KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- During his first big league camp a year ago, right-hander Paul Clemens impressed just about everybody who watched him pitch. Pitching coach Doug Brocail was a huge fan, and veteran hurler Brett Myers was one of the players who took Clemens under his wing, keeping up with his progress all season in the Minor Leagues.
Clemens struggled in the Triple-A Oklahoma City rotation before ending the season at Double-A Corpus Christi, and he said he put some pressure on himself.
"I loved it because I knew there were guys in my corner," he said. "They saw the light at the end of the tunnel, but with me struggling, I didn't see that light. It kind of hurt me, because I wanted to be [in the Majors] so bad with the way Brocail, Myers, [David] Carpenter and [Bud] Norris and the guys took me under their wing. I kept pressing and pressing, which in turn kept digging me in a hole."
Clemens, acquired from the Braves in the Michael Bourn trade in 2011, has terrific stuff and is ready to put it all together this year.
"It was good to get an offseason and hit the reset button and come back fresh," he said. "The ball is coming out of my hand real tight now. I feel great, and I'm right where I want to be physically and mentally."