Tuesday, May 25, 2010

PhoulBallz Q&A With Colby Shreve

Colby Shreve is a right-handed pitcher with the Phillies Class A affiliate, the Lakewood BlueClaws. A 6th round draft selection in 2008, Shreve injured his pitching arm about a month and a half prior to the amateur draft and missed all of 2008 and 2009 while recovering from surgery. Through 8 games this season, after making his pro debut about a month ago, the 22-year-old Shreve is 3-1 with a 2.70 ERA for Lakewood.

I had the opportunity to speak with Colby over the weekend and that interview lies ahead.

Can I get some comments from you about this hot start to your professional career?

I've just been working, since I came back from my surgery, just getting all my mechanics to where they were pre-surgery and it's helped out a lot as far as locating the ball and getting a good downward angle. I think that's led to a lot of my success.

You had Tommy John surgery, which delayed your professional career. What was the recovery process like for you?

It was long, very long. In college, it was about half way through the season that I had to have Tommy John surgery. It was tough and then I almost got all the way back (11 1/2 months of rehab) and it still didn't feel right of the mound, so I went back to (Dr. James) Andrews...had an MRI and an x-ray and they saw a little bone spur and they took it out, and it's been great ever since.

With your injury status where it was, at the time of the draft, and the Phillies still going ahead and drafting you...did that have a positive effect on your recovery, that someone was still so confident in your abilities to draft you as early as they did?

Yeah, definitely. I think Nick Adenhart, who unfortunately passed away last year, he pretty much paved the way for guys. While he was a guy who had the surgery or was going to have the surgery, the Angels still took him pretty high. I think the surgery is so successful nowadays that teams aren't going to shy away from a guy with Tommy John, or even a shoulder (issue) now, 'cause you're going to come back. And usually with Tommy John, come back stronger.

Who was most supportive to you during your recovery process, whether inside baseball or outside baseball?

My parents were very supportive. Also, Brian Cammarota, the rehab coordinator of the minor leagues was awesome. He was there with me everyday, through the ups and downs, trying to keep me level headed, and keep my eyes on the prize. He did a great job.

What is your pitching repertoire like?

Just a 4-seam fastball, change up and curve. I think, by far, my change up is my best pitch. My curve ball is coming around too. I'm going to keep on working on it.

How big of a help has Lakewood pitching coach Steve Shrenk been for you thus far, since you started with the BlueClaws?

A tremendous help. He and Lance Carter and Chuck Hernandez, who I was down with in extended spring training, they all had a specific plan for me going into spring training. They all helped me with that in spring training and while I was in extended (spring training).

Who was your favorite pitcher, before becoming a pro?

Verlander. Yeah, Verlander's the man! He throws hard and he's got a nasty curve ball.

What do you think of the park and fans in Lakewood thus far?

Oh, it's awesome. They're awesome. It's definitely a change, coming from spring training, and extended, where there's 10 people at the game. It's just electric when you step into the stadium and there's 7,000 people watching you and screaming when something good happens, so it's amazing.

What is your favorite baseball movie?

Probably Bull Durham. It's just hilarious. I think it realistically paints a good picture of what the minor leagues are. A lot of people have kind of a jaded view of what we do, as far as the bus trips and all the time sitting around, but they just did a great job of illustrating that.

What sort of advice might you give to young players who hope to continue playing baseball beyond high school, whether it's in college or professionally?

I would tell them to listen to your coaches. They're not there to mess with your head or anything, because they want to help somebody they're close to. They are there for your benefit. Another thing I would say, from an injury standpoint, you've gotta take time off. I remember those days when I was 10-15 and we were playing year round it was great, it helped me develop, but at the same time, it may have contributed to my injury. So, just take time off.

Do you think there is anyone on the BlueClaws team that might be a bit underrated?

I think our whole bullpen is awesome. I've switched back and forth from starter and reliever, and they just come in and they're prepared, they know what's going on, and they just come in and dominate.


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