MadFriars' Interview: Matt Lollis

LAKE ELSINORE, CA: At 6'9" and 270 lbs. Matt Lollis attracts attention on the diamond and in 2010 he seemed on his way to a spot in the big league rotation after blowing through three levels at nineteen years old.

In addition to his size, "Big Country" had a fastball that seemingly dove straight down in the zone in addition to developing secondary pitches. However injuries and troubles with his command set him back the next two years. After bouncing between starting and relief the Padres have decided his future lay in the bullpen and so far this year the change has taken.

Before being promoted to San Antonio he had a 2.32 ERA in 31 innings pitched with 31 strikeouts and most importantly only 11 walks in the Cal League with Lake Elsinore.

Still only 22 Lollis obviously has a world of potential and the time to develop it.

You have put together a much better year so far than last season. What has been the big reasons for your success?

Matt Lollis: Thanks. In spring training we dropped the arm angle a little bit and its been working so far.

When I first watched you in Eugene the big advantage that I thought you had was the ball was dropping straight down in the zone. I would assume that if you changed your arm angle more to the side it wouldn't quite have the same tilt. Is that true?

Matt Lollis: Well for me at least the last couple of years the ball had been getting up in the zone and its also been pretty straight with no movement. I wasn't getting that good downward angle.

When we started to toy around with dropping down it just created a little more movement for me.

How do you come up with that? Are you out playing catch and think, "hey this might work."

Matt Lollis: Actually they called me into the office and told me to try it. I was a little wary at first but then I started to have some success with it.

Has it affected your velocity?

Matt Lollis: No and my arm has been feeling great. So a lot of the worries that I had initially haven't come to be.

It seems like a more natural throwing motion than straight over the top.

Matt Lollis: That was one part that I really took to too at first. It really just felt very natural after the first few bullpens. The coaches noticed it too that it looked like I had been doing it for a much longer time than I had.

Moving from starting to being in the bullpen has to be a bit of a change. We talked about this some last year and it seems it is more of a benefit to you being in the pen because you like the fact that you have a chance to be in the game any day.

Matt Lollis: I love the pen. Having the chance to be in game two or three days in the row and knowing at any time you can get called, I love that part.

Does it help you a little more being in the pen because you are just working with your strengths instead of worrying what you are going to throw the third time through the order? If I am going to get beat it is going to be with my strength.

Matt Lollis: That is the attitude that you have to have coming out of the pen, especially late in the game. If you are going to get beat it has to be with your best stuff.

Your fastball is pretty much a four-seamer correct?

Matt Lollis: Mostly a four-seamer and with the new arm angle it creates a little more movement.

How about for your secondary pitches?

Matt Lollis: A slider and a change-up.

I always ask what you guys are looking to improve upon and the answer always is consistency. Is that still true?

Matt Lollis: Oh yeah, that is the name of the game. Just want to get better and keep moving up.

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