[Ed. Note: We hope you enjoyed part one of this interview with Ty Buttrey. Here is the remainder of said interview.]
Being a taller pitcher, is it harder for you to repeat your mechanics? Is there something you worked on this year in particular? You’ve really cut down on the walks this year.
“Yeah...I was a starter for four and a half years. My last time was in AA and actually I got converted from a starter to a reliever halfway through the year and I noticed a pretty significant just kind of change in everything; mindset, the way my arm was moving, the way my mechanics fell.
I was being more aggressive. My curveball and my change up went up a tick. My fastball was coming out better. And I didn’t really have the strikeouts there but I wasn’t giving up many hits, I wasn’t giving up many runs at all.
And then last year I think I just kind of piggybacked from 2016 and I had a very dominant year in AA. I had a couple, you know, blow up games that kind of blew my ERA up and that was kind of a similar story in AAA. I had a couple shutouts. I wasn’t there for long, I think I had about a 7 ERA. I had a couple 4 or 5 spots put on me. It was the next level and I kind of let the game speed up a little bit and I wasn’t confident enough in my mechanics and delivery and didn’t really understand the reliever mindset yet.
So I was kind of searching for some things, but I went to the Fall League and was able to kind of slow the game down: work on my running game, not be so quick to the plate. I worked on my changeup and my curveball a lot.
And coming into this year, I’d say the biggest mechanical adjustment was in the first probably, say month. I was getting a lot of strikeouts for the first two months and then I went through about a week of ‘man, the ball’s not coming out the same’ and I noticed that I was dropping my glove side. My glove side was dropping so much lower and beforehand I was keeping my glove out, keeping it above my head, having that strong front side as pitchers call it. And that just kind of allowed me to stay back over the rubber, repeat my mechanics.
I was able to just, if I needed to throw a pitch up and in you knew it would be up and in it wasn’t hope to be up and in. Having a purpose for every single pitch. So that mechanical tweak definitely helps but I think the biggest thing was that my confidence got a lot better.
I kind of found out who I was as a pitcher. I stopped listening to all the noise of ‘hey Ty, do this, do that’ and I basically stuck for what worked for me and what was comfortable for me; what I knew I was going to have the most success doing, not what somebody else was telling me to. Obviously when people give me advice I listen to it, I apply it, and if I like it I keep it. If not, you know, maybe make an adjustment.”
Growing up on the East Coast, spending your career in the Red Sox organization, do you know anybody in the Angels organization? You have any buddies here other than the one you got traded with?
“Actually the only guy I know is Noe Ramirez. I know him pretty well. I spent 4 or 5 years, not on the same team, last year I spent about a month and a half with him on the same team, and he is with you guys pitching well and he’s an awesome guy.
He always kind of looked out for me and was just a really good dude that helped me out being a rookie coming into AAA not really knowing what to do.
When I actually got traded here I was like ‘oh sweet.’ One, Jerez is coming over, him and I are pretty good friends we’ve been on each others teams for probably 5 or 6 years now. And Noe’s over here so hopefully whenever I get the opportunity, whenever I get the call up I’ll at least know one guy.
I’m sure everyone else is pretty cool.”
Noe’s a local guy too, so I think you have your roommate situation figured out, right?
[Laughs] “Yeah, that’s awesome.” [Laughs again]
Aside from baseball, what do you like to do?
“Everyone keeps asking me if I like to hunt because I’m from the South and Charlotte is not. Charlotte’s a big city but if you take 20 minutes outside of Charlotte, it’s not the country, but it’s cool because it has all types of scenery. But it’s very diverse in all the things to do there.
But hunting, I’m not a big hunter, I’m not a big fisher. I’m actually not good at fishing whatsoever; I’ve tried to get into it and I am just terrible. I waste money every time trying to buy poles.
I got married this offseason, on December 31st. My wife and I have been together 5 years. So most of my down time I kind of just commit to her and family time. I’ll play Xbox. I like getting into some real estate stuff, I’m doing some side things with my family and learning that business a little bit.
Not too many set hobbies. Just take it day by day and see where I go.
Do you have any crazy or funny minor league or Grapefruit League story you can tell that won’t get anybody in trouble?
“That won’t get anybody in trouble? [Laughs]
The first bus trip I took we went to Tri-Cities. This was in the New York Penn League. We got in and the faucet kept running all night, we had one bed, two guys. I slept on the floor. There was a little couch so I made a bed out of it.
The blinds were ripped off the wall and there was a huge red light that was just shining in the room the whole time. And, yeah, we were just like ‘what? where in the world are we right now? Like, what is this?”
Have you had the ability to eat at In-N-Out Burger yet?
“Last year when I went to the Fall League I went twice. You know there’s a lot of hype around it and I like it a lot but I’ll be honest with you, I wasn’t a fan of the fries. The burger was unbelievable and the milkshake was amazing. Now the fries, I’ve had better fries but I’m sure people may disagree with that.”
Actually that’s kind of the consensus. So, long running question on Halos Heaven that we ask of everybody. If you had your choice of eating at In-N-Out Burger or Five Guys with Fries, which one are you going to choose?
“Oh jeez. Um. I’m going to have to do Five Guys. Do they have Five Guys out here?
Yes. There are Five Guys out here.
“Ok. Chick-fil-A, they have Chick-fil-A out here too?”
Yes we do.
“Chick-fil-A just started getting big in the Northeast so I was excited to have that, it’s probably my favorite fast food place. Five Guys, I obviously love it but I try to watch the calories and all the grease and stuff when I’m playing.
But In-N-Out, maybe I haven’t had it long enough. I’ve only had it once or twice. There’s so much hype about it and I’m going to try it out a little more. The menu’s simple, you can’t really get the menu wrong. I think the first time I walked in there I sat there for like 10 minutes looking at the menu and my buddy was like ‘what is there to look at it’s a single cheeseburger, a double cheeseburger, what type of drink and fries.”
Overall, a really great guy to interview.
I really enjoyed the chat, and I hope you did as well. Ty will see this later on, so leave a comment if you would like to. You can follow him on Instagram @tybuttrey.
And, yes, I did tell Ty about the hidden menu at In-N-Out.