Sean White Interview

One of the biggest surprises in spring training was right-hander Sean White, who was invited to camp as a non-roster player and almost made the Atlanta bullpen. BravesCenter's Bill Shanks spoke to White at the end of spring training before he left to join the rotation in Mississippi.

SHANKS: When you heard you were going to big league spring training camp, how did you feel?
WHITE: Extremely excited to get the opportunity to show what I had to the guys over there that had not seen me at all. They probably didn't know who I was, my name or anything. So I just wanted to go over there and make a good impression and go from there.

SHANKS: Were you surprised they invited you to big league camp?
WHITE: A little bit. It put a smile on my face to get the opportunity.

SHANKS: When you're in that situation where you are pitching for people that haven't seen you, and yeah Bobby didn't act like he knew much about you, is making an impression the most important thing to do?
WHITE: Sure I would have liked to have made the team, but you don't know what the odds are of that happening. I'm still kind of young in the organization. I just wanted to show them what I could do. Maybe not breaking camp with the team this spring was not likely, but hopefully maybe sometime this season if they need somebody they'll think of me.

SHANKS: What did Roger McDowell work with you on this spring?
WHITE: I talked to him about some stuff that I had been working on with Kent Willis last year. Not really trying to change much. But the stuff he told me seemed to be pretty effective. I changed my angle a bit, how I'm standing. Small things.

SHANKS: Did he tinker with any of your pitches?
WHITE: Definitely the changeup. We worked on a different grip, which I'm actually using right now. I've got to stay on top of the ball and get good movement on it.

SHANKS: What was it like just to be in that environment?
WHITE: It was fun. It was nice to just kind of sit back and watch all the guys that have been around for a long time and try to do what they do. I think being around those guys makes you a better player yourself. Just watching how they go about their business day-to-day. They‘re all hard workers. It‘s fun to watch them, even to go watch the bullpens and see what they do.

SHANKS: Did you feel you had an outside chance of making the club?
WHITE: There was obviously opportunities were in the bullpen, but I wasn't sure what my chances were. I went out there everyday and knew I had to perform, because who knows. I feel like I had a chance.

SHANKS: So what can the success you had here in spring training do for you this season?
WHITE: Definitely will help me. You've faced big league hitters and you know that you have the ability to get the guys out. So you've just got to try and stay where you're at and have fun doing it.

SHANKS: You're going back to Mississippi.
WHITE: I like working with KW (Kent Willis). He's an outstanding pitching coach. He's worked with me quite a bit. I've seen dramatic improvement just by working with him.

SHANKS: How much better are you now compared to this time last year?
WHITE: I feel like I'm getting to the plate better. My direction is better. That's gotten my velocity up a bit. I'm a little more confident going out there, and I'm more consistent as well.

SHANKS: What does your fastball top out at?
WHITE: Maybe 94. I'm usually between 90-93. I throw a slider and a curveball. The slider is my second pitch.

SHANKS: Could you be a long reliever if they needed you?
WHITE: I'll do anything. I feel I can handle that. I feel comfortable doing whatever.

Bill Shanks is the author of Scout's Honor: The Bravest Way To Build A Winning Team, a look inside the Braves‘ traditional scouting and player development philosophies. Email Bill at

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