Angels Prospect Interview: Alex McRobbie

A winner of his last four decisions in Rancho Cucamonga, Alex McRobbie has been a real find for the Angels out of independent ball during a time of need.

Talk to me a little bit about the signing process that began with you in the Blue Jays system, in independent ball and now in the Angels system.

Alex McRobbie: I got released by the Blue Jays at the end of spring training and then I decided I was going to go play independent ball to see if I could get picked up by another team.

I figured that I wasn't going to play more than one year of independent ball. I was going to hang it up if I did not get picked up. Luckily, I got picked up by the Angels and got to go to Angels stadium and sign with Tony Reagins. It was a good experience.

Do you feel like you have been given a second chance? It seems like the Blue Jays didn't give you much of an opportunity.

Alex McRobbie: Definitely. The Blue Jays completely changed my mechanics. I felt like I never got an opportunity with them. I feel like this is definitely a second chance to throw how I know I can throw. I felt like I was held back with them.

Since coming here, have you changed much?

Alex McRobbie: I went back to the way I have thrown my whole life. I had thrown one way and the Blue Jays changed me for last year. I went back to the same way I had been throwing. It took me a while to get back into the rhythm of that, but I feel much more confident and much more comfortable.

What is it about the old mechanics and approach that has you comfortable?

Alex McRobbie: It is just the way I naturally throw.

What is the repertoire like and at what speed do you throw each pitch?

Alex McRobbie: I am usually around 86-89 with my fastball. I also throw a slurve – it is a sidearm curveball with left to right movement – and I have been working on a changeup. If I can get the changeup down I think it will be the key to success.

What do you need to improve to make that changeup a go-to pitch?

Alex McRobbie: It is lack of control right now. It has 10 miles per hour off my fastball and has decent movement, but I have not been able to throw it for a strike effectively.

You had a complete game shutout in your August 10 start. Things are obviously going pretty well.

Alex McRobbie: That felt good. I only threw five changeups. It was my curveball and my fastball. I would like to have that third pitch too.

It seems like you are a different person with runners on base. What changes about your approach – simply hating the thought of anyone scoring?

Alex McRobbie: Maybe. I was a reliever for four years in college so maybe that got me used to coming in with runners on base. I do think I kick up the intensity with runners on base. When you are throwing six or seven innings you tend to let your guard down with nobody on.

Along the same lines, is there a comfort level of being in the stretch versus the windup?

Alex McRobbie: I like being in the windup better. I think with runners on it forces you to focus more.

You have had incredible success at the Epicenter but things away from home have not been as kind. Is there something about the mound at the Epicenter?

Alex McRobbie: It is probably just chance. I do like the mound and seem to find a good release point with good control but it is probably chance.

You have mentioned going back to what you used to be in terms of your delivery but you always have to evolve and get better. Is there anything else you have changed along the way?

Alex McRobbie: Changeup, fastball command. In independent ball I felt like I had better command than I have so far here. I would like to get back to hitting my spots with my fastball here.

Have you met your expectations since coming here?

Alex McRobbie: The last three starts I have and I feel good about that.

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