On his thoughts when he heard he was traded: “I think, obviously, the first thoughts that go through your head are the five great years I’ve been in Baltimore and the great teammates that I won’t have an opportunity to play with this year. It’s a city I have grown to love and fans I truly appreciate and fans I have enjoyed interacting with and playing in front of for the past five seasons. That was my first thought: Baltimore and everything there. That’s a huge chunk of my life.
“But then your thoughts turn to the future and looking forward and trying to work toward what the future can hold.”
On any surprise he had been traded: “Certainly surprised when I heard. This past month, month and a half, I was trying to concentrate on resolving my contract and preparing the case for it. So I think it is a huge surprise. The timing is not what anyone, myself included, would have expected. There are times when trades occur more frequently, and this wasn’t one I was prepared for.”
Going to a normally competitive Rockies team (which is the closest, about 500 miles, from his Utah home): “That’s the most exciting part for me, that’s the silver lining in leaving a city and team I truly love. It gives me a chance to go somewhere where you have a chance to compete this year, and I hope to be an important part of that. Hopefully, I will be a part of meaningful games throughout the season. It’s an opportunity I am really grateful for.”
On his time in Baltimore: “Everything in my life is done full speed ahead, never looking back. I feel like in five years I have accomplished a lot of things. First, I’m grateful for the chance to be on a major league roster, which the Orioles provided me. … Having guys like (former Orioles scout) Dave Hollins scout me when I was with the Indians … and Dave Trembley, who saw me in the minors and then on the big league coaching staff and the majors and believed in me, and Jim Duquette and Flanny [Mike Flanagan], who I can say who gave me a chance.
“I earned my stripes, per se, in Baltimore. It’s where I really broke into the league and then stayed there and pitched. Anytime you have one of those spots where your career essentially started, you really have fond memories. The team didn’t win as many games we would have liked and we had the potential to, but it was not for a lack of effort.”
On the enormity of the change: “I’m trying to process all of it. I’ve certainly grown attached to certain things and the people. … I won’t be going to games every night at Camden Yards, and that’s something I am going to miss.”
On pitching at Coors Field: “I’ve had chance to talk to some guys and … for the most part have gotten good reports. It’s a challenge, but anywhere you pitch is a challenge. Camden Yards certainly can be tough, when you consider all the great players that come through.”
On strategy at Coors Field: “I have to be down in the strike zone, but that’s what I need to do regardless of where I am pitching.”Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun