Yankees quotebook: Spring Training interview extras, Part 1
TAMPA - Every Spring Training, we at YES conduct interviews with many of the players in Yankees camp, and space those sessions out to bring you great content throughout the spring.
As Spring Training 2017 turns into the regular season, though, we still have a handful of transcripts that we've yet to turn into features; we don't want them to go by the wayside, so what we've done is pulled a few fun, interesting, or noteworthy nuggets from each of those transcripts and put them in a quotebook format for you to enjoy.
It's not quite a lost archive, but you can call this our digital extra: the best of the players you haven't yet heard from this season. This is part one, featuring six players on the 40-man roster as the season opens, and you can check out the prospect version in part two.
LUIS CESSA on working for FOX during the World Series last year: "It was a beautiful experience, but it was definitely different. I had the opportunity to be an announcer, but at the beginning, I felt like I was still a fan, so I would just watch the games, and when it was my turn to speak, I wouldn't say anything! I was just concentrating so hard on the game, but after a while, I started to shift my focus and got more comfortable in the role, and it was a lot of fun."
CHAD GREEN on developing his fastball: "It's kind of a crazy journey with that. I wasn't really a hard thrower in college - upper-80s to low-90s, nothing crazy - but year-by-year, the velocity has just kind of ticked up. I think some of that might have to do with just maturing a little bit more, and my workout routine in the off-season, but I don't really know where that keeps coming from - I'll take it, though!"
KYLE HIGASHIOKA on paying off the Yankees' faith in him: "It means a lot to me, and I think it means a lot to the Yankees, too. I started here when the Yankees drafted me (in 2007), and they've continually put enough trust and faith in me to keep me around. They let me develop, and it all helped me have the year I had last year. Now, hopefully, they think I'm ready, and I can make it to the Majors."
JONATHAN HOLDER on his bond with his alma mater, Mississippi State: "Going to Mississippi State was the best thing that ever happened to me. I learned from one of the best pitching coaches in college baseball in Butch Thompson, and learned how to be a closer. I also learned how to be mentally tough and go through adversity, and I wouldn't trade those years for anything. They did so much for me over the three years I went there that I feel now like anything I can do to give back, it's the least I can do. So, I try to go back as much as possible, and mentor some of the guys that are coming up, especially the underclassmen. I try to boost them up and give them some confidence and get them on the right track."
TOMMY LAYNE on embracing the title of lefty specialist: "Honestly, it's the spot I'm most comfortable with: coming in when there's guys on base and a big left-handed hitter coming up that can impact the game. If there's a situation there where they need a lefty out, that's where I fit. I've proven I can get righty hitters out, too, but in my heart, I love being a lefty specialist, so I've tailored my mechanics towards that, and I absolutely embrace it. I love being able to pitch every day, and I love always coming in when the world's on fire. I'd rather pitch every day than once every five days, that's just me, so yeah, I absolutely embrace it."
LUIS SEVERINO on his time in the bullpen in 2016: "It was…it was very good, you know? It helped me a lot, because I never knew when I was pitching so I had to be prepared every day and had to work every day. For me, I want to be a starter, but they needed me in the bullpen, and I just want to help the team win."