Mid-season Q&A with Clay Rapada

He's left-handed. He's sidearmed. He's healthy again, and he had 21 saves with a miniscule 0.82 ERA at Double-A.                            

Inside The Ivy: This is your first year above A-ball. What has been the itinerary since you got here at Triple-A?

Clay Rapada: Everything has gone OK since I got here. I'm just trying to get acclimated to this level and string together a few good outings.

Inside The Ivy: What's been the hardest thing with trying to get acclimated?

Clay Rapada: I think I've been caught up with trying to be too fine with my pitches. I just have to trust all my stuff.

Inside The Ivy: What's more important – trusting your stuff, or the way the hitter sees you from your delivery angle?

Clay Rapada: I think it's both, really. Left-handers are very rare in this game and sidearm left-handers are certainly rare.

Inside The Ivy: When spring camp broke earlier this year, your name had actually appeared on the Cubs' 25-man roster at one point. Did you ever hear about it?

Clay Rapada: I actually did. [laughs] I got quite a few calls about it. I don't know if it was a mistake or not, but they had to temporarily put people on an active roster and I guess I was the one guy.

Inside The Ivy: Did it get your hopes up for a moment?

Clay Rapada: I thought it was kind of unrealistic.

Inside The Ivy: But now that you've had some success at Double-A and have been promoted, it's not as unrealistic as before, right?

Clay Rapada: No. I just have to prove myself at each level.

Inside The Ivy: What was it like in the Instructional League for you last year?

Clay Rapada: I got in about 13 or 14 innings there. "Instructs" is just a great way to get extra playing time with the opportunity to work on certain things, especially your focus. I focused on working on the slider, the changeup, and just trying to develop as a pitcher.

Inside The Ivy: How much of an incentive is it to come here every day with the thought that you're one step away from a major league mound?

Clay Rapada: You're so close, but at the same time, you're so far away. Your job is to put yourself in a good situation so that you'll force their hand.

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