FutureBacks Q&A: Kyler Newby

FutureBacks Q&A: Kyler Newby

It doesn't matter what level you're pitching at, if you hold a 2.18 ERA and strikeout 66 hitters in 41.1 innings, people take notice. Not that getting noticed is something new to 6'5" Kyler Newby. FutureBacks talked to the Las Vegas native about what kind of training his time at Mesa Community College got him, and how a guy without an overpowering fastball is dominating the Northwest League.

FutureBacks:  You were an Ace at Mesa Community College, those of us in Phoenix know MCC's reputation in the Junior College ranks, but why don't you let the rest of Diamondbacks nation know how good a baseball school that really is?

Kyler Newby:  It's alright, the biggest and best thing I took out of MCC was discipline, because it's just a real disciplined program.  You wake up at 4:30 in the morning to lift weights in the fall, we run on Lombardi time, so you have to be everywhere 15 minutes before you're scheduled to be there.  If you're not on time, you don't play, and that discipline really helped prepare me for pro ball.  At MCC you can't slack off, you can't take plays or pitches off, because even though that's a Division II program, we play a lot of the bigger Division I schools.  Between the discipline and the competition, MCC helped a lot my first season, because that discipline is the same in Yakima.  You have to be on time, you have to be focused and ready to perform.

FutureBacks:  What did you throw with Yakima?

Kyler Newby:  I throw a fastball, curveball and change.  I'm really not throwing anything over 92 miles per hour, I can amp it up a little, but I'm comfortable throwing in the low 90s and that's how I've been most effective.

FutureBacks:  A look at your stats, especially your strikeout numbers, indicates that you've got some sort of dominant out pitch, what is that?

Kyler Newby:  I really don't, what I do, that I think is a little different than some guys, is that I'm always pitching against the game, not necessarily the hitter.  I've been a fastball dominant pitcher, and when I do that, I keep hitters off balance.  I'll throw three fastballs in a row, and just challenge guys to hit it.  I have three pitches, and a lot of guys at this level don't, so I throw the fastball, and if I need to then I'll throw the change, and that gets hitters thinking, 'Okay, he's got two pitches,' and then I can throw the curve and the hitters really get uncomfortable, thinking, 'Wait, he's got three pitches.'  It just keeps hitters off balance, that's the key.

FutureBacks:  Do you consider yourself a starter or a reliever, and did the D'Backs let you know one way or another which direction you'd be going?

Kyler Newby:  I consider myself whatever the team needs.  I've started, I've working in a set up role, I've closed.  I'm comfortable in whatever role the team needs me.  I was supposed to start the last week, and then the day before they needed me to come into a game as a reliever, and that's what I like, being able to help in whatever role I can.  I've been invited to the instructional league in Tucson, so that's a good sign, especially since I threw so many innings this year.  I think I'm going to end up being a starter, but I'd thrown 120 innings in college before I got to Yakima, so they were taking it easy on me at the beginning. 

FutureBacks:  You ended up throwing another 40 or so innings in Yakima right?  How does the arm feel after that workload?

Kyler Newby:  Honestly I've never felt better, my arm feels good, it feels really strong.  I threw four innings the other night, and came back the next day feeling really good.  I ended up throwing 45 or so innings in Yakima, so I'm closing in on 200 innings this year, and I've just felt really good, the conditioning here and at MCC has really helped me out.

FutureBacks:  Have you always had that ability to just throw all day?

Kyler Newby:  Not really, I've never had what you'd call a rubber arm.  In fact in high school, I had some soreness, it was tendinitis, and at MCC I ended up taking care of that with some programs that are really similar to what they had me doing in Yakima.

FutureBacks:  What kind of programs?

Kyler Newby:  There were two that really worked for me, a 'Two S' strength and conditioning program, and a Tubing Program.  Both just really helped build up my arm strength and I give a lot of credit for my success to those.  The 'Two S' program uses low weights and high reps, it's essentially stretching with weights.  It really gets your arm loose, makes you really limber, gets the acids out of your arm.  You just essentially are lifting weights in specialized motions that work for pitchers.  The tubing program is a little different, I do it Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, and it's pretty simple, it's just a rubber tube wrapped around a fence that gets stretched and it works to build up your arm speed.  I was doing high speed tubing, where it's low reps, just 15 at a time, and you're just doing the stretches as fast as you can, and it helps to build up your fast twitch muscles.

FutureBacks:  Were there any Major adjustments the Diamondbacks had you make?

Kyler Newby:  There were really minimal changes, but the biggest one was that when I got to Yakima I pitched out of a windup.  Our pitching coach here, Eric Sable, talked to me and suggested that I try going out of the stretch all the time.  So I did, and it really helped me with consistency.  The only other big thing I guess was an adjustment in where I came set.  Just moving my front foot a little bit toward first base, so I can see a runner on first base a little better, and that has helped me control runners better.  Outside of that they have really just let me go out there and do what I've been doing.

FutureBacks:  Your numbers were pretty startling, 66 Ks in just over 40 innings, an ERA just a hair over 2.00, did you expect to have this kind of success when you got to the pro game?

Kyler Newby:  No, honestly I didn't.  I'm confident, but I didn't think I'd succeed right off the bat like I have.  I've sort of tried not to think about it, I just kind of don't want to curse myself you know?  I think the thing that really helped me was that I brought a bulldog mentality with me from MCC, just wanting to go after hitters and take 'em down. 

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