|Seth McGarry, image- Jay Floyd|
McGarry, who was an 8th round draft selection in 2015 out of Florida Atlantic, had a solid 2018 campaign with the Double-A Reading Fightin Phils. In 45 appearances the six-foot 180-pounder posted a 2-4 record with four saves, a 3.99 ERA, a .238 batting average against and an 8.6 K/9 mark.
Prior to the end of the regular season, I talked to McGarry about his pitch repertoire, his upcoming assignment to the prestigious Arizona Fall League, helping teammates in the Phils organization improve their offerings and plenty more. Read ahead for my full interview with Seth.
-I hear good things about you. That you're a helper and an educator and you share grips and pitches with other guys to help them improve their own repertoires. These are gleaming reviews. If you can, share some thoughts with me on helping out guys like Tyler Gilbert and Aaron Brown.
I mean, we learn a lot from our pitching coaches, but I feel like we learn the most, probably, from each other. Everyone's different and you can kind of ask guys around for what they think about different pitches or different grips and kind of trying to understand different concepts for pitches. So, with Tyler Gilbert, we had a guy on our team, Trevor Bettencourt, who threw cutters, but he throws his kind of different and we were just messing around, because I was trying to throw a cutter too and I was explaining to Gilbert the concepts of how I was trying to throw it and he just picked it up in about two days and it became one of his better pitches. And then we kind of went over the concept of how it's more of a weak contact pitch and he freakin' just took off with it.
-How do you feel about being able to help another guy and contribute to his success? Because I can ask a coach and they'll tell me everything, every step someone takes is rewarding and I don't know how much reward players can feel beyond their own successes, so is that rewarding for you to be able to see other guys taking strides with your help?
Oh, yeah! Especially, when it's-- I'm new to the Phillies over the past year, but he was one of the first guys that I met and just seeing him start to soar and excel, especially with something I helped him with, makes me feel good, but it's really cool to see him doing well.
-Arizona Fall League rosters came out recently and you're headed to pitch there. Congratulations on that, it's always an honor to go play there. What are your thoughts on that news?
Thanks. It was pretty exciting to hear. It's been kind of a bumpy season. Had some ups and downs, but things have been clicking a little bit lately and when I got news that I was going there, it was pretty exciting 'cause I get a chance to continue what I've been building off lately.
-Something that could be surprising to some is that going out there to play is a true assignment. There's no, "Who's available in October and November?" Is there a hint of disappointment that you might miss something you planned or does the honor of playing out there override all of that?
It's really exciting when it comes to baseball, but, for me, I had a couple things planned, but this overtakes that. It's a great opportunity. It's not something you want to pass up.
-Does it make it easier to be going with several guys from your organization?
Yeah, it definitely makes it a lot easier. It's tough going somewhere new where you don't know anyone. I've done that already, so it's nice to be going with some teammates and friends.
-Speak on that a little bit, because last year you switch organizations as part of a trade, coming over from the Pirates. Is that also exciting to know this other organization scouted you and wants you to join their team?
Yeah, it was pretty cool. It was a little different. Kind of like getting drafted all over again. New coaches, coordinators, new teammates, it was nice. The Clearwater bullpen was kind of stacked, so I had already talked to a bunch of the bullpen guys previously in the season before I went over there, so I wasn't completely the new guy. I already had some acquaintances and I've played against those guys for several years, so it was nice to actually meet the guys and become a Phillie.
-I talked to guys on the Phillies side and I'll ask the questions about if there's a rivalry between the Phillies teams and the Yankees teams. But I have had guys like Rhys Hoskins tell me that the rivalry is more with the Pirates. Do you notice that from that side at all? Is it 'cause the teams play each other at every level?
It's a little bit of that. On the other side in the minor leagues with the Pirates, they're really big on pitching inside, so a lot of guys get hit, so a lot of teams don't like them. You kind of feel the rivalry different places you go, some teams like each other and you kind of build rivalries with individual guys that you play against through years and years in the minors.
-Is that somebody that's getting the best of you and you feel like you need to triumph and get your turn?
Yeah, something like that.
-Is there somebody at this level that you have a rivalry with?
Not really right now, but it's been there before.
-What's the full pitch repertoire for you right now and what are your strengths?
Sinker, four seam, those are the two that I like to use together. I throw a slider off the sinker and usually a 12-6 curve ball off the four seam, especially later in the count.
-Is there something that you see the most success with?
It had been the sinker with just the mentality of it of just trying to force contact and get the ball on the ground.
-Before pro ball was there a moment in youth ball or amateur ball that was a standout moment for you of when you knew this was your path or that playing professionally could be a possibility for you?
I'd probably just say high school summer ball, after playing on a team where a bunch of guys got drafted, it gave me hope that it could work out for me.
-Player wise, was there anybody that, as a kid, you admired a lot or maybe wanted to emulate?
Not really any individual players.
-Was there a team you grew up as a fan of?
Kind of the Rays, because it was the closest to home for me.
-Were you more interested in others sports?
I iked playing basketball, but more so I just like playing sports rather than watching them. So, I kind of was more into a game or a practice and focused on those.
-Is there anybody else that you've played with that's achieving big things in the pro's?
Probably my best friend that I was in the Pirates organization with (Daniel Zamora) he was also traded this past year to the Mets and he got called up to the big leagues, so seeing him pitch on TV has been really cool.
-Is that somebody that you just played with in the pro's or something prior?
Just in the pro's, but we pretty much were attached at the hip. Pretty much everything- throwing routine, stretch, lift, even just driving to the field together.
-So you're excited about him. Is he still tuned in to what you're doing?
Oh, yeah! He still keeps an eye on me. He's a really good guy.