War Eagle Extra has moved!

You should be automatically redirected in 4 seconds. If not, visit
and update your bookmarks.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Former Auburn, Columbus High pitcher Ty Kelley learning the ropes after signing with Angels

It's been a whirlwind week for former Auburn reliever Ty Kelley. The one-time Columbus High standout went from starting his summer league stint in Amsterdam, N.Y., to signing with the Anaheim Angels in the matter of days.

Now he's in Tempe, Ariz., ready to embark on a professional career with the Angels' Rookie league affiliate.

"It's awesome," Kelley said Tuesday. " It's going to be a great experience getting here and trying to meet everybody and figure everything out."

Auburn fans might not be familiar with Kelley's name. After making 11 appearances and starting three non-conference games in 2009, the 6-foot-4, right-hander pitched only four times last season, posting a 9.64 ERA in 4 2/3 innings. He would have been a fifth-year senior next season.

He joined the New York Collegiate League as a way to get some innings this summer and perhaps catch the eye of major league scouts. The Angels, who showed interest in him out of high school, signed him after he threw four scoreless innings in Amsterdam.

"It just kind of did catch me (by surprise)," Kelley said. "I kind of was hoping for something toward the end of the summer, but not that soon. And they called and then it just kind of caught me off guard and I kind of thought about it and weighed everything. I talked to a lot of different people. Everybody kind of felt like, they told me it was a great opportunity not to let it pass by."

Here's what else Kelley had to say:
(What are you feelings about signing with a major league organization?)
"It just kind of hit me yesterday when I was in the locker room and putting on the Angels jersey, it's just being a part of a great tradition with a lot of people who have been through there and people who have played for the Angels, it's awesome to be able to do that."

(How hard was it not being able to get many opportunities to pitch this year for Auburn)
"You know, it was tough. After a year, last year I threw quite a bit. And this year it was real tough. Especially as much success as our team had. It was awesome. When you're winning, you're happy. But it was tough just not being able to throw as much as I'd like to and not getting as many opportunities as I wanted. But I guess you can't really complain about that."

(After an inactive season, is your arm in shape?)
"I was kind of worried about that. I threw those four innings within a few days and it felt great. And then the next day it was ready, and it wasn't sore or anything. I think it's pretty good. It's not ready to be a starter and go five-plus, but it's good enough to just work my way to that point. Plus, I just got here and they're going to work with me in bullpens. I'll be conditioning and they'll get my arm strength back up. So I'll be ready to throw when they need me."

(What kind of role do you think you'll have?)
"Right away it'll probably be coming out of the bullpen, probably a short relief and then going into long relief. Maybe starter down the road."

(What are you first impressions of how the Angels operate?)
"It's kind of funny. I was thinking, we have a lot of rules, a lot of things you can do and can't do, it's a lot like playing for (Columbus) coach (Bobby) Howard. He gets you real prepared for the next level. A lot of the things we do here are a lot like that. Real instructional. It's not really a big, big difference, it's just a lot more work, because it's a job now, so it's a lot more work. You're at the field for eight hours a day, in the heat practicing and trying to learn new things. It's going to be a big step. The big thing now is the time difference, just trying to get used to everything for me. Everything else, it's something I've always done. So it's not new to me."

No comments: