Walt Nolen: Yeah, it was definitely a big surprise. I had had a pretty good season, so I was thinking maybe I would get a chance to pitch at Daytona. It was definitely a huge surprise, especially since they called and told me on an off day. Usually they promote you on a day where there's a game so you can get some work in, but they called and told me I was going to Triple-A and that I needed to go buy some dress clothes. (laughs)
Inside The Ivy: How much did you enjoy pitching in Peoria?
Walt Nolen: The ballpark is very, very nice because it's only a couple of years old. I loved playing in Peoria. Julia Garcia, our manager, was a really nice guy. Our pitching coach, Tom Pratt, was also a very nice guy. They taught me many, many things I needed to know in professional baseball in order to help me along the way. I really liked that and I liked all of the guys there.
Inside The Ivy: What were some of those things they taught you?
Walt Nolen: They taught me how to pitch more with my fastball. They really stressed getting ahead in the count, because in college you often tend to get away with getting behind, especially when you can throw 90 mph and get away with it. Here in pro baseball, you get behind in the count and a lot of guys can hurt you. They taught me how to pitch more effective and how to mentally get into the game.
Inside The Ivy: Give us a quick run-down of your repertoire.
Walt Nolen: I throw a fastball anywhere from 88 to 92 mph; a slider anywhere from 77-81 mph; and a changeup.
Inside The Ivy: Which of those would you say is your out-pitch?
Walt Nolen: My slider in my out-pitch. I throw that pitch a lot. I'll try to get ahead with the fastball and finish the hitter off with my out-pitch.
Inside The Ivy: Any bets on where you'll begin 2006?
Walt Nolen: Just as long as I'm playing, I'll be happy. You know, it's nice to be up at a higher level like this, but as long as you have a job in general, it's nice.
Inside The Ivy: Congratulations again on the promotion. Anyone ever tell you that you look a lot like Farnsworth?
Walt Nolen: No. (laughs)
Inside The Ivy: Just checking. Thanks for your time.
Walt Nolen: Thank you.