Oakland A's Spring Q&A: Andrew Bailey, SP

PHOENIX – Right-hander Andrew Bailey enters the 2008 season as one of the Oakland A's top pitching prospects. The New Jersey native was the strikeout leader amongst A's minor leaguers in 2007. We spoke briefly with Bailey at Papago Park – home of the A's minor league camp – about his Spring Training thus far, the progress of his change-up and his off-season internship.

OaklandClubhouse: Have you been working on your change-up this spring?

Andrew Bailey: Yeah, I worked on it a lot during the off-season. It's something that I feel confident in and something that, going into this season, I am going to be looking to throw a lot more. I have thrown it a couple of times in the games here and it has been working well for me thus far.

OC: Are you throwing with the Double-A team right now?

AB: Yep, with the Double-A team.

OC: Is that the team that you are hoping to break camp with?

AB: Yeah, hopefully. Wherever they need me, I'll just go out there and compete.

OC: How was the personal training program that you attended in Los Angeles? What kind of stuff did you do there?

AB: It was a different program, that's for sure. We did yoga three times a week. And after that, we went and did the regular baseball stuff. Three days a week we did a weight-training program in the gym. I had never done yoga before. It was a little different at first. We also did some mental-training sessions and stuff like that. It was a good experience and it was something that you can do on your own, as well. The mental training will definitely be useful because, as a pitcher, you definitely have to learn to be able to bounce-back from a bad outing and it is something that I will definitely use this season.

OC: I heard that you were working with SmithBarney this off-season? What sort of stuff did you do for them?

AB: I've actually interned for them the past two off-seasons. I majored in finance [at Wagner College] and when I was in college, I had an internship with SmithBarney, so the past two years, I have been working with them. I am the low-man on the totem pole there [laughs], but basically the work is running retirement plans. Sometimes I'll talk to clients, answer the phones and that sort of thing.

OC: Is that something that you see yourself pursuing after baseball?

AB: Obviously, I'll stay around baseball as long as I can. Down-the-road, I actually think I'd like to get into coaching somewhere. That is the route that I think I'd like to take. But for now, the [SmithBarney] work keeps me busy and puts money in my pocket in the off-season.

OC: Have you always been good with numbers?

AB: Pretty good. In high school, not so much, but in college I got a lot more interested in numbers and finance. The college I went to had a pretty good finance program. It's one of those things where I was playing baseball and I was taking business and I just sort of fell into the finance area.

OC: Is this Spring Training easier now that you have done it once and you know the whole routine and everything?

AB: A little easier. There is a lot of pressure and there are a lot of new faces around. You are meeting new guys everyday. Going into Spring Training, there are a lot of doors open and a lot of spots to be had and you just have to go out there and compete.

But obviously, being with the A's for my second Spring Training now, coming into camp this year, I knew what to expect and how to get into shape for it. Coming from another organization, the new players might not know how the A's handle Spring Training at first. We are a little more laid-back than other teams and I think that filters down to the players, as well. The coaches don't stress us out too much. I was really excited to come here this spring and so far, so good.

OC: How is the new pitching coordinator, Gil Patterson?

AB: He's great. Gil and [former A's pitching coordinator and current bullpen coach] Ron [Romanick] have similar pitching philosophies. From what I understand, Ron and Gil have worked together to develop our throwing programs and stuff like that. Gil brings a whole new set of terminology and different drills that we can do. It's nice to hear different opinions on pitching. So far, it's been great and he's taught me a lot.

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