Oakland A's Spring Q&A: Connor Robertson, RP

Reliever Connor Robertson was invited to his first major league spring training camp this year, and the right-hander took advantage of the opportunity by striking out eight in only four innings of work. We caught-up with Robertson at minor league camp on Saturday for a quick Q&A.

Connor Robertson was one of the top set-up men in the Texas League in 2006. The right-hander went 7-2 with a 2.80 ERA in 55 appearances for the Midland Rockhounds. Robertson struck out 97 batters in 83.2 innings and walked only 22. He allowed only one homerun and collected six saves.

Robertson spent the first three and a half weeks of spring training in major league camp, where he allowed one earned run in four innings of work and he struck out eight, while walking one. We spoke with the relief prospect while he prepared for a minor league spring training game at Papago Park on Saturday.

OaklandClubhouse: You had a good spring in major league camp. What was that whole experience like for you?

Connor Robertson: It was good. It was something different. It was great to be around big leaguers and to get a chance to get out there and compete against them. I really enjoyed it.

OC: Was there anyone in particular that you picked their brain out in the major league bullpen>

CR: Not too much. I pretty much just observed how they went about their business and how they kept themselves in shape. Mostly guys were great. They talked to you. We didn't have any egos or anything like that. Guys were really friendly. It was just a good atmosphere.

OC: How do you think your Arizona Fall League season went?

CR: It was good. I had a rough start to the season, but I ended up throwing the ball pretty well. I think it really helped out just keeping my arm in shape through the fall months and helped out as I geared up for spring training.

OC: I know you have had a little time in Triple-A, but this year could be your first full season at that level. What do you anticipate the jump from Double-A to Triple-A being like?

CR: It's pretty much the same. You just have to hit your spots and you have to know who you are throwing to and pitch to your strengths. It's really important to make your strengths work against a hitter. I'm just going to try to keep doing what I am doing.

OC: You walked only one during major league camp. Was it a primary goal of yours to get ahead of hitters?

CR: It's always easier to pitch when you are ahead of hitters. [laughs] It's definitely something that I try to do with each hitter. I look to hit my spots early by locating my fastball and then I use my slider and work off of that.


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