Since signing with the Oakland A's as a teenager before the 2013 season, LHP Ivan Andueza has put up solid numbers at every stop. He posted an ERA of 3.00 in two seasons in the Dominican Summer League and then posted a 2.51 ERA in 46.2 innings with the AZL Athletics.
This season, Andueza made one start for the AZL squad before heading to Vermont, where he has been part of the Lake Monsters' tandem starting rotation. In 45.2 innings with the Lake Monsters, Andueza has a 3.94 ERA and 33 strike-outs. He has held opposing batters to a .219 average and has allowed just three homeruns.
Donald Moore spoke with the native of Venezuela during a Lake Monsters' roadtrip to upstate New York in late July.
Donald Moore: How is everything going for you this year?
Ivan Andueza: Sometimes I had some bad moments, but it's not all bad and I am trying to figure out my skills and get better.
DM: What are your goals for this year?
IA: I want to end the season with a good year and try to play winter ball, too, in my country, Venezuela. That is part of my goal.
DM: What do you feel is your biggest strength as a ballplayer?
IA: I throw strikes and have the hitters put the ball in play. That is what I try to do every game.
DM: What would you'd like to improve on?
IA: I'd like to improve my breaking balls. That is the thing I have to work with.
DM: What is the best thing about playing professional baseball?
IA: Being with the Oakland A's! It's my team.
DM: What is the hardest thing about being a professional athlete?
IA: Time you're out of your country. Missing family. That is a thing that is hard for us Latin players. It's a long time you do not see your family.
DM: Any pre-game routines?
IA: Before each game, I warm-up for my outings and to do some exercises. I like to read the Bible that I have here and that is part of my routines every game.
DM: Any hobbies?
IA: Yes, I like to play soccer, too.That is nice.
DM: Favorite baseball team growing up?
DM: Where are you originally from?
DM: If there is one person who taught you the most about baseball, who would that be?
IA: My uncle. I had one uncle when I was younger, when I was 14 years old. I always watched games with him and would ask my uncle questions and he urged me to play baseball and after that I went on to play baseball, you know? I have one field close to my house, so it's very cool and I played there for many years.
DM: Craziest thing you have ever seen on a baseball field?
IA: I don't have something specifics I can explain in baseball, but in baseball you always see the same thing .
DM: Any off-season plans?
IA: Yes, of course. For me, the off-season is very important for the time to be ready. I try to run, do my conditioning and before I go to my home, I always talk to my conditioning coaches about what I have to improve on and what I have to do in the off-season. And I try to be focused. It's important and I take that very seriously.
DM: I want to thank you for you time and the best of luck to you and your career.
IA: Thank you.