Prospect Interview: Gary Gallegos

He began the year as a starter but found himself in the bullpen after three starts in his first year in the Padres system. A California product, he spent some time adjusting to his new role. But as a lefty, he will be given plenty of chances. sits down for a in depth chat with Padres prospect Gary Gallegos. As a lefty reliever you get a little bit more chances, don't you?

Gary Gallegos: Yeah, for sure. I guess in the Padres organization they're already trying to develop a lot of talent in that department, so there's definitely a chance for me to move up and get a lot of work. With the combination of (Dave) Rajsich helping me out with my mechanics and just the hard work that I'm putting in, I guess it's paying off a little bit. I think I'm pitching pretty good. Was it tough out there in Eugene, pitching, because the team didn't do very well at all?

Gary Gallegos: I still played as if we're in a playoff race when I went out there. If I go out there and we're up 5-2, I'm not going to be like, "Oh, it doesn't matter if we lose this one." I treat it as something that's going to help my career. I don't want to hurt it so I try to do my best every time I'm out there, no matter what the situation is. Is there a particular inning you'd rather be in, like the eighth? Do you have a defined role? "I'm not just the left-handed specialist, I can be the set-up guy to the closer," that sort of thing.

Gary Gallegos: That's what I am: I'm a set-up. I was middle relief and did fine there. When I'd come in, I'd throw two innings and I'd do all right. Then they moved me to set-up and my first two times out there, it wasn't my situation so I got real nervous. After that, I calmed down and figured it out. I like it, I know when I'm throwing, and I know it's probably going to be a close game. It's a little more fun than pitching in a game when you're losing twelve to nothing. That's safe to say. What's your repertoire include, as far as your pitching?

Gary Gallegos: I have a fastball, two seam and four seam; a slider; curve; and a change-up. I mainly just throw fastball, with an occasional slider to a lefty, or a change-up to a righty. The change-up right now isn't as adequate as something I'd like. It's not a top pitch. You mentioned that you can go to your pitching coach and work on some stuff. What are some of things you work on, that you want to get better at?

Gary Gallegos: The thing we're mainly working on is helping me get an arm circle established to help me take advantage of my height. I was just kind of pulling the ball out and it made me kind of erratic. There was no consistency, no straight line to the plate. The main thing is that I moved over from the third base side of the rubber to the first base side. That's just to create angles against left-handers and right-handers, boring in on the right-handers and kind of coming in out of right field for the left-handers. I've seen a huge improvement just in the reactions of hitters to my pitches. That helps with things like trying to throw two-seam fastballs number one, then breaking balls after that. You want to have a plan, but you have to perform.

Yeah, and everything else just kind of falls from that pitch. I mainly work fastball out, fastball in, up, down. A while back you spent some time pitching in Alaska, how was that?

Gary Gallegos: It was pretty nice. You have to get used to the day time all the time, but other than that the scene there is pretty amazing. Of all things, I got to know people who were like sixty years old, seventy years old, who were completely active. They hike and white-water raft. You'd see all that.

As far as the baseball, it's kind of similar to playing here. There are a lot of guys that I recognize from Alaska that are playing on teams out here. I played against a reliever who was up there, Gabe Alvarez. It just reminded me of playing against those guys. They're the same guys.

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