Q&A with Casey McGehee

In his first Triple-A season, third baseman Casey McGehee is batting a steady .280 and has eight hits in his last 16 at-bats. The Cubs' 10th-round draft pick from Fresno State in 2003 seems poised for another solid season at the plate, but he recently opened up about some of the struggles he's had this year.

Inside The Ivy: You seem to be holding your own here. Would you agree?

Casey McGehee: I'm a little frustrated right now, because I feel we have plenty enough talent to contend in this league – which we are right now. But I'd personally like to be doing a little more to help our team win some more ball games. At the same time, it's hard to get too frustrated. It's a different challenge here. I feel like I'm trying to make some adjustments and it's just a matter of getting that one good hot streak.

Inside The Ivy: You've gone up a level every year since you were drafted. That has to count for something, right?

Casey McGehee: There's a lot to learn up here. We're fortunate to have a good mix of guys that I've played with in the past, and some older guys that have really tried their best to give me some of the knowledge they've picked up along the way. What we had last year and what we've got this year, I think that we've got a chance to improve both individually and as a team. It's always good to have a challenge and this is definitely a challenge. Hopefully we'll start making adjustments and start winning more ballgames.

Inside The Ivy: You've said you feel sometimes that struggles are a good thing, no?

Casey McGehee: It focuses you and makes you realize you have a long way to go. The closer you get, the more work you have to do to get up to that next level. And not just get there, but hopefully get up there and stay. I'm enjoying my time here. I wouldn't change a thing and hopefully I can take the few struggles I've had and turn them into a positive.

Inside The Ivy: I think I've talked to you before about winter ball this past off-season, but how would you sum up the experience?

Casey McGehee: It was a good experience for me. The different cultures make you appreciate some of the guys that come over here and don't necessarily know our language very well. Having to go through that was something I'd never encountered before. The baseball was a good quality of baseball. It was definitely something I hope to do again.

Inside The Ivy: You've been at third base primarily since '04, but I saw you warming up with some light catching gear the other day. Are your catching days completely over?

Casey McGehee: I think it's always a good thing to play quite a few different positions and that's something I've done occasionally with first base. But no, as far as I know, there are no plans to put me at another position. I tried the whole catching thing once and that was the end of the experiment.

Inside The Ivy: I didn't want to say anything, but the first time I saw you this year, I noticed you didn't seem as laid back as you were last year.

Casey McGehee: Sometimes it's hard to separate things that are going on off the field and not letting them come with you to the field every day. I don't think I was doing a very good job of that the last couple of weeks.

Inside The Ivy: Ouch. Everything OK?

Casey McGehee: Yeah, nothing big; just every day stuff. It's the kind of stuff everybody goes through. On top of that, getting a couple of hits seems to take care of a lot of it. But no, everything's fine. I'm just enjoying playing. At this point in baseball, I know there are a lot of people who don't get this chance. They always say to play every day like it's your last, because you really don't know when your last day is. One freak accident later ... there are a lot of things out of your control. You have to enjoy the time you have!

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