Oliver Perez Q&A

Oliver Perez Q&A

Pittsburgh starter Oliver Perez comes into training camp hoping to bounce back from a disappointing season a year ago. Lefthander Perez, who looked downright unhittable for most of the 2004 season when he posted a 12-10 and 2.98 ERA, struggled with his velocity, control and confidence last season and was one of the biggest disappointments in all of baseball as he wound up with a 7-5 record and his ERA ballooned to 5.85. Scout.com's George Von Benko spoke recently with Perez.

GVB You have to be anxious to get started?
OP I'm happy and ready to start spring training.
GVB What are your impressions of new pitching coach Jim Colborn and new manager Jim Tracy?
OP I was thinking that they were going to be quiet and serious, but they were laughing and we joked a little bit and that was good it made me feel at ease when I was at mini camp.
GVB Colborn has a very good reputation do you look forward to working with him?
OP A team is as good as it's pitching coach. We've got to follow him and learn a lot. Keep working and do our best.
GVB You have to want to bounce back after what happened last season. What approach are you taking?
OP Right now I just want to try and forget everything that happened last year and just come to camp and try and do my job and try to help the team.
GVB At mini camp the word was the fastball looked good and there was some bite to the breaking pitches.
OP I threw two bullpens and I threw hard because I pitched in Mexico and I just worked real hard to be prepared for spring training.
GVB Are you excited about some of the off season moves the team made?
OP There were some good changes because these guys know a lot about baseball and they can help the team and we needed some experience and they have a lot of experience.
GVB The club is expecting big things from the pitching staff.
OP Yeah, last year you saw Zach Duke and Paul Maholm and now they've got some experience and this year it's going to be a big year for the rotation.

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