|Addison Russ, image- Jay Floyd|
In six relief appearances this spring the 25-year-old notched a 1-0 record, a 1.59 ERA and a .263 batting average against.
Last year in 55 appearances with Double-A Reading, Russ, who was the Phillies' 19th round draft selection out of Houston Baptist in 2017, posted a 5-6 record with 22 saves, a 2.54 ERA and a 12.9 K/9 mark.
Anxious for baseball to get rolling again, Russ talked with me this week, offering feedback on his time around the big league team this spring, his production in Grapefruit League play, his uniform number, how the break in the schedule impacts his progress and more.
Read ahead for remarks and insight from Russ.
- What did you do over the off-season to prepare for the 2020 campaign? And did the invitation to big league spring training alter your plans or routine?
I try to stick to the same routine every off-season. I take some time off and let the arm and body recover and then slowly work back into my throwing routine. Usually, around Thanksgiving I will start throwing again and ramp it up as weeks go on. The invite to big league camp altered the plans in a positive way, I went into my bullpen phase earlier and got the arm going quicker since I had less time to report.
- You performed well in Grapefruit League action. Can you share some thoughts on the results and is it what you expected?
The success I’ve had is just from trusting my stuff and trusting the defense behind me. You’re in a big league game with big league defenders behind you so it’s awesome being on the mound knowing that the best of the best are behind you to help in every way that they can. It’s been more than I could expect. It’s been surreal.
- You were wearing number 69 from what I've seen. Nice. There's some humor tied to that jersey number. What's the vibe when getting assigned that number? Meaning- would guys rather not get it or maybe is there fun attention where other guys say they want it instead?
It’s definitely fun. There is always some fun when you get to see what number you are given. Mine just happened to be a number that has some ties to it and some guys definitely wish they had it instead.
- Is there a Phils coach and/or a Phils teammate this spring that helped you a lot or that you've learned the most from?
I’ve kind of just been open ears to everyone. Being in the clubhouse with those guys is awesome. There is so much experience when you look around you and so much knowledge to learn so I really just tried to take all of it in!