Talking with Cincinnati Reds reliever Josh Ravin Doug Gray February 11, 2013 16 Comments Last week I had a chance to talk with new addition to the Cincinnati Reds 40-man roster Josh Ravin before he headed out to spring training. He spent 2012 working in a new role as a reliever after being a starter for his entire career. You can follow him on twitter @freshsqueezed22. RML: You made some big changes last season, moving from the rotation where you had been for your entire career, and into the bullpen. It took some time as you missed the first half of the season on the DL. Once your season got going, how was the transition to the new role? Josh Ravin: Yeah, the injury definitely threw me off. I’m pretty comfortable in the reliever role. RML: Kind of working off of that last question, did it take some time to get comfortable in the role? You struggled at times in Pensacola with your control, but in the Arizona Fall League your control was vastly improved. Josh Ravin: After the injury it was tough getting back to where I felt right mechanically. The AFL allowed me to get that extra work and find a consistent arm slot while competing. RML: While in Arizona for the Fall League, you were clocked as high as 101 MPH. With velocity like that, your fastball is clearly a strong pitch. What is the rest of your repertoire and how do you feel about each pitch? Josh Ravin: My go to pitch is my curve ball. My change up is good and I’m working on a cutter. RML: After the Arizona Fall League the Reds added you to the 40-man roster. I could be wrong, but I believe this will be your first spring training appearances with the big league club. What are your expectations for spring training? Josh Ravin: I’m not expecting anything more or less than usual. I’m really excited for the opportunity and looking forward to competing against the best. RML: What do you think are your strengths and weaknesses as a pitcher? Josh Ravin: My fastball and mental toughness are my strengths. I need to improve my off speed consistency. RML: A few weeks ago I ran an article showing some of the mechanical changes that you have made over the past few years. You are keeping your hands lower than ever before throughout your motion, keeping your front leg a little lower and getting a little more rotation throughout your wind up than you used to. Can you talk about the changes a little bit and how they have helped? Josh Ravin: I started to drop my hands lower and not point my toe when I lift my leg. It allows me to be as relaxed as possible before I throw the ball. RML: Do you have any goals for the 2013 season? Josh Ravin: Stay Healthy. I know if I can do that good things will happen. It’s tough. Injuries come with the occupation. RML: What was the offseason like for you? Josh Ravin: It was shorter than usual but it was well spent. I relaxed and hung out with the family. RML: Did you have a favorite player while growing up that you tried to emulate on the field? Josh Ravin: I liked Mike Piazza. I would imitate his stance growing up. Maybe that’s why I’m a pitcher. Here is some video of Josh Ravin pitching in August of 2012 in Double-A for the Pensacola Blue Wahoos. 16 Responses Alan Horn February 11, 2013 I like his delivery /mechanics. If he can get consistent with all his pitches(problem with most pitchers), he could help the Reds down the road. The Duke February 11, 2013 I wouldn’t even say he needs to he consistent with all his pitches. With that kind if velo if he can be a fastball and one other cocnsistent pitch (changeup or curve most likely) then he can have some real value in the bullpen. Randy February 11, 2013 100+ mph fastball thrown during a game! That has to make him a big time Reliever (Closer?) prospect doesn’t it? Relief pitching prospects in general may not be highly valued, but I’m wondering how many other prospects have a fastball better than Ravin’s – it can’t be that many can it? Doug Gray February 11, 2013 I don’t know of any other minor leaguers out there who hit 101 MPH last season. There certainly weren’t any Reds prospects who did it. Not so sure about minor leaguers in general, but can only think of a few guys worth checking on for that kind of velocity. Control is what holds him back at this point. Throughout his career he has either had it on a given night, or he hasn’t. As a reliever it will be interesting to see how he is able to improve his consistency. He didn’t really get a big shot this year because of injuries that held him back this season. MK February 12, 2013 I think Alex Meyer of Nationals, now Twins, organizations went 100 mph+ last year. I know he hit 99 mph in the Futures Game. sultan of swaff February 11, 2013 Great job, Doug. I hope this becomes a regular feature. I’m really glad Ravin got that extra work in the AFL. I could easily see him with the big club by midseason if he has a great 1st half of 2013. Ondrusek better come ready to play. He’s got Hoover, Masset, and Ravin all waiting to take his job. That’s what makes the 2 year deal for Ondrusek (plus all the incentives) so puzzling. I hope it doesn’t mean he’ll get a longer leash as a result. I’ve never been a huge Masset fan, but it would be huge if he were to come into camp healthy. Bullpen depth could be an issue, and in order to remove the temptation to move Chapman back there, we need capable fill-ins if there’s an injury or non-performance. Doug Gray February 11, 2013 I have one more interview for sure and a third one that was agreed to, but haven’t heard back from the player in about a week about it. RobL February 11, 2013 A nice Q&A up on fangraphs with Todd Frazier as well today. WallyP February 11, 2013 Doug Dead on . Ravin I must say when i saw him was outright fantastic. I went to a series in Mobile and watched him in 2 of the 4 games and Doug he was outright of the charts then he came home and could not throw a strike. I blame rust more then anything. He has to and I stress has to stay healthy Herbie February 11, 2013 Where’s his control at in a scale of Derrick Turnbow to Billy Wagner? 44reds February 11, 2013 Had to share this hilarious post I found on another site: So our worst nightmares have come true. With Choo getting on base 38% of the time, then Phillips seeing great pitches in front of Votto and getting on – then they walk Votto, we’re going to clog the bases. Why didn’t we see this problem coming? Where the heck are we going to put Ludwick and Bruce with all those bases clogged up? There’s just no room for them. Maybe we should re-sign Taveras and Patterson. Or trade back for Stubbs. With those guys, we never had that problem. IndyRedsFan February 11, 2013 Stubbs is probably available….Indians just signed Bourn to play center. Jimmer February 11, 2013 Tough break for Drew. Hopefully they can deal him to somewhere he can play everyday. Herbie February 11, 2013 Probably won’t. He’d be a good platoon with Brantley. MK February 12, 2013 Maybe Columbus? Doug Gray February 12, 2013 I doubt Stubbs can be optioned at this point due to service time without going through waivers and he won’t pass through waivers.