05/08/2007 11:43 PM ET
Jered Weaver: I'm still a rookie
"One thing I've learned in the Majors is that you've got to develop a changeup," says Jered Weaver. (Ed Zurga/AP)
I'm just trying to take the same approach as last year and I'm going about my business as though I'm still a rookie.
You can never rest on your accomplishments in baseball. There's always going to be a bunch of very talented guys in the bullpen and in the Minor Leagues who want to take my spot. You never know what's going to happen. I have to continue to compete, improve and make adjustments every day.
For example, I'm trying to really develop my changeup because hitters are becoming more used to me every time through the league. I need that pitch to keep them off balance. One thing I've learned in the Majors is that you've got to develop a changeup. It's a big pitch. But there were times last season when I throwing it too firm.
I started working on the changeup before the season, but that was interrupted for a while after I was diagnosed with tendinitis. Recently, I've been able to get back to it. I've tried to really work on it in my recent bullpen sessions.
The injury made for a frustrating spring, sitting back watching everybody else throw. It's been a slow process, getting everything back together, from my mechanics to my velocity. I think getting that first win at Chicago (April 28) helped me turn a corner and get my confidence back. It demonstrated that the work I put in between starts was beginning to pay off.
Last year, I started 9-0, but a start like that doesn't happen too often in baseball. It was a good run last year, but this is a new year. I'm not worried that I didn't start out as well. What are you going to do? I know there are seasons you start off on the right foot and seasons you start out on a bad foot. Now, I hope I'm going in the right direction.
It's too long a season to let one bad start -- like the one I had against Detroit -- get to me. I trust myself well enough to know that whenever I go out there, I'll put up a good battle. I think it was a matter of going through a little bit of a dead-arm period. I worked harder in my bullpen following that start and then the extra work led to a good start in Chicago.
Things are starting to come together pretty well right now.
Jered Weaver won his first nine decisions last year, a feat accomplished only four times in history, before finishing 11-2 with a 2.56 ERA. The 24-year-old right-hander was slowed by biceps tendinitis this spring and didn't make his 2007 debut until mid-April.