Q&A with Corey Coles

After a winter spent rehabbing his surgically repaired shoulder, Corey Coles entered camp determined to get healthy and improve his game. InsidePitchMagazine.com caught up with the outfielder to find out how his rehab went and how he looks ahead to 2007.

InsidePitchMagazine: What is your average day like now that camp has started?

Corey Coles: My day it's not too different from everyone else. Before we go out I do some more preparation for my shoulder, heat it up, loosen it up, throw and stretch. I usually throw with the other rehab guys. After that I'll do my real rehab work out.

Inside Pitch: What exactly does your rehab entail? What is the focus of your rehab?

Coles: Mainly I focus on getting my range of motion where I need it to be. When I'm throwing, I concentrate on my mechanics, basically learning how to throw again.

Inside Pitch: Is the strength in your arm returning?

Coles: My arm is strong now. I've been working on it since last October. I got here three and a half weeks ago and we went right to work on it. It's been good, the power is coming back. We actually had to scale it back a little so we didn't over do it. It's pretty much where I need to be, just need to strengthen my throwing.

Inside Pitch: Shoulder injuries can be very scary for young players, are you confident you would get it back to where it was and where you need it to be?

Coles: Yea I was confident about it. I heard about other guys having the same surgery and what it took for them to make it back. This was my second one, I knew what to expect I guess. I bust my butt everyday trying regain strength and motion because I want to play everyday eventually.

Inside Pitch: Have the coaches or trainers restricted you at all?

Coles: I'm on a strict throwing program. I'm throwing four or five days a week at certain distances, I'm not going over that. I'm hitting three to five days a week, certain amount of swings. They are being careful to not let me over do it.

Inside Pitch: What do you think camp is like for the young guys experiencing their first one?

Coles: I think a lot of them come in not knowing what to expect, just like I did. I think my favorite question of theirs is "Do we get any days off?". They come in fresh, not knowing a lot about what goes on. You can pick them out of the clubhouse.

Inside Pitch: Who do you think is ready for a break out year?

Coles: I think Shane Hawk will have a solid year no matter where he starts. I heard he's a little banged up now, but if he can stay healthy, he'll have a strong year.

Inside Pitch: Where do you think your game needs to go from here? What do you look to evolve in your offensive game?

Coles: I want to steal more bases, that is one of my goals. I'm trying to keep my batting average around .300, my on-base percentage around .400. I did a lot better at getting walked last year, I'd like to keep improving that. I want to keep getting more walks than strikeouts.

Inside Pitch: What have learned about this game and what it takes to move up in the system?

Coles: I think you need to patient. You don't want to have a good half season and than expect to move up. You can't down on yourself if you don't get moved up at a time you think you should. All we can do is work on our game. We all have roles in this system and players need to play within them.

Inside Pitch: To give our fans a better idea of the type of player you are, who would you compare your game to at the Major League level and why?

Coles: I'd say Johnny Damon or Scott Podsednik. I'm not a real power guy, but I lead off, get on base, hit some doubles, and steal bases.

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