Ricky Barrett is a 25-year-old Twins minor league relief pitcher. A hard throwing lefty, Barrett is one of the several relievers trying to crack the Twins bullpen this spring training. He had a 3.42 ERA in 47.1 innings of relief work at Triple-A Rochester last season.
Barrett has had a rough spring training, giving up five earned runs in 2.1 innings in three appearances so far.
Q: What are your goals going into spring training?
A: Stay healthy and give myself an opportunity to win a spot at the major league level. If not, go back to Triple-A and compete from there.
Q: This is your second spring training. Any differences from the first?
A: Last year I knew I really had no chance so it was a learning experience to come in, see how things are run and get comfortable with the guys. This year is definitely more of an opportunity to make the team.
Rickey Barrett had a 3.42 ERA in relief last season at Triple-A. Brainerd Dispatch/Trevor Williams » Purchase reprints of this photo.
Q: Is there any more pressure when you're facing major leaguers in spring training?
A: A good friend of mine, Derek Lee (first baseman of the Chicago Cubs), told me that no matter where you are at, no matter where you are playing, it's all the same game. But obviously major leaguers are better hitters so you are trying to keep the ball down a little more.
Q: What are your best pitches?
A: My fastball, I'm throwing that 90 percent of the time. I usually throw in the mid-90's.
Q: What's the process been like from being drafted to being on the verge of the majors?
A: It's funny because it seems like it's been a long time. I had surgery the year after I got drafted. My shoulder was sore. I had torn a tendon. At that point, I felt like I was so far away from making the majors, never going to get there.
I was looking at my options, thinking about going back to school. Then the last couple years in the minors went by pretty good. Now I'm very close.
Q: You're 25 and the Twins are loaded in their bullpen. What do you think you need to do to crack the bullpen?
A: They always talk about needing that other lefty. And I want to be that other lefty. I just need to throw strikes. If I can pitch the way I know I can pitch, I'll be alright.
Q: You're going against other teammates for that spot in the bullpen. How do you view them?
A: I view them definitely as teammates. Obviously some guys who have big league experience have an advantage already going into spring training. But I don't want anyone to do badly. You don't wish that on anyone. If you wish for someone to do badly, it's usually going to be you.
TREVOR WILLIAMS, sports copy editor, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5866.
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