Minor League Monday: Warren's education
When Adam Warren handed the ball to Joe Girardi following his Major League debut at Yankee Stadium against the Chicago White Sox on June 29 he realized something, he didn’t think he would.
No matter what the level, baseball is baseball.
“The thing you realize the most especially being back in Triple-A is it was just baseball,” Warren said. “There are more consistent players up there, but it’s just baseball and bigger stadiums. The game doesn’t change and you realize that once your back here.”
Warren admits he was rather nervous when he took the mound at Yankee Stadium for the first time. To his surprise, the nerves didn’t kick in until it was time to throw the first pitch.
“I’m not going to lie, I was pretty nervous,” Warren said with a grin. “I wasn’t very nervous during warm-ups or anything like that, but once I got on the mound I was nervous. It’s tough, because it’s hard to feel your body and get into a rhythm.”
Being on such a big stage didn’t make it easier for Warren to find his rhythm. In the past when he has lost his rhythm he was able to just take a step back and figure out what he needs to do to get back on track. However, the New York minute seems much quicker than a Scranton/Wilkes-Barre minute for the right-hander out of North Carolina University.
“Thinking back on it, it started with losing rhythm and I think being on the big stage kind of affected me in finding a way to work through it. I kind of got out there and I was fine and then all of a sudden ran into some trouble,” Warren said.
“Usually, I can take a step back and say OK, this is what’s going on and here is how I am going to fix it. I think maybe being on the big stage, with everything moving so fast I didn’t get that chance to say OK, this is what I need to do. I think I let it happen a little too fast and didn’t step off and say this is what I need to do.”
Despite the start not going quite as planned, Warren did get to soak up the atmosphere thanks to some helpful advice from Girardi before he headed to the hill.
“Once I threw my last pitch in warm-ups, I kind of looked around for a second and Joe Girardi told me that one of the things he wanted me to do, was just take 10 seconds at some point during the outing, and realize what I have done and just soak it all in and enjoy it,” Warren said. “I did that a few times and just said to myself wow I am pitching in the big leagues.”
Pitching in the big leagues was one of Warren’s goals since he first stepped on the mound as a child. However, he has achieved just half of his biggest goals.
“One of my dreams was to make it to the Major Leagues, but another one of my dreams was to stay in the Major Leagues,” Warren said.
In order to get back to New York and stay there, Warren feels he needs to continue what he has been doing all year and just become more consistent.
“I need to just keep doing what I am doing and be more consistent,” Warren said. “I want to refine my pitches, and just make sure I am able to pitch deep into games and learn from pitch to pitch and to not get caught up in my emotions and be unable to make adjustments.”
Controlling his emotions is something he feels he will be much better at the second time around. He admits he was disappointed with how he pitched, but he was overwhelmed by all of the guys who came over to him, and told him everything would be fine and he would get another chance.
“I can’t remember exactly what [Derek] Jeter said, but a lot of guys came over to me and said, you weren’t scared, you pounded the zone,” Warren said. “They just kind of told me I’m alright and I’ll get another opportunity. That was big for me, because as a pitcher when you’re on the mound and you don’t pitch well, you feel like you let the team down. So, for the guys to come over and pick me up like that was a big boost for me.”
Shortly after being sent back to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Francisco Cervelli talked to Warren and the two discussed what’s next. The plan includes hard work and intense focus. What it doesn’t include is giving up.
“Cervelli and I had about a five minute conversation and he told me to keep my head up and I just had a bad day,” Warren said. “The biggest advice he gave me was don’t let it bring you down and don’t let it take two or three months to get back to where you were.”
“I know I need to work really hard and I definitely cant sit here and feel bad for myself or I’ll never get back up there.”