CHICAGO -- Maligned Chicago Cubs pitcher Jose Veras isn't going to give in to failure as he continues to try and find his stuff. He lost it somewhere between signing a one-year, $5.65 million deal and losing his closer's role earlier this month. But he's not giving up.
"If something goes wrong in your life for a month you think it's going to be bad for 12 months?" he asked rhetorically on Tuesday afternoon. Of his struggles, he said "it's not going to be there for six months. It's going to be there for a little bit. And warriors don't give up on it. That's what I am. I'm a warrior. One day it's going to turn around and that's it. It's gone."
That's the hope at least. So far "it" hasn't been there for Veras. He struggled in the spring, blew two saves in the regular season and then even gave up two home runs this past Sunday in his new role as a middle reliever.
"I'm sure we haven't seen the best of him," manager Rick Renteria said. "He'd be the first to tell you that."
Renteria is backing up his player as much as he can, but the struggles continue. At least Veras started to find the strike zone Sunday as his previously wild curveball produced two outs, including a strikeout. But he still gave up two long balls on sinker/fastballs.
"My curve and my changeup are better," Veras said.
You have to start somewhere as Veras will need some work to lower his 15.43 ERA. Renteria vowed to find it for him.
"It could be at any moment," Renteria said. "We could be up by 10 or down. He needs to pitch."
It just won't be in pressure situations unless the Cubs get desperate. Veras doesn't care. He just wants a chance to prove he can do it.
"What doesn't kill you will make you stronger," Veras said. "It will turn. You think it's going to be bad all day? And then two weeks later you don't even remember what happened."