Roger Mooney covers the Tampa Bay Rays for The Tampa Tribune, TBO.com and News Channel 8. He has covered the Rays since their first season in 1998, including 11 years for the Bradenton Herald. Roger has also covered Florida, South Florida and Florida State football, the Bucs and the Lightning.
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Josh, meet Jeremy
Posted Oct 4, 2011 by Roger Mooney
Updated Oct 4, 2011 at 01:53 PM
ST. PETERSBURG This interesting Q & A took place this morning when Josh Hamilton spent a few minutes at the podium in the interview room.
Q. Josh, you were able to play with (Jeremy) Hellickson a little bit in the Minors. How well did you get to know him during that time and what stood out to you?
JOSH HAMILTON: Did I? Seriously? ‘06? Was he on the Hudson Valley team?
Q. For about 20 games.
JOSH HAMILTON: Really. I had no clue. I was still coming back, guys. I was still getting everything figured out (laughter).
Honestly, I can’t answer the question because I have no clue or remember him being there at all. But that’s pretty cool. I might talk to him about it.
Q. I guess not his teammates, but what are your impressions of Hellickson as a pitcher, just from facing him this year? I know you did that.
JOSH HAMILTON: He has good stuff. He has confidence when he is on the mound, and obviously as an athlete and as a competitor that’s what you want to have.
He mixes his pitches up well. He is a lot like James. You know, I think James has done it a little longer and a little better over the years. He has kind of honed in a little better.
The key is with guys like that is see the ball up. You know, they are going to try to get to you chase out of the zone until you lay off, and then you kind of rattle them a little bit or make them throw pitches they don’t want to throw.
So fastball, curveball, change, that’s what he throws. And his change-up is his go-to pitch. And he is like some other guys you face, which he is 92, 93. He will not blow it by you. You have to have the approach of letting the ball get deep, seeing it up and putting an aggressive swing on it.