Interview: Milan Dinga

Former Army pitcher Milan Dinga pitched one scoreless inning for Triple-A Salt Lake earlier this year. Dinga hopes to get back to Salt Lake one day and, not only that, take the next step to the majors. For now, Dinga, drafted by the Angels in the 10th round of last year's major league first-year player draft, is working hard at Single-A Cedar Rapids (Iowa) of the Midwest League.

Milan Dinga is battling shoulder problems, but he is coming back to pitch and feels good. spoke with Dinga earlier this week. How did you end up in Salt Lake this year?

Milan Dinga: The big league team needed some relievers and they called a few up from Salt Lake. I was about to go to Cedar Rapids, and ready to pitch, so they had me go to Salt Lake. It was a great experience. There are a lot of guys who are going to the majors or have played in the majors up there. It showed me I could handle it up there and I want to get back as soon as I can.

AS: How is the shoulder feeling?

MD: I was feeling a little tightness in my shoulder (rotator cuff), so it was a step back. They wanted me to turn it off for about a week. I was a little nervous, but I'm just taking it day-by-day. I'm working hard and know I will be all right.

AS: Are you back 100 percent from last year's rotator cuff tear?

MD: I'm back to normal. I'm hitting 88-92 miles per hour with my fastball and topping of at 93-94 mph. It was a long rehab process, I had a lot of work to do, but I feel good. I'm 100 percent, I actually feel the best I ever had.

AS: What do you think of Army's success this year?

MD: It's great. One of the first things I do when I get home is check the website to see how the team is doing. I know a lot of the guys on the team and I'm still close with a lot of the players. I hope they win another Patriot League title.

AS: A lot of people are talking about Army's Cole White getting drafted. What do you think of White's game?

MD: Cole is a great player. One of the best I've played with, including this level. When he gets his shot, I think he will do very well. He has so much talent and is such a hard worker. I think he can get to the majors.

AS: What do you think of Army's alternative service option getting so much attention with the Detroit Lions drafting Caleb Campbell?

MD: I like it, I don't mind. I want Army to get as much attention as it can get. I think it's getting more publicity because football is bigger than baseball. But it's great, I'm excited about all of it.

AS: What's the biggest difference between the college and pro game?

MD: In college, I played both ways. So it's great to be able to concentrate on just pitching. In the minors, you have to keep the ball low, you can't get away with as many mistakes. If you do, they will be all over it. They get paid to make you pay when you make a mistake.

AS: What level would you like to be at when the season is over?

MD: A lot of people ask me that. I don't know if I have an answer. I just want to show I can play full season ball. I can't worry about all that stuff. I just have to go out there and pitch well. The rest wil take care of itself. Top Stories