Our first interview subject ever returns for a two part series as Erik Arnesen was kind enough to answer a few questions.
Arnesen is currently a free agent after leaving the Washington organization....
TRS; You spent last season with Syracuse for your first full season in AAA,Were there any differences in the
leagues between 2011 and 2012?
EA: 2012 was my first full season in AAA. I only spent a few weeks there in 2011 and spent
the remainder of the year in AA. The biggest difference that I have noticed between AA and AAA is
experience. The majority of the players in AAA have either spent time in the big leagues or are good
enough to play there and are just awaiting an opportunity. AA on the other hand will have a lot more
younger prospects, with a ton of potential but not a lot of experience.
TRS:You became an almost entirely a reliever last season,did you enjoy that role or did you prefer being in
EA: Early in my career I would have said that I prefer being a starter, but over the course of the last
several seasons I have learned to enjoy being a reliever. At this point I am happy doing whatever it takes
to pitch in the big leagues. I understand how to pitch and what I need to do to get people out. Starting and relieving are very different in terms of an approach to hitters, but both present challenges that make the respective roles fun. I have learned how to be successful as a starter and as a reliever. Spot starting, on the other hand, I have found to be the most challenging, which I think most pitchers would agree with. It’s
especially difficult late in the season, when your pitch count has been at a certain place, and then you’re
expected to throw substantially more in one outing.
TRS: Did the team think relieving was the best way for you to make the bigs? Or was it simply the best way
to fill a need?
EA:As a player, you’re generally not privy to the reasoning behind roster decisions. During spring
training last year I was throwing as a starter; I built up my innings and I thought I was in the rotation even
when I got to Syracuse. It wasn't until the rotation was posted that I learned I was relieving. It was a role
they needed filled and I was happy to do it.
TRS:The Syracuse Chiefs do much of their travel by air,but through smaller airports,did you find that limited
the camaraderie or enhanced it compared to the bus...
EA: The toughest part about flying instead of busing is how early the flights are. Everyone is half-
asleep or actually asleep on the plane. It does limit the camaraderie a bit, but there are plenty of long bus
trips to make up for it. Flying is usually a welcomed change in the travel routine.
TRS: Your strikeouts were down a bit last season,do you attribute that to AAA hitters or a pitch to contact
mentality from the pen?
EA: My strikeouts being down a bit last year I would contribute primarily to my role as a long reliever;
coming into a game, I knew that I had to do my best to keep my pitch count down and eat up a few
innings. Strategically, that doesn’t lend itself to a lot of strikeouts. Of course, the experience of many of
the hitters and their ability to battle in deeper counts also played a role.