MadFriars' Interview: Will Inman

TUCSON: RHP Will Inman, 24, was drafted in the third round by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 2005 draft. In 2007 he was traded to the Padres in the Scott Linebrink deal along with LHP Joe Thatcher and Steve Garrison, who is now with the Yankees.

The six-foot 215 lbs. Inman breezed through the lower levels of the Brewer system but injuries and mechanical problems have stalled his rise.

Although a 3-8 record with a 5.78 ERA would normally not be indicative of a good season a closer look at his secondary numbers shows some positive results. In a very friendly hitting league, where its dangerous to put the ball in the air or on the ground, he has struck out 93 batters in 85.2 innings pitched against 36 walks. He has caught a bit too much of the plate with 98 hits but has also consistently been in the mid-90s.

Before going to the bullpen in mid-June because of a innings limitations he was one of the leaders in the PCL in strikeouts.

His future probably lies more in middle relief than as a starter on the big league level and he could be in another in a long line of successful relief pitchers the organization has been able to develop.

You are one of the leaders in strikeouts in the PCL and have a pretty good strikeout to walk ratio. This is supposed to be one of the tougher places to pitch in baseball so why have you had so much success?

Will Inman: I've had some games where I have been able to put together some strikeouts, but also had some games that didn't go so well. Overall though my stuff is better this year especially my command.

I had surgery last year and was able to bounce back really well.

What was the surgery that you had?

Will Inman: Ulnar nerve transposition surgery.

When I talked to you last year in Portland you were kind of on the fence whether you were going to get it.

Will Inman: I bounced back well and the stuff was better than its been in years. My command is a little off from what it should be.

As for the strikeouts a lot of it is just the parks we play in, you have to go for the strikeouts. The ball carries real well in the air and if you let them put it on the ground with the hard infields its getting through.

What is funny is this is considered a pitchers park for the southern division.

Will Inman: [laughs] It is funny and its also true. Its tough and you shouldn't let it affect you but you also have to go for it too. You want to go deep into games but many times the best chance to win is to keep them from hitting the ball.

You're ERA is a little high but its tough to have a real good number in these conditions. Are you catching too much of the plate at times because you are going for the strikeouts?

Will Inman: I try to attack right out of the gate. I have a strict innings limit for how many I can throw and am not going deep into games; so I just attack and I like that. Attack with my fastball and cutter then go to put them away with my curve. Late in the games I might pitch a little backward.

We talked about this before when you try to "hump up" you reach back to far. Do you still do that?

Will Inman: Not really and I think I've really improved upon that in the past few years of trying to not do too much. It might be why my hits are up, is because I try to get ahead and guys are seeing the fastball early in the count.

We talk about this on the site quite a bit. When you say fastball are you referring to your four-seamer or two-seamer?

Will Inman: I throw mainly four-seams. I'll mix in two-seams from time to time. It kind of compliments my curve. I try to not get too picky with stuff and go at people. When I start trying to get too tricky is when I get in trouble.

We talked to TK and he believes that you pitch well as a starter but he sees more of a future for you out of the pen where you can throw two or three innings with your best velocity which is around the mid-90's.

Will Inman: I could see myself doing both, and really its whatever gets me to the big leagues I am fine with it. I understand what he is saying when I look at my charts. When I know that my inning limit is coming up I start to let stuff go so I have better stuff then.

In the first inning its tough to really let stuff go because you have to be out there for awhile.

That is a pretty big difference though to go from a starter with a set routine of once every five days to pitching in middle relief when out never know when you are going in. And you have never done it.

Will Inman: I have never done it. I can't say that it is going to be easy because its a completely different game. There have been talks about that because I am limited to 120 innings this year. Everytime I go out, I'm trying to get innings in.

It seems like the biggest thing you are trying to work on this year is to get your innings more efficient.

Will Inman: Yeah, that is a big thing I have been working on, getting deeper into games. Although this year for me a big thing has been fastball command.

Not that I'm gong to go out there and throw only fastballs, but you have to be able to command that pitch to really go anywhere. The other pitches will come, but fastball command has been a big thing for me this season.

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