Angels Prospect Interview: Cliff Remole

A quad injury to begin the season derailed what Cliff Remole hoped to accomplish this season. Some changes to his swing in July, however, have him hitting better than he ever has. And he hopes to keep it up.

What changed in July that got you on this tear and has you performing consistently well at the plate.

Cliff Remole: I have been working hard with our hitting coach, Craig Grebeck. We changed some stuff in my swing. Instead of flying open, I am driving through the ball more. I am trying to stay closed and drive the ball to all fields instead of – I was trying to hit the ball to the opposite field but now I feel like I can hit it to all parts of the ball field.

That was the main thing in July. I am hitting the ball over. If you look at the spray chart you would see I am hitting the ball all over. The ball was just jumping off the bat by staying closed.

How do you keep it going in the middle of the heat now that August is here and keep the thinking simple?

Cliff Remole: You just work hard everyday. We hit early in the cage each day and work on the little things. I don't try and hit home runs. I just try and keep the ball up the middle and keep it simple.

Did you feel like you were trying to hit home runs? You are in a power position at first base and left field. Have you felt like in the past that you were trying to hit the ball out every chance you had?

Cliff Remole: A little bit. I was going to the ball the wrong way. And definitely hitting in the four-hole sometimes and playing first base you will see a lot of guys hit home runs. But that is not the type of player I am right now. I try and get on base for some other guys to get me in and try and do the little things right. I feel like if I can do that they will let me stay around.

Maybe one day I will hit home runs. As for right now I just want to be a complete hitter.

You have played left field, right field and first base. What are the challenges of each and how tough is it to get ready to play when you are not sure where you are playing coming into the ballpark?

Cliff Remole: I try not to think about it too much. I work on it in BP and take every day as it comes. As for the position I play – as long as I am in the lineup I don't care. I will try and help this team win.

What are the differences between left and right field and it has to be difficult getting different reads off the bat when you find out where you are playing the same day.

Cliff Remole: Left field is a little more difficult. You get lefties who come up and slide the ball and righties who hook it a lot. I think righties hook the ball more than lefties so it is tough to get a read sometimes. It is tough to get enough reads out there in BP.

How does your approach change with runners in scoring position? It seems like all year that has been a strength for you.

Cliff Remole: I don't know. I just try and hit the ball up the middle and we will see what happens. I don't try and do too much and try not to get too aggressive. I try and let the ball get to me.

With the Angels – it is a big thing with runners in scoring position to get the job done, even if it is a runner on second and third with no outs, I am trying to pull a ground ball to get the runner in from third base and move the runner over from second so the next guy can get him in from third. I try to give myself up. Sometimes I find a hole. It is the name of the game – scoring runs. As long as I can do that I will be fine.

You are a contact hitter. You don't strikeout a lot but you don't necessarily walk a lot either. Is that a good or bad thing?

Cliff Remole: Sometimes I could walk a little more than I do. I am a contact hitter and do make contact on balls that maybe I should let go. If they are falling – I am not going to change anything right now.

Have you met your expectations this year?

Cliff Remole: Other than me getting hurt – I was on the disabled list for about a month and a half when I tore my quad.

I did everything I could to come back as soon as possible. I hate getting hurt. And then I pulled my groin and was on the seven-day DL (in August). I am trying to get my timing back but I feel fine up there. I have to get my legs through.

But – so far I have met my expectations. Hopefully I did well enough to move up but we will see. One day at a time.

In the middle of May when you first came back, was that just a difficult stretch because you are trying to get the drive back in your leg to give you the power you need to push the ball out of the infield?

Cliff Remole: Yes. I was still hurt. I could play but it was at 60 percent. I could barely run the bases and was wrapping my leg up everyday. It was so tight where I could barely feel my leg as the circulation was gone. That definitely had something to do with it. We worked in the cage and now I am driving through with my front side and doing much better.

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