Goody Coming Together

Goody is back pitching again in games

TAMPA, FL - One of the more disappointing news items early in big league camp was the unfortunate injury sustained by reliever Nick Goody. On crutches as recently as three weeks ago, not only is he back on the mound but his game is quickly coming together as he is now armed with two new pitches.

"I went home for my girlfriend's birthday dinner and got in a car accident," Good recounted the injury. "I got rear-ended and got pushed up into the car in front of me and just sprained my ankle. I was on crutches.

"I couldn't walk but kudos to the athletic trainers because three weeks later I'm pitching. I'm pumped. It was weird -- when it first happened I was extremely calm. I'm a firm believer in everything happens for a reason and God has a plan for everybody.

"I honestly look at this as a blessing in disguise. It gave my arm some extra rest. I didn't get to pitch over there but the experience I gained talking to some of the older pitchers, that goes a long way."

He pitched in his second minor league Spring Training game on Wednesday during intrasquads and looked strong, sitting 90-91 mph with his fastball and retiring three of the four batters he faced in a scoreless inning, including one strikeout.

"I feel good," he said with a smile. "The first outing I was amped up. You don't realize the things you take for granted until it gets taken away from you so every time I go out now I like to have as much fun as possible. I feel good and everything is coming together."

Everything is surely coming together. Yes he had his normal reliable slider working but he's got a new wrinkle in his arsenal -- a quickly developing curveball that he unveiled in game action on Wednesday.

"I'm learning it," he said. "I just started messing with it not too long ago and I've had a little bit of success with it. It has some good action, different from the slider, but we'll see what happens.

"I'm just messing around. Obviously the slider is what has gotten me to where I'm at now so I definitely don't want to throw that one away, but at the same time if I can throw a curveball for a strike and give the hitter a different look it's a plus."

As if showing a surprisingly solid curveball in the 75-77 mph range wasn't enough, he also threw some impressive changeups in the outing too and that's been a pitch he had not thrown much in games before either.

"It's just one of those things, one day I was working on it with a certain grip and it started taking off, and I was like 'this is pretty good'. I just worked with it and I have confidence throwing it to lefties and now I'm starting to throw it to righties.

"It's just a different look like I was saying. You can dump in a changeup when guys are sitting on your fastball and they have to have that in the back of their minds. Honestly, I like it and I think it's a good pitch and I think it will be a good pitch for me down the road."

Known for being a fastball-slider guy all of last year and into the beginning of big league camp last month before the unfortunate injury, Goody is now armed with four pitches.

"I wouldn't say I have four. I'm throwing four but as I said everything happens for a reason. I don't know what's going on but I'm going with it. If I can mix in a changeup it's good stuff."

Whether he will give himself credit for showing a quality curveball in the early going or not, the fact is Goody is coming off of a dominant debut season last year and now has shown he can mix in some other pitches for strikes as well, and he feels about as ready as he can be for the upcoming season.

"I'm excited. Obviously everybody's goal is to make it to the big leagues. I've seen what they do over there. I've learned a lot from Mo and a lot from the older guys.

"I'm just taking it in and I honestly believe that's where I belong. I just want to get out there and compete, and do the best that I can, and hopefully get up there as soon as possible," he concluded.

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