June has been an interesting month. On June 1, I took my out with the Red Sox and ended up having to sit in Pawtucket for two and half days while they made their decision. I had no idea, but I guess there’s a 48-hour window from when you tell them you’re going to take an out to when they have to decide whether or not they want to call you up or allow you to take it. The team was on the road, and I stayed in Pawtucket waiting to find out…eventually getting let go at 11 p.m. on the night that they had until midnight to let me know.
From there, I went home for a couple days while we made the decision on where I would sign. I had interest from a few teams, but elected to sign with the Braves. My agent thought it was a no-brainer and that it was the best fit for me. They were basically asking me to come there for a 7-day tryout. I made one appearance for Gwinnett throwing 1 2/3 scoreless innings and had like four strikeouts.
Next thing I knew, I was in Atlanta. Since I’ve been up, it’s been kind of up and down. I’ve had some good outings and I’ve had a few tough ones. But they’re getting their money’s worth out of me. I’ve been throwing quite a bit, just kind of lefty situational stuff…kind of like the job I wanted that I wasn’t doing at the beginning of the year. I’m trying to get used to throwing almost every day again, so it’s been a little tough.
Roger McDowell is phenomenal and everybody on the coaching staff seems really good. As a pitcher, you don’t get to develop too much of a relationship with the management. Last year in New York, it took Terry Collins and I a couple months before we really got to know each other. It’ll probably be the same way with Fredi.
We have some really cool vets down in the bullpen, which has been really fun. We’ve got like four guys there with twice as much service time as me. We don’t have a lot of big-time superstars, but we have a lot of guys who want to compete. Nobody wants to give in and say, “We’re not supposed to be that good this year, so let’s just accept it.” Nobody wants to do that. Jonny Gomes is the vocal guy in the clubhouse that’s constantly trying to keep the guys on their toes and keep everybody pumped up about trying to win and do something this year. It’s a good group, and I’m really enjoying it!