SHANKS: How was it when you went back to Australia last fall?
MOYLAN: It felt fantastic. I had the September callup and then I finally got to see my family again and all my friends. That was great – to invite my friends over to the house. I took nine bags home, nine bags of stuff home. It wasn't just the stuff that I had bought, but all the stuff that you get up here, which is crazy. I made a couple of piles of things I was going to give my friends. So when they came over I had jackets and T-shirts and pants and that was really good. But looking back at it now, it was the greatest year of my life. It was absolutely the greatest year of my life.
SHANKS: And nothing you'll ever do will duplicate last year, will it? I mean if you're in the big leagues for the next ten years, last year will always be special.
MOYLAN: I don't think so, no. World Series win maybe or being in the All-Star game. Maybe. But that first roller coaster ride from February 2nd to April 1st is just mind-boggling. Even now to think about it and how it happened is something. I still get people coming up to me telling me how great the story was. But now that it's all over it's time for me to prove that it just wasn't a one-time thing and that I deserve to be here and that I really want to be here.
SHANKS: The September callup for you had to mean a lot. You had struggled a bit in Richmond last season, but when you came back up to Atlanta you did very, very well. But for your psyche, just knowing how much better you were in September compared to April, it must have meant a lot.
MOYLAN: Last year was tough for me in Triple-A. I had such an inconsistent year. If it hadn't been for the rainouts in Philadelphia late in the year I don't think I would have been called up. I would have gone home and probably not be in big league camp this spring. But for me to go up there and prove myself and prove to everyone here that I could pitch at that level did me a world of good. Confidence-wise, knowing that I can pitch and now talking to Roger (McDowell) and some of the other pitchers I'm learning how to pitch and not just going out there and throwing. I'm learning what pitch to throw when and really learning how to pitch. It's unbelievable.
SHANKS: And there's no doubt that this time last year you were a thrower. You were a hard thrower, but you were a thrower.
MOYLAN: Absolutely. I was a thrower for sure.
SHANKS: You knew the battles this spring would be tough for you to make the team out of camp, so what was your mindset?
MOYLAN:For me it's about showing the rest of the coaching staff that I can pitch at this level and if it comes a time when they need to call someone up they'll look at me first hopefully. The depth that we have now is outstanding, and our Triple-A roster is going to be good. There are several there that could probably pitch on a big league team. That's good to have.
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. He can be heard on 680 the Fan in Atlanta, 105.5 the Fan in Macon, and the Atlanta Braves Radio Network. Email Bill at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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