Catching up with Padres prospect Nick Trzesniak

As a catcher in the San Diego Padres' minors, heat is an issue. Not only does the team have a facility in steamy Arizona but they also have a Double-A team in Mobile, a site where humidity is the norm. Squatting behind the plate can become a chore. Not so for Nick Trzesniak who loves the art.

So when we sat down and talked to Nick Trzesniak, it was the many aspects of catching the piqued our interest.

When you make a trip to the mound after a lack of communication or whatever the circumstance, what is your approach?

Nick Trzesniak: I am not one of those guys that is going to go out there and yell at them. I don't think that works to well for both guys. Some guys I have done it, but I don't do it all the time. I try to get across to them as plainly as possible, ‘Hey, this aint working. You are leaving it up.' And usually they listen to me. If they do it usually works out.

There was a time when Nate Sevier was called up during the season. A new pitcher you have not had the chance to catch before. How do you approach that?

Nick Trzesniak: He came up and I didn't even know he was there that day. I was like who the heck is this? I go out there and say, ‘Hey, what are you going to throw?' I just tried to do my best in that situation.

I asked him what his strengths are. Usually when a new pitcher comes up you want to throw to his strengths and not the hitters' weaknesses. We just went with what he threw well. Sinkers and sliders and he has been doing great the first four or five appearances.

As a catcher, you are on the front line if a guy gets pegged and wants to charge the mound. You had one such situation with Prince Fielder, who is not a small guy by any means. What happened there?

Nick Trzesniak: That was a fun situation. That was my first on field brawl. It was just a little head tackle from behind. He tried to rush the mound. No punches or anything it was just a little tackle. I fell back to my old football days.

Last year, you stole a couple of bases but this year it seems you have put that on the backburner. Is it a realization that you are a sloth?

Nick Trzesniak: Last year I wasn't. This year I was. I had to conserve all my energy for catching down here in Mobile. I did not really try to take too many bases. This year with a new Manager we did not, as a team, run as much. I left the stolen bases to Nettles and Kennard Jones and them guys.

A few players, coincidentally they are all pitchers, told us that you were the king of Texas Hold ‘em. Any truth to those rumors?

Nick Trzesniak: Who told you that! Yeah, I started playing three or four years ago. I am more experienced and do play in the offseason in a couple of tournaments. I guess I do have an advantage on those guys. I do take their money.


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