The Orioles’ 4th round draft pick in 2009 out of South Mountain Community College, Randy Henry signed for $365,000 and made his pro debut with Delmarva this season. He’s coming out of the bullpen right now, but we could see him added to the rotation soon.
I caught up with Randy Henry at Twin Lakes Park during spring training 2010. We discussed his injury, his history and his future.
JT: You had Tommy John Surgery in your senior year of high school. What do you think caused the injury?
RH: I was probably a little underdeveloped. I didn’t lift a lot of weights, I didn’t do a lot of that. It was probably too many innings and too much stress on my arms.
JT: How does a pitcher who has had Tommy John Surgery regain arm strength?
RH: You do a lot of rehab during the first 4 months when you come back, before you do any throwing. You do a lot of rehab and a lot of strengthening and that’s really where you get it from. Once you have an injury like that, you keep doing your rehab that way you can maintain strength.
JT: Is your arm back at full strength from the surgery?
RH: Definitely, definitely. I would say it’s probably even better. I feel better than I did before I had the surgery. If I keep doing my rehab it should stay that way.
JT: What does it feel like, pitching for the first time after the surgery?
RH: (laughs) The first time I threw, honestly, it felt like I had never thrown a baseball before. It was definitely something different to get back and getting used to trying to throw. But after the first or second time, I threw it well, back to where I felt really good.
JT: Reports say scouts were impressed with your breaking ball after surgery. Did it take time to regain confidence in the pitch?
RH: My college coach wouldn’t let me throw it, the first three or four outings I only threw fastballs. When I first came back and started throwing my breaking pitch, it was about two or three games before I started working pretty well.
JT: You also played second base and shortstop in high school. Why do you like pitching better?
RH: (laughs) To be real honest with you, I don’t like pitching better. I did like to hit and I did like playing a position better and the Orioles want me to pitch. They want me to pitch so that’s what I’m going to do. But the more that I pitch the more I like it.
JT: I haven’t seen you pitch yet but reports say you have very clean mechanics. How important is that?
RH: I believe mechanics are one of the most important parts of pitching. Pitching is location, you have to be able to locate and be under control. I think a part of throwing strikes, throwing the ball where you want to and having good movement and good breaking pitches is a huge part. Mechanics are a huge part of that.
JT: Do the Orioles plan to use you as a reliever or starter?
RH: When we’ve talked about that they don’t really know what they are going to do yet. I guess when I get out to Delmarva they will tell me what they are going to do, but we haven’t talked about it a whole lot.
JT: Do you have any goals for 2010?
RH: I honestly just want to go out there and get some innings, get my career underway and get throwing. We want to win some games, definitely want to win some games.
This interview is from spring training, so the starter/reliever question has obviously been answered, for now.