On the Road with Vinnie Pestano
It’s become an unmistakable sight in the late innings for Tribe fans – the high-octane sprint Indians reliever Vinnie Pestano makes from the bullpen whenever he gets the call from Manny. But how does he adjust at a place like the Oakland Coliseum, where the shorter distance to the mound seriously cuts into his cruise control? Why, the ‘Banana Route’ of course!
When did you start the sprint in from the bullpen?
“My first appearance in college, was really pumped to get out there and when our coach called for me I just kind of took off.”
You’ve done it ever since?
“Yep, it worked the first time so I stuck with it. Once you get a couple of years in then people start expecting it. Kind of stuck with it.”
So in Oakland, this has to be the shortest run in the league from the bullpen?
“Without a doubt. You cannot really get up to top speed in that short of a distance. Columbus, when I was down there, is kind of the same thing. What I do in those situations is kind of take a banana route to the mound. Give it a little extra room.”
You ever think about here or in Columbus taking a little loop around 2nd base?
“Maybe do a couple “poles”, you know sprinting foul pole to foul pole, and then a sprint into the mound maybe?? I don’t know how receptive anyone would be to that.”
How about doing a little “Heath Bell” slide from the All-Star Game?
“No, I don’t think I could pull that off. I have, however, been working on a back hand spring, ala what a gymnast does, but I’m a few weeks from breaking that out.”
What is the longest run from the bullpen in the league?
“Anywhere where it is dead in the middle of the outfield like Toronto, Texas, our place, Boston is very long too out in right field. Texas sticks out because it’s so hot. You get loose quick in Texas.”
So when you are day three in a row of pitching in a game do you ever sprint to the mound and say to yourself, “Gosh that wasn’t a very good idea”?
“No usually the third day everything is numb so you cannot even feel anything going into three in a row. That’s the least of my worries at that point.”