I had a change to chat with Cardinal prospect Tyrell Jenkins this spring; the interview was conducted mid-February. Jenkins was a first round pick (50th overall) in 2010 as a right handed pitcher; the Cardinals signed him to a $1.3M bonus to buy him out of his football commitment to Baylor. Jenkins is a very promising prospect for the Cardinals, but control and injuries have limited this success; his latest setback was surgery on his right lat (not shoulder, as was commonly reported) last August. Jenkins is in Jupiter ready to start his throwing program.
ET: Hey Tyrell. I'm writing a Cardinal preview magazine and was wondering if you would answer some questions?
TJ: Yes because you spelt my first name correct. Lol.
ET: I take pride in learning about those I talk to. First off, how is the shoulder?
TJ: Shoulder has always been fine. It was my lat which kept tearing. They say "shoulder" directing towards the area of the injury.
ET: Gotcha. Have you started throwing yet? Any limitations at this point?
TJ: Yes. I've been tossing since Dec 14th. My first bullpen is Monday [Feb 17]. I've long tossed up to 150 feet and played mound catch also.
ET: Are you ready to let loose in your bullpen? Are they limiting the types of pitches that you will be throwing?
TJ: Yes, it's basically playing catch with a catcher down. About 75% range all fastballs.
ET: Have they let you know if you will be starting the year with a team or in extended spring training?
TJ: I won't be ready till late May or early June.
ET: What is your goal for the season?
TJ: End the year in St Louis.
ET: It's interesting that you mention that...the Cardinals have shown a tendency to use pitchers in relief when they are initially called up. If you were called up as a reliever, would that drastically change your warm up routine?
TJ: I honestly wouldn't know. I haven't been in that situation yet.
ET: The climates of Iowa and Illinois are a little different than in Texas; has pitching in those areas been a lot different than Texas?
TJ: I've learned to not even worry or complain about things I can't control. The more you think about those things, the more you tend to use it as an EXSCUSE. I just play.
ET: That's a good philosophy. Do you miss playing football?
ET: Is picking baseball over football a choice you regret?
TJ: Not at all. Better opportunity to makes ends meet for my family and kids.
ET: Did you hate the picture of you and Michael Wacha showing up at camp? (Picture posted above)
TJ: Ha ha; no it was pretty funny actually.