• Ryan Pressly excited to be with the Twins on Opening Day

    Target Field - Phenom Aaron Hicks is not the only Minnesota Twins player who will be making the jump from AA to the big leagues in 2013. Rule 5 pick Ryan Pressly is also making that jump, and he’s admittedly, and understandably, “pretty nervous right now” as the Twins and Tigers are preparing to open their 2013 seasons at Target Field this afternoon.

    Hicks spent the entire 2012 season in New Britain. Pressly didn’t make his AA debut until mid-July, shortly after making the transition from being a starting pitcher to his new role in the bullpen. Pressly pitched very well in the Arizona Fall League in 2012 and impressed the Twins brass enough to make him their Rule 5 selection in December. By rules, the Twins are required to keep Pressly on the big league roster the entire 2013 season or would have to offer him back to the Red Sox.

    Pressly is hoping to stick around with the Twins for awhile. Twins Daily had the opportunity to talk to the hard-throwing, 24-year-old right hander from Dallas before batting practice today. It wasn’t hard to tell that Pressly is thrilled to be with the Twins and in the big leagues. His ear-to-ear smile tells that story clearly.

    “I’m pretty nervous right now. I wouldn’t say nervous, more anxious than anything, because it’s Opening Day. A lot of these guys have gone through it, but some of us haven’t and it’s pretty fun, pretty entertaining.”

    He found spring training to be even more than he was anticipating this spring. “(I) never realize how the competition was there, and it just kind of shocked me. I was more in shock when I got there, seeing all the guys in camp, everybody competing. It was fun though.”

    It was fun, in part, because he pitched incredibly well. In 13.1 innings over 10 spring training games, he gave up just one run on nine hits. He posted a 0.66 ERA and opponents hit just .191 off of him. What did he credit for his success?

    “Just attacking hitters. I was just going after them. I didn’t really try to get too cute with anything. I just wanted to throw all my stuff for strikes and try to get people out. That’s really all you can do.”

    It was really just a continuation of his successful AFL stint where he walked just one and struckout 18 in 14 innings. The righty throws 95 with good, power curveball.

    “I guess at the AFL and the end of AA season, it all just kind of clicked. I really can’t explain it. I can’t explain what I have done, but it’s just clicked. I guess moving to the bullpen, a new role it’s just helped a lot. ”

    Having come from the Red Sox organization, he already was familiar with the city of Ft. Myers. The Red Sox spring training facilities are just across town. The two teams played several times throughout spring training. It was after an appearance against the Red Sox when Pressly was told the news he had hoped for all spring training, that he would make the Twins Opening Day roster.

    “I got done throwing, and I wasn’t even two steps into the dugout and (Ron) Gardenhire shook my hand and said ‘Congratulations, You made the team.’ I was just in shock, and I didn’t even know what to say or do. I just shook his hand and said, ‘OK.’”

    His dad was in a business meeting at the time, but he still called home. “I called my mom, and she was ecstatic. Screaming. I think she was crying a little bit, but it was an awesome feeling. I don’t think I was even out of my cleats yet.”

    Pressly played most of the 2012 season with Jackie Bradley, Jr. who made his major league debut today as the Red Sox left fielder after splitting the 2012 season between A ball and AA ball.

    Pressly is excited for his first Opening Day, as he should be. He’s even excited to get to partake in the Twins bullpen tradition. How does he feel about carrying out the pink backpack full of treats? He’s excited. “I’ve got everything organized in there already. I just have to take some drink requests after we get done throwing.”

    Pressly isn’t completely certain what role or what types of situations he’ll be put into. He couldn’t stop smiling during a pre-batting practice interview. It’s a great story. As Twins fans, let’s hope that he pitches well and keeps on smiling throughout the season.
    This article was originally published in blog: Ryan Pressly excited to be with the Twins on Opening Day started by Seth Stohs
    Comments 7 Comments
    1. YourHouseIsMyHouse's Avatar
      YourHouseIsMyHouse -
      I'm backing him 100% and I hope he does fantastic. Let's give him time and hope his stuff gives batters fits.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Yeah, no reason not to at least hope for him to develop well... Having spent so little time at AA, it'll most certainly be a challenge, but they need to keep him around and not lose him. The potential is there!
    1. jorgenswest's Avatar
      jorgenswest -
      Thanks Seth.

      The Twins will have some decisions to make when Diamond, Swarzak, Wood and Deduno are healthy.

      My hope is they keep the pitchers with the upside. Wood and Roenicke have little. They should have taken Wood off the 40 instead of the 25 year old Burnett. I hope they don't choose Wood or Roenicke over Pressly. While any reliever can have a good ERA in a given season like Roenicke last year, I don't think either is part of the solution.
    1. IdahoPilgrim's Avatar
      IdahoPilgrim -
      Quote Originally Posted by jorgenswest View Post
      Thanks Seth.

      The Twins will have some decisions to make when Diamond, Swarzak, Wood and Deduno are healthy.

      My hope is they keep the pitchers with the upside. Wood and Roenicke have little. They should have taken Wood off the 40 instead of the 25 year old Burnett. I hope they don't choose Wood or Roenicke over Pressly. While any reliever can have a good ERA in a given season like Roenicke last year, I don't think either is part of the solution.
      The big thing Pressly has going for him is that they can't send him down without losing him. As a Rule V draft pick, if he doesn't stay on the 25-man roster all season, he goes back to the Boston organization.
    1. stringer bell's Avatar
      stringer bell -
      Best wishes to Pressly. If the Twins can get a good bullpen arm out of the Rule 5 draft, that is truly worthwhile, especially with the acquisition of Diamond a couple years earlier. I saw the only appearance in ST where Pressly yielded a run and IIRC there were a couple of SBs in that inning. I hope teams don't "run wild" on him.
    1. DAM DC Twins Fans's Avatar
      DAM DC Twins Fans -
      Great article Seth. I also hope the keep the kid around all year and give him a good shot. Best to go with young talent and see how much it will help when the Twins are a contender--hopefully 2014.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      I think in a rebuilding year, keeping the Rule 5 guys makes a ton of sense. Hopefully he can contribute a little bit rather than just needing to hide him at the back of the bullpen. The kid has talent.
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