Righty hurler Tyler Viza had a noteworthy season in his first full year in the pro ranks in 2014. After being the Phillies’ 32nd round draft choice in 2013 and posting a 1-0 record with a 1.41 ERA in 12 games with the rookie level Gulf Coast League team, the Arizona native dealt with considerable struggles this year. Notching Class A Lakewood’s all-time record for losses, with his 3-17 record, the six-foot-three 170-pounder held tough, sticking in the BlueClaws’ rotation for the full campaign, sporting a 5.29 ERA with 80 strike outs and 24 walks issued in 126 innings pitched over 24 starts.
Not discouraged by the infamous achievement, the 20-year-old is looking forward to a fresh start in the upcoming season and has been focused to stay in shape and improve during the fall and winter months.
This week, I spoke with Viza about how he’s maintaining his conditioning, how he feels about last season in retrospect and more. Read ahead for the full interview.
-Off the top, I’m just wondering what your current workout routine is. Any gym training, cardio, that sort thing you’re doing to keep in shape?
As of right now my off season routine consists of throwing on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Each of those are followed by an upper body workout. On the rest of the days, those are my leg and core workout days.
-Is the fitness routine provided by the Phillies, or something you put together yourself?
My workouts consist of lifts that the Phillies provide for us and a little bit of lifts that I did throughout the season that I benefited from.
-What is the most different about this off-season compared to ones in the past?
This off-season is different from last because I am trying to get my body and mind to a place where I can come into spring training ready to go. I feel as though I am in the best shape of my life so far and I am very antsy to get back on the mound this (upcoming) season.
-Are you holding down an off-season job at all? Any sort of coaching or clinics you’re helping with?
I am doing little lessons here and there for younger ball players, trying to give back to the community.
-Retrospect point of view…months later, what is your level of satisfaction with your first full pro season?
Looking back on the season, I feel as though I learned a lot about myself and the pitcher that I want to become. I had some difficult times, as any player does in their career, and I was determined not to let the game beat me up and to learn from my mistakes moving forward. I am very happy that I got to learn and experience this earlier in my career.
I am very excited once again to get back at it this year.