Jordan Ellis is currently a relief pitcher for the Single-A level affiliate of the Phillies, the Lakewood BlueClaws. Drafted in the 28th round of the 2008 amateur draft out of Villanova University, Ellis got his pro career off to a great start with a 3-0 record and 3.00 ERA for short season Williamsport in 2008. He spent time with Lakewood last year also, as he posted a 4-4 record with a 6.42 ERA in 17 games.
This season, Ellis landed in the BlueClaws' closer spot after teammate Josh Zeid experienced some tough outings. Through 23 games in 2010, Ellis is 2-2 with 4 saves and a 2.73 ERA. I spoke with Jordan recently and that interview lies ahead.
Jordan, you've had a solid season thus far. What do you attribute to your success thus far in 2010?
The biggest thing is just trying to be consistent. I had an up and down season last year, and the biggest thing coming into this season was, obviously, to rebound and be consistent with my mechanics and on the mound. And that's really all I've been working on is making sure I just repeat pitches and keeping the ball down in the zone.
You were placed into the closer role recently. Has that changed your mentality or your approach at all, on a day to day basis?
Approach and mentality, no. I think whatever role I am put into, I just try to make sure I get three outs. I mean, that's ultimately my goal, every time I go out there, is to get three outs. Whether it's two innings, three innings, or just one inning, whatever point in the game really, ultimately I am just worried about getting three outs.
What to you have in your pitch repertoire and what do you consider your out pitch?
I have been just pretty much just throwing fastball, slider. But about a week and a half ago, I started throwing a cutter. It's got some good break, so as long as I can throw that, I've been told that could be my out pitch from now on. Until now, the slider has been my out pitch, that's what I've been throwing the most with two strikes, but if I can start repeating my- or throw my cutter consistently, the cutter could ultimately be my out pitch in the future.
Who's idea was that, or brought the idea up, to add that pitch to the menu?
It was actually mine. I've actually never thrown it (before recently). But I just knew, from being a 2-pitch guy that sooner or later I was going to need a third pitch and I hadn't even really messed with it in warm ups. So, I just brought it up to my coach, just because of where my arm slot is and how I throw my slider- I just thought it would be an effective pitch and I just one day went on the mound to throw it and had some pretty good success with it.
How much has pitching coach Steve Schrenk had to do with your success here with Lakewood?
He's helped a lot. We've been working on quickening my delivery. And ultimately, that helps me stay consistent, because I guess last year I was real long (to the plate), real slow. The biggest goal for this year was to quicken my delivery up and lessen the mistakes in my delivery. He's been very helpful and everything's been working so far.
The MLB draft was last week. What can you tell me about your draft experience in 2008, as a whole?
My experience...I guess you have to take it one step at a time. Try not to worry about it much and just let it happen. With my experience, the more you think about it, the more you want good things to happen and sometimes not everything goes your way. You may not get drafted as high as you like, so from what I learned, just let everything fall into place...where ever I get drafted, obviously, I am getting the opportunity and that's what it's about.
What were you doing when you found out and how did you find out?
I was with my girlfriend...we were at the shore, relaxing. It was a phone call from my agent first. And then the area scout, who submitted me in the draft and signed me, called me afterward and told me congratulations.
I always see you before the games...you're a guy that always signs autographs and never passes anyone up if they request an autograph. Can you address that and talk about what drives you to sign autographs every day?
The main reason is that I was in their shoes at one time. I can remember at that age, always wanting baseball players' autographs, because I loved the game. It was my passion and I can see why they want autographs. I think the biggest reason too was, I was younger, I can remember when I went to San Francisco Giant games...Barry Bonds, it was during batting practice, he was right next to me, I was at the end of the dugout and asked for his autograph and he said, "No", when it was only my dad and I and no one else there. And he walked inside for some interview...he never came back out until game time and I never got his autograph. And I think, from then on, I can just remember having that bitter taste in my mouth and thinking I would never be that guy to deny someone an autograph.
What is your favorite baseball movie?
Ever since I was a kid, The Sandlot was my favorite baseball movie growing up. I haven't seen it lately, but that was always a go-to movie when I was younger.
Coming up on this homestand, the BlueClaws are going to host an appearance by The Million Dollar Man Ted Dibiase on June 19th. (Click HERE for tickets) Are you familiar with The Million Dollar Man?
Ah, a wrestler, correct? He was a little before my time.
Well, during your time, who was your favorite professional wrestler?
I would have to say when I was younger, I liked The Rock. He brought a lot of attention to the sport.
That was it. I wished Ellis the best as he proceeds to lay the smack down on his opponents in true Rock fashion.
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