In some ways, St. Louis Cardinals Senior Minor League Pitching Coordinator Tim Leveque is similar to a proud papa with a big brood. Like a parent asked which of his kids is his favorite, Leveque is reluctant to single out standouts from among the roughly 130 pitchers he and his pitching coaches are responsible for developing across the system.
The spectrum of experience levels is huge - from first-time professional 16-year-olds in the Dominican Summer League to Major League veterans at Triple-A Memphis trying to pitch their way back to the bigs. Where there are certainly common threads, individualized plans for each need to be developed and executed. (In the photo above, Leveque is supervising a bullpen session by prospect Derian Gonzalez.)
Rather than dwell on individuals, in the 13-minute interview that follows, the 35-year old native of Michigan shares some of his philosophies regarding pitcher development. Among the topics include how success is measured, how reaching and surpassing the current level of play is considered, the use of temporary in-season promotions, pitcher usage patterns, the hurlers named to the Arizona Fall League, winter ball candidates and more.
Brian Walton can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also catch his Cardinals commentary at The Cardinal Nation blog. Follow Brian on Twitter.
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