Monday, July 28, 2014

BlueClaws Quotables: Imhof, Legg and Lancaster

In this round of exclusive quotes from the Class A Lakewood locker room, I talked with this year's second round draft pick Matt Imhof about working with a new catcher after joining the BlueClaws recently, his boost in social networking popularity after being selected by the Phillies and plenty more.

Also, I spoke with Lakewood manager Greg Legg about the progress of outfielder Dylan Cozens as well as the contributions of "the Andrews", Andrew Pullin and Andrew Knapp. Pitching coach Les Lancaster shared some thoughts on righty hurler Ranfi Casimiro as well.

From my interview with Imhof (check out the feature by clicking HERE, if you missed it) the 20-year-old talked about his surge in online followers after he was drafted-

I got a lot of text messages. I think I got 400 (new) followers on Twitter in about an hour.  It was awesome. It kind of takes a while to set in. You go to bed and you don't really feel any different and then the next day, you're like, "Wow. A lot just happened in the past 24 hours." So, it was a lot to get used to, but it was an awesome experience and I definitely got some more followers on Twitter and Instagram.

Imhof commented on if there was any adjustment period needed when working with a new battery mate-

Knapp did a great job for me. We knew each other a little before. He kind of knew was I was about. He put down the right fingers, I just wasn't executing the pitches the way I wanted to. I kept falling behind, giving them good hitters counts. If you're not going to locate the fastball, then with hitters counts, they're going to take advantage and that's what they did.

Imhof shared details on his pitch repertoire-

Fastball, curve ball, change up. My out pitch has always been my fastball. It's my best pitch. The second one is my slider. It's what I used all college, I was fastball-slider. I call it a slider, I call it a curve ball, it's the same pitch. There's kind of a slurvy break. And then the change up I've been developing. I probably threw it 15 times against Kannapolis, which is the most I've ever thrown a change up in a game, so it's definitely a transition for me.

I asked Imhof when he realized that pitching professionally might be in his future-

Probably the beginning of my sophomore year. My freshman year was just about getting used to college baseball, then I had a really good fall heading into my sophomore year, and my pitching coach pulled me aside and said, "Hey, you really have a good opportunity here." And that was the first time anyone told me they could see me playing professional baseball. And then from there, I put together a really good sophomore year and happened to make Team USA and then it kind of took off.

Imhof spoke of players he looked up to as a child-

I always idolized Randy Johnson. I liked the way he attacked it like that with that bad-ass attitude of, "My stuff's better than you. I'm going to throw it at you!'" I also was a big Andy Pettitte guy. Those two lefties kind of are who I looked up to.


Dylan Cozens, Image- Jay Floyd
Greg Legg offered his thoughts on the 20-year-old lefty batting Cozens who sports a .248/304./418 slash line with 18 steals through 102 games this year-

Cozens has been playing great. Hopefully, he keeps it up for the next 38 or so games. It's been fun to watch him. A lot better at bats, the concentration's there. He's been driving the ball to all fields. A lot of great things.

Legg on Pullin and Knapp, who have been steady producers for the BlueClaws-

Pullin's been real, real steady. A couple hits here and there. His defense has really improved. Knapp comes to play every day. It's good to see him catching and we're gonna catch him two games in a row, then probably DH him or sit him a game. He's been swinging the bat pretty well for us from both sides and he's been catching pretty good too.

Lancaster on right-hander Casimiro (2-9, 5.53 ERA in 20 games), who has a 1.82 ERA in six day games while sporting a 7.19 ERA in 14 night games-

The majority of the games we play are gonna be at night, so he's just not making his pitches. Been leaving them over the plate. He'll go through a period where he'll show you something real, then one or two innings in the game, something happens and he just can't make adjustments to limit the damage.

I asked specifically if there's anything to Casimiro's success in day games while he's struggled more at night-

It's just luck of the draw and everything. You know, it's him being more consistent.

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