Sergio Escalona, a non-drafted free agent signed by the Phillies in May of 2004, is in his 6th season of professional baseball. The 24 year old has been up and down from the minors to the big league club this season, several times. Escalona is currently pitching for the double A Reading Phillies. In 23 games with Reading this season, Sergio has no decisions, 12 saves and a 1.95 ERA with 26 K's in 27 2/3 innings pitched. The R-Phils are tied for second place, trying to clinch that second playoff spot in the Southern Division. I had a chance to speak with Sergio this week and here is how that went down.
What is the vibe around the clubhouse, with the standings so close?
It's very important for us to win games right now because we're trying to get in the playoffs.
Can I get you to talk a bit about your ups and downs this season?
Yeah. Five times I go up and down to the big leagues. The Phillies need some pitchers sometimes, so that is a reason. I'm doing very good here, so they call me up a couple times. I wasn't very- I was a little bit slow there, so I go down again to work on my stuff. And I don't know, maybe I'll come back in September. I'm working on that.
Who's your favorite teammate with the big club?
JC Romero. Yeah. He takes care of me up there.
What would you say your strengths are as a pitcher?
I take this day by day and that helps me a lot. And the pitching coach works with me every day, and that helps me a lot to BE CONSISTENT. And I just, a couple times I forgot that. And that is the reason I pitched poorly in triple A (0-2, 5.95 ERA). But right now I think I am ready.
Who has been your biggest influence?
God. It's all him. God.
What has been your most memorable moment so far this season?
My first inning in the big leagues. Definitely. It was amazing. My first day I got called up, I threw that day. And I won that game. So...amazing! I'll never forget that day.
Away from the ballpark, what do you most like to do?
I've got my wife here. I talk to her a lot. I read the bible. I listen to music and watch TV. I like Friends and The Simpsons.
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He'll be back, sooner or later.