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