NA -- I was very excited, a new opportunity and the Pittsburgh Pirates have a good tradition, and I was excited to get over there and perform for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
GVB -- You pitched for High Desert in the California League, which is a real hitter's league. You welcomed a change of scenery didn't you?
NA -- The California League is known as a hitters league, and if you pitch well there you can pitch anywhere. That's the kind of mindset that Seattle put into us. If you throw the ball well there, you can pitch in the big leagues. I really pounded that into my head. It was more of a pitchers league here in the Carolina League, which I was excited about. It was a good change of scenery, and I was excited to be there.
GVB -- Your combined record was 8-9 with a 5.29 ERA. How did you feel you pitched after the trade?
NA -- I came to Lynchburg and all the players and the coaching staff welcomed me with open arms. I thought I threw the ball really well; I had one bad start against Winston-Salem. Every other start after that and every start out of the bullpen went well. Coach Wally Whitehurst really worked me hard and got my mechanics straightened out a little bit and smoothed some things out. It went well and we ended up winning a championship, which is an unbelievable thing to be a part of.
GVB -- I saw you piggybacked a lot, how did they use you?
NA -- Last year I came off an injury and only threw like 76 innings and this year my innings were up and I had thrown quite a bit and I think that was a way to keep my innings down and give me a chance to see what it's like out of the bullpen and get a feel for it for future reference, but I'm going to be a starter. But that was a good situation for me to see what it's like to be out of the bullpen.
GVB -- You pitched in the playoff, was that good experience for you?
NA -- Playoff baseball is so much fun and there is so much more passion in the game. Every out and every play of the game meant something. It just makes you want to get there every year at the end of the year and win a championship for your team.
GVB -- How did you pitch in the playoffs?
NA -- I was in the bullpen and started game four. I pitched well; I threw against Wilmington and went five innings with two walks and three strikeouts. I threw the ball well and gave our team a chance to win.
GVB -- What is your pitching repertoire – what do you throw?
NA -- I'm a fastball, change up and curveball pitcher. I'm working on a two seam fastball and getting the ball to sink. I try to pound the zone with my fastball and I've got a good curveball and change up. I rely on my curve as my strikeout pitch and I get groundballs – that's what I like to do.
GVB -- What is your velocity like?
NA -- I'm about 88 to 92, I'll hit 93 – 94 every now and then, but I'm consistently around 88 or 92.
GVB -- What did they have you work on in the instructional league?
NA -- I worked from the right side of the rubber. I always worked from the left side and I would show the ball early to right-handers – so I went all the way to the right side of the rubber to help me on my fastball and get some more groundballs on my two seam and get some more life on my pitches. I'm going to work on it this off season and pound it and get ready for spring training.
GVB -- Do you have a timetable and do you feel good about your progress through the minor leagues?
NA -- Everybody has a goal, and you want to get to the big leagues as soon as possible. Everybody's has a goal you just don't want to be a minor leaguer. I'd like to be one of those guys that get called up in September – that's everybody's goal. They told me to be ready in spring training and battle for a spot at Double A. There's going to be competition, which is the way it should be. Nothing should be given and that's a good thing. I'm ready to go out there and battle.