Q&A with Angelo Burrows

MESA, Ariz. -- Right-hander Angelo Burrows was acquired along with pitcher Todd Blackford from the Atlanta Braves for Todd Hollandsworth in late August. We caught up with Burrows, a former outfielder in the Braves' minor league system, during the Cubs' Instructional League camp recently for this Q & A.

Inside The Ivy: What are some of the things the Cubs have you working on in "Instructs?"

Angelo Burrows: They're stressing me working on pickoff moves, being quick to the plate and just being a better overall pitcher really. I'm working on the basics right now.

Inside The Ivy: How did the process of changing organizations late into the season go for you?

Angelo Burrows: Well it was unexpected, you know? I didn't expect it because of the fact that it didn't happen until the end of the year. I didn't even know I could be traded after the July 31 deadline. It was shocking, but it was in my best interest as a pitcher to be a part of the Cubs' organization. Once it registered with me, I was happy about it afterward.

Inside The Ivy: You seem to have answered the next question, which was—was it a surprise?

Angelo Burrows: It was, man. I was with Myrtle Beach (Advanced-A affiliate) and we were on the road. It was a late game, about 10:30 p.m., maybe 11 o'clock. As soon as he came into the clubhouse, my manager (Randy Ingle) said he had some news for me. He'd been ejected in the game, so he was already in the clubhouse. He told me that I'd been traded. It was just unexpected, man. Words couldn't express how I really felt.

Inside The Ivy: You also have a nickname, correct?

Angelo Burrows: Yeah, "Jell-o." It's short for my first name.

Inside The Ivy: Tell us about your repertoire for those who are unfamiliar with you.

Angelo Burrows: I feature a fastball and a changeup. My fastball is typically low-90's. I had been working on a slider when I was with the Braves, but the Cubs took me aside and told me they wanted me to work on a curveball. They didn't say why really. Since I come over the top, they tell me I have a chance at having a good curveball with my arm angle the way it is.

Inside The Ivy: What do you consider your out-pitch?

Angelo Burrows: I usually try to use my changeup a lot, but if I have good command of my fastball, I'll go with either one. I'd still probably say my changeup.

Inside The Ivy: There are a lot of pitching instructors in Mesa at the moment. Which ones have you been working with the closest?

Angelo Burrows: David Rosario and Tom Pratt.

Inside The Ivy: You began your career with the Braves as an outfielder before making the switch to pitching in 2004. How did the transition go?

Angelo Burrows: It wasn't easy, man. It was something I'd never done before. The Braves just felt that they could see me making it in the big leagues more as a pitcher than as a position player. They told me they had some guys ahead of me, and that they just felt pitching would be my best and quickest way to the big leagues.

Inside The Ivy: What was the hardest thing about it all?

Angelo Burrows: The hardest thing was just learning how to pitch. It was something that I wasn't sure about and didn't have much confidence in at first. I had to learn about mechanics and about dealing with the aches and pains of a pitcher. I learned control and balance. It was mind boggling to have to start over from scratch and start at the bottom. It took a lot out of me, but my goal was to be a big leaguer. I guess pitching was just my calling.

More information on Burrows, including stats, photos and a brief career summary, are located here on his player page .

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