Chad Rodgers Chat Transcript

Here's Tuesday's chat with Braves' prospect Chad Rodgers, last year's third rounder in the 2006 draft.

BillShanks:: Okay folks I'm pleased to welcome Chad Rodgers to our chat. Chad was a third round pick last June out of Ohio and had a great season in the GCL.
BillShanks:: Chad I'll start off. Thanks for your buckeyes to shove it down the Gators throats last night. Tell me how your offseason is going so far.
thethe:: Chad what do you throw and how hard do you throw it?
RODGERS:: Ya what a dissapointing game...not many good things to say about the bucks
thethe:: losing ted ginn hurt them, they couldn't do anything against florida's speedy defense
RODGERS:: thethe..i throw a 4 seam fastball changeup and a curve and I top at about 92 sit about 88-90
thethe:: Did you grow up a brave fan Chad?
thethe:: Do you think that you are going to be able to add a couple of MPH as you finish your growth?
hudson2:: Hey Chad, ur draft class was pretty good
RODGERS:: i always was a big fan of the successes that they had in the 90s but i tried to stay loyal to the struggling indians
RODGERS:: im one now of course
hudson2:: the indians, did u like the Major League movies?
RODGERS:: hudson2.yes very good
thethe:: How did you enjoy your first experience of pro ball?
RODGERS:: always a big fan of the major league movies
thethe:: Did you take your first loss really tough since you didn't lose for such a long time?
RODGERS:: thethe i loved it the coaches were fantastic
BillShanks:: Folks if you would like to read more about Chad before asking a question, check out his player profile from December, with plenty of quotes from scouts and coaches.
DILLONTHEPAT:: Hey Chad, Ohio guy here. What was the toughest school you pitched against from Cincinnati?
RODGERS:: not really i felt i went out there and competed....the loss wanst that tough to take you just gotta move on
nsacpi:: We saw that the Braves drafted three high school lefties (you, Locke and Evarts) early in the draft. Do you guys push each other and have you become friendly? How would you compare the pitching styles that you three have?
thethe:: Well I wish I had a longer opportunity to talk to you but the lady calls. I hope you enjoy success with the braves and I hope to see you on the big league club in the years to come.
RODGERS:: St xavier fresman year
DILLONTHEPAT:: St X is tough
RODGERS:: was the toughest team probably beacuse i was a fresman with a lot of jitters
DILLONTHEPAT:: Did you play against Moeller ever?
RODGERS:: No i wish i did we got rained out every year
nsacpi:: Chad, you were one of three high school lefties (along with Locke and Evarts) drafted high last year. Do you guys push each other and have you become friends? How would you compare the pitching styles the three of you have?
RODGERS:: nsacpi i feel we all get along and push each other along just as the braves had planned. our pitching styles are different though i rely heavily on my accuracy, while they are guys who have one good above average pitch. I think i have a heads up on them though when it comes down to hitting my spots with all the pitches
BillShanks:: Chad tell us some of the things you learned and worked on in the GCL this summer and how you are a better pitcher now compared to when you signed.
nsacpi:: are they more power pitcher types?
RODGERS:: nsacpi ya i would say more than i am i sit 88-89 top out 91-92
RODGERS:: well bill i think i learned more about strategies i could use and how to pitch in certain counts. i feel i became more refinded in those areas
BillShanks:: Did they tinker with any of your mechanics?
RODGERS:: ya a little they took some thinks for me to go home with like hand separation which will result in more consistent arm slot
tvsportscaster:: Chad can you tell what it was like the day you were drafted and what your reaction to going the the Braves was?
NRVHokie:: Hey Chad, tell us who you might compare your pitching style to !?
RODGERS:: tvsportscaster it was the best day of my life we won the state chanpionship and i was able to experience the draft with my whole team
RODGERS:: my style say is most like jeremy sowers with the indians throws alot of strikes but nothin overpowering
DILLONTHEPAT:: Hey Chad, my son has been a pitcher since he was 7. He has been dominant his whole youg career because he throws so hard and kids can't catch up with him yet. He has a good changeup as well to compliment his speed. At what age did you start working on your curveball? I want him to learn to throw one but don't want to rush it. He is 11.
tvsportscaster:: How close to you think you are to maybe making it Single-A
NRVHokie:: what pitch would you love to add to your arsenol if you could ?
RODGERS:: dillonthepat not till about 13 u need to first learn how to throw it getting extend pulling the middle finger to the hip he can start to work on that now
RODGERS:: throwing short distances is ok
RODGERS:: tvsportscaster im gonna be in the best shape of my life when i get sown to spring training I'm trying to take care of all the things i can control and perfect them and just see what happens. the braves have a plan though i wont get caught up in which level im at
nsacpi:: What did you think of Neftali Perez and the other young latin pitchers you played with?
RODGERS:: nsacpi neftali is the most electric. i think if he gets better every year he could make it its just a matter of him maturing mentally out there
DILLONTHEPAT:: Chad have you been in contact with Just memorabilia" in regards to your first baseball card?
RODGERS:: we all have things we need to work on but i think the braves did a fine job in the draft as far as pitchers are concerned
nsacpi:: how about some of the hitters you played with? Coe, Miles? Any of them make a big impression on you?
RODGERS:: dillonthepat no i have not i have a topps card contract which should come out with my card soon
RODGERS:: coe and miles had great years and should do well at the next level
NRVHokie:: Is there a pitcher in the GCL that we have not yet heard about that would surprise people !?
RODGERS:: coe has great power for a small guy and cole miles can flat out run
RODGERS:: nrvhokie i think theres a guy on the tigers that threw like 101
enetohio:: i forget his name though he was a dominican
NRVHokie:: lefty or righty ??
RODGERS:: flores i think it was - a righty
NRVHokie:: Who would he compare to ??
RODGERS:: i would say somewhere along the lines of a shorter thinner zumaya. just cuz he can throw. i just remember my 1st outing and he was the guy pitching for the tigers i was like wow how am i supposed to go out there and match that. Hadn't seen anyone throw that hard in my life
NRVHokie:: what are your offseason interests ?
RODGERS:: hobbies?
DILLONTHEPAT:: Chad, another off topic question. have you ever met Mike Vrabel? I know he is an alumnus to Walsh Jesuit
NRVHokie:: absolutely
RODGERS:: hahah ya i was in the long line of guys getting his autograph
RODGERS:: he comes to our school quote a bit
RODGERS:: nvrhokie i love to golf but it snows alot here so im stickin to the gym most of the time right now
gr82bAnAUTiger:: So, Chad, do you think you'll head to Rome to start the season? I understand there's a spot open for a lefty there...
RODGERS:: that is my goal it gets me motivated knowing that there is a spot open and anything can happen but i don't concern myself a lot about where ill be next year at this stage in my career
gr82bAnAUTiger:: Yeah, the competition for that spot will be quite stiff... You guys are a pretty talented group of lefties.
nsacpi:: Chad, have you read Scout's Honor
RODGERS:: nsacpi i haven't I've heard its a good book though
nsacpi:: you could probably get an autographed copy
BillShanks:: He was setting you up on that one! Hey Chad one of the things scouts talk about is your ability to pitch low in the strike zone. How important is that to your strategy and how did you develop that?
DILLONTHEPAT:: Chad I read that were the best hitter on that State champion team. At what point in your life did you decide that you were going to concentrate on being a good pitcher as opposed to another position
NRVHokie:: what are they starting to call you 3 lefties ??
RODGERS:: i felt that was always my strong point i wanna always make location number one because i know that the only way I'm gonna get to the big leagues is if i concentrate on where i throw 1st then what i throw second
RODGERS:: DILLONTHEPAT as soon as my coach told me wake up your left handed
nsacpi:: was there someone who helped you develop as a pitcher when you were a kid? your dad? a coach?
RODGERS:: My pitching coach for the past three years and to the present is ken wilson who used to throw in the minors for the pirates organization
BillShanks:: Chad what's the one pitch they want you to work on in the spring?
RODGERS:: the curveball for sure if i tighten that up and work on building a more deceptive change i can make some solid gains going into the season
nsacpi:: did you play other sports growing up
RODGERS:: ya basketball and golf up until junior year
NRVHokie:: what are the coaches calling you 3 lefties....a slogan ??
gr82bAnAUTiger:: Do you think the comparisons made between you and Cliff Lee are fair, Chad?
BillShanks:: Do you and Locke and Rasmus and Evarts talk about being in the Atlanta rotation together one day?
RODGERS:: nvrhokie i have no idea i guess since we were the top tree hs lifies taken we get special names
BillShanks:: That's their slogan on this website!
RODGERS:: lee is a guy i could see myself being one day he just proves that you don't have to throw 95 and be successful in the bigs
nsacpi:: not to put any pressure on you guys, but we expect another rotation like Maddux, Smoltz, Glavine, Avery. No pressure though. Ok?
NRVHokie:: thanks of luck, I will be watching for you and cheering !!
RODGERS:: nsacpi ya those guys were ok we shouldnt have a problem topping their performance
RODGERS:: thanks alot i appereciate the time
nsacpi:: good...just what i wanted to hear
SJsftb27:: Thanks for joining us Chad and best of luck to you! I look forward to seeing you in Mississippi - eventually!
nsacpi:: good luck Chad...and thanks for chatting
gr82bAnAUTiger:: Good luck, Chad! Thanks for joining us.
RODGERS:: sorry bill but ya we dont really talk much about being in atlanta just because we were so caught up in what we had to do in the gulf roast league
RODGERS:: thanks alot for your time this was cool getting to meet all of you
BillShanks:: Okay Chad thank you very much for joining us. We'll all be pulling for you and can't wait to monitor your progress this season. Believe me, these folks will be watching every box score. Thanks again Chad.
gr82bAnAUTiger:: We're sick like that
SJsftb27:: haha
RODGERS:: sure thing bill cya in orlando

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