Activated on Thursday from the disabled list after dealing with a shoulder strain, right-hander Ben Lively will help the Double-A Reading Fightins push toward the postseason.
In 22 starts this year for Reading, the 23-year-old sports a record of 8-7 with a 4.17 ERA while striking out 96 batters and walking 42 in 127 1/3 innings.
Lively was acquired last off-season from Cincinnati for Marlon Byrd.
Earlier this month, I spoke with Ben about some ups and downs this season, his excitement level to be chasing the Eastern League crown and more. Read ahead for that interview.
-You’ve mostly been consistent this season, but have had some shaky outings. What are your thoughts on your 2015 thus far?
We’ve been working on a lot of stuff this year. I kind of got in a little funk and that got me down, and that’s what kind of got me up and down and I haven’t been consistent. But, this past outing we were watching stuff from last year, kind of nit picked little stuff we needed to work on and it’s been working out. I feel like everything just snapped in and I’ve been working in my bullpens and everything’s been feeling great and hopefully, it turns on the rest of the way.
-You spoke of reviewing film and making adjustments. What can you share about what you worked on?
I mean, just like kind of worked on my front side. Tried to stiffen up my front side, to get more power and stuff. I was spinning off and I was throwing the ball all over the place. I feel like I have to get everything where I want it. Everything felt ten times better (in my last start) with the things we adjusted to.
-In a recent outing, you probably had one of your worst lines in a game this year. When you allow six earned runs and get tagged with the loss, are you able to take positive things from that?
You definitely have to take things from it. I know what I did. I was just leaving too good of pitches- even when I was ahead in the count- I was leaving too many pitches over the plate and they got a hold of me. But that’s why we made the adjustments and it paid off.
-As the season begins to wind down, the buzz around this Fightins team is that this group could run through the playoffs with ease. Is the club really excited for that playoff chase?
Absolutely, I mean we’ve turned it on lately and with the news guys, everyone’s been turning it on. We need to keep building forward and keep shooting for the postseason.
Absolutely. I mean, yeah it can be anyone’s night in the postseason. You just have to do your thing, keep working and do what you’re best at.
-The team got plenty of new additions in recent weeks with the signing of Destin Hood and acquisitions at the trade deadline. Has that given the team a boost of energy to push toward the postseason?
I mean the way they’ve been playing, it definitely brings a lot of energy in the dugout and in the locker room. You know, everyone’s excited. Everyone knows these new guys are going to do nothing but help us and it’s getting us excited for the postseason. Everyone is starting to look forward to it.