With 12 years in the big leagues and two years pitching in Japan under his belt, there is little that John Wasdin hasn't seen in the game. He is imparting that knowledge on the short-season Vermont Lake Monsters' pitching staff this season in his first year as a pitching coach.
Wasdin's professional pitching career spanned from 1993, when he was drafted in the first round by the A's, until 2009, when he retired from pitching after two years in Japan. Wasdin spent a year away from baseball before returning to his original organization as a coach this season.
Donald Moore spoke with the 38-year-old about his first season with Vermont.
Donald Moore: How does your pitching staff look this year?
John Wasdin: So far, so good. I kind of inherited all these guys coming over as my first year as a pitching coach, but a lot of them were in extended spring, and some of them were with Skip [Manager Rick Magnante] last year in Vancouver so you know, overall, so far so good. We got some new drafted guys coming in that we have here.
It's kind of different for me, being just removed from playing, to where now I have to instead of worrying about myself all the time, I have 13, 14, 15 guys I have to worry about, but then also, too, with new drafted guys coming in, you're only allowed to throw them so many innings for the course of year because of the college innings they have already thrown. So trying to keep all that kind of on-track, and whatnot, is different, but I'm having a great time with it.
DM: What was the the last year you pitched?
JW: Japan in '09. So from 1993 to 2009 was my playing career.
DM: Are there any pitchers who stand out this year?
JW: Well, I mean everyone has kind of shown flashes of brilliance you know. And really at this level we all know the player at a young age, they kind of have that ability. But, yet doing it over and over again and being consistent, and that's all we are trying to achieve here, it is really player development.
We want to see them get to where they can repeat a delivery or command certain pitches, especially a fastball or change-up - that is kind of what we strive for - or develop fastball command and once they can kind of do that, and just kind of repeat, then they are pushed on the next level. So, yes, everyone has shown signs of brilliance, but it's just about the repeating process and be able to do it on a day-in, day-out basis.
DM: Thank you John.