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Jeffress maintains positive attitude about 2017 season

SoVaNow.com / June 15, 2017
Former Comet Jeremy Jeffress worked two innings without allowing a run against Houston Monday night and now has three scoreless appearances in a row in the Texas Rangers bullpen.

He is currently 1-2 on the season with a 5.04 ERA. Jeffress has appeared in 27 games and has pitched 25 innings. He’s allowed 15 runs overall, 14 earned runs. The former Comet power pitcher has walked 14 and struck out that many, with a WHIP of 1.80.

Jeffress and Texas took on the Washington Nationals last weekend. Before the game, Jeffress met with the HCHS baseball team.

Jeffress has maintained a positive attitude about the 2017 season.

“It’s going all right, not too bad. I had a little bit of struggles early on, but I just have to back to what I’m normally doing, attacking hitters with every pitch instead of go at them with one pitch,” said Jeffress.

“I think I’ve been doing a lot better with that,” said Jeffress.

Jeffress recently got some well-needed rest in the bullpen after being used extensively earlier in the season.

Texas owned a .500 mark (32-32) through Tuesday night action, and the Rangers are still very much in contention for an American League wild card playoff berth.

“We know we’re a better team than what we’ve been doing. So, the bullpen has been a little rough. We’ve been trying to keep games close. Baseball’s just baseball,” said Jeffress.

Jeffress believes Texas can still reel in AL West division leader Houston. The Rangers won their fifth straight and downed the Astros 4-2 Tuesday. Texas and the Los Angeles Angels were 11 games in arrears of the Astros through Tuesday action.

Jeffress, who turns 30 in September, is working on a one-year deal with Texas. He seems comfortable with his current baseball home.

“All I can think about right now is this year,” said Jeffress. “I don’t know what’s going to happen. Being a bullpen man, it’s just tough to determine what teams are looking for in the years to come.

“I’m in a good place in Texas. I’m very close with a lot of the coaches, a lot of the GMs and stuff. I couldn’t say what the future is going to hold. I’m hoping to stay here for another year or so,” he said.

The hard-throwing right hander has an average pitch speed of 93.89 on his two-seam fastball, above the major league average of 92.23.

He has worked on developing a nasty split finger changeup, a pitch he developed in spring training. Jeffress usually works in short stints (usually one inning) as the Texas staff works through various baseball situations.

Jeffress continues to develop the mindset to attack opposing hitters with considerable intensity.

“I think it’s attacking with more than just one pitch. My sinker ball is a great pitch that’s predominately what I throw.

“Attacking guys with all the pitches. My split finger has been working very well for me this year,” he said.

His job is to make opposing hitters uncomfortable, and it appears Texas is still looking at Jeffress as a reliable option. Jeffress has two appearances under his belt in June and the Rangers have a lot of season left. As of Tuesday, they were 1.5 games out of a wild card spot.

Jeffress openly addressed his issues last season, when he ran into well-documented legal issues and had to go to rehab.

He is on a positive path now and believes he has further matured as a ballplayer and a person.

“Most definitely. I mean time will tell of how people grow. Being with the team, I’ve gotten to know the GM more, and we’ve had conversations about everything that I’ve been going through.

“Everything (is) going well from that point forward” he said.

The Jeffress family made the trip to Washington to see Halifax County’s only major leaguer last weekend.

Jeffress has a tattoo of Jesus Christ on one arm, and draws inspiration in a personal statement.

“You know my mother and father, Freddie and Yolanda, they raised me in church. I know who’s my Creator, who gets me through the rough times, gets me to the good times, I give him all the glory every single day.

“I wouldn’t be where I’m at right now, if it wasn’t for him,” said Jeffress.





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