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.