|Shane Watson, image- Jay Floyd|
After reaching the Double-A level to open the 2017 season with the Reading Fightin Phils, the California native has recorded two weak starts. Overall, Watson sports a 1-0 record with a 7.71 ERA and has struck out five while walking five in 9 1/3 innings.
Recently, I spoke with Shane about reaching the Eastern League, his infant daughter, his battery mate Chace Numata and plenty more. Read ahead for that full interview.
-I think some people might feel it’s been a long road for you to reach the Double-A level. Maybe you feel that way too?
It was a long road. From the first surgery in 2013 to another one 10 months after. I don’t even know, I don’t care to keep track of it. It was a long road. It’s exciting to be here finally, you know? We have a great team and I think we’re definitely better defensively than last year. We’ll have some guys who will have 20-plus bombs this year and it’s a good team. I’m excited to be here.
-What are your thoughts on your primary battery mate Chace Numata?
I’ve been roommates with him since 2013 in Lakewood. He’s come a long way since 2013. Just his mental side of calling games and knowing what to call. Just keeping things simple, but also keeping (opponents) off guard. I’m used to Chace. I’ve lived with him every year since 2013, except this year, so me and him are real close.
-How has fatherhood impacted you? Do you approach the game differently?
No, not really. Not yet. I’m still pretty young. I’m not playing for (my daughter) or my wife necessarily. Still trying to get there for me. It’s just another thing to look forward to, though. It’s not just me and my wife. We have a little one and that makes it a little more exciting.
-Has it been beneficial having your family with you in Reading? Is it less of an adjustment for you?
It’s nice. You know, some guys aren’t as fortunate. It’s nice having them there. I get to go home and spend time with the baby and my wife. So, it’s pretty nice. I spent two years rehabbing alone, so that was tough. I think it makes it easier having people with you, behind you, at home. The feeling is good.
-What can you share about the coaching staff here with Reading?
Well, I was actually with Schrenky (pitching coach Steve Schrenk) my first year in GCL, so I know him very well. And Legger (manager Greg Legg) was a great manager last year with Clearwater and we won a lot of games. I don’t know Rock (hitting coach John Mizerock) very well really. We have a great staff.
-Do you have any specific goals for the season?
Be healthy the whole year. I want to give the team as many wins as I can. It would be nice to have a good ERA, to have a lot of strike outs, of course, but I just want to give the team as many wins as possible, however that may be.
-What have you heard about FirstEnergy Stadium, Reading’s home park?
I’ve heard the ball flies. I’ve seen it in batting practice. Smaller guys were hitting the ball out and I was like, “I will keep the ball down, I guess!” I’ve been told that before about Double-A. On the road, they said, it’s not too bad, but at home the ball absolutely flies and I’ve seen it in batting practice as well.