We had a chance to talk to 2009 BlueClaws pitcher Justin De Fratus earlier this week. De Fratus went 5-6, 3.19 with the BlueClaws this year, spending the first-half in the bullpen and second-half in the starting rotation. He turned 22 in October and is likely headed to Clearwater with manager Dusty Wathan and many of his BlueClaws teammates next year.
- How do you feel after the oblique injury (which ended his season a week before the playoffs)…I feel great. I’ve done a lot of ab workouts, focusing on the injury to make sure it never happens again.
- Watching the playoffs after you’d been such a key contributor all season…I wanted to be out there but at the same time you have to understand a career is bigger than a Single-A Championship…Don’t get me wrong, I wanted to win badly, and we did. It would have been harder if we didn’t win, but we did. It showed me how good, how deep that team was.
- Off-season workout plan…I got home from Instructional League on October 3rd and still wanted to give my oblique some time, so I really started getting it going in the second week of November, when I started doing my running and workouts. I’ve thrown a few times but haven’t gotten too crazy with that. I will soon, after the start of the new year.
- Starter or reliever…They haven’t told me either way. I think I’ve had success at both, and I don’t care to be honest. I just want to play in the big leagues. Whatever is going to get me to the big leagues faster is fine with me.
- What did you think of the Halladay trade?…I didn’t think about it from an opportunity standpoint, but to me I lost two friends, especially d’Arnaud. He was with me every step of the way, from GCL to Williamsport to Lakewood. That was the toughest part for me, losing Travis. I’ll run into him again, and the game goes on. I’ll just do what I can do. Hopefully it works out.
- If you face d’Arnaud, do you know how to get him out?…No. He owns me. I think he’s 3-3 off me, hit one off my hand, one off the wall, and a laser past the shortstop. We’ll see.
- Plans for 2010, obviously likely Clearwater to start…The Phillies haven’t pointed me in the wrong direction at all. I’m going to trust what they want to do. If they feel a full year at Clearwater is what I need, then great. They’ll do the right thing by me and the organization.
- Your championship ring…That’s going to be sweet. I’ll have that one on all the time.