Padres Prospect Interview: Richie Daigle

The Padres signed Richie Daigle to be a pitcher. It is a relatively new position for the Georgia product and through his first 11 innings with the Arizona Rookie League Padres he has given up seven runs.

How did this whole thing come about with the Padres that they wanted to try you out as a pitcher?

Richie Daigle: I was playing for a wooden bat league in Atlanta. It was a Stan Musial League so there were some ex-Pro guys and a lot of college players. The assistant coach with the team, a guy named Paul Fletcher who is associated with the Padres, and I started pitching with this team because I was done with college ball and I have a good arm so why not see what happens. I pitched in tryouts before and people liked me and I have done well. I just want to keep on playing the game and start pitching and have some success. Over the entire summer I only gave up one run and three hits and had a lot of strikeouts.

He made some calls and got me a tryout with the Padres down in Mobile. I went down there and tried out and pretty soon I got a phone call and a plane ticket. Here I am.

Talk about going from a college outfielder to a pitcher in the Padres' system:

Richie Daigle: It is a little bit of an adjustment. I miss hitting and everything but at the same time it is kind of exciting. In a way it is a new way to look at the game. I am really excited and it is an opportunity to play which is the most important part.

In your first outing, you went three innings. Was this kind of a shock to you where you may have thought you would get your feet we with an inning of work?

Richie Daigle: Before the game I probably thought I would only pitch one inning and kind of get my feet wet. Then when I came on in the second inning my mindset was I probably should be out here at least a couple of innings to get us longer into the game. I guess it was a shock.

Were you surprised with the stuff you could command on the pitcher's mound?

Richie Daigle: I always had a really good arm. Even when I was in the outfield I knew I could throw the ball really, really hard. People didn't run on me and word got around that no one wanted to touch my arm in the outfield. I always knew I could throw hard and if I ever wanted to try pitching I would have a good fastball.

As far as the slider coming along and the changeup and everything else, everything always needs a little bit of work. It is somewhat surprising that I have my velocity and have been able to throw a lot of strikes. But I am a perfectionist and expecting that of myself. I need to get better and expect it will get better as time goes on.

What are you hitting on the radar gun?

Richie Daigle: This last outing I was throwing about 91. This summer I was throwing a little harder. I have been consistently in the low-nineties.

Who has helped you with the progression of all your pitches and what is your comfort level with the secondary pitches?

Richie Daigle: (Pitching coach) Jim Bennett. I feel good with them. I have always had confidence in them. It is just a matter of whether they do what I want them to do or not. It is coming along real well and once those pitches are really established I will get the kind of command I am looking for from them. Then I will be a pretty good pitcher. I am throwing good right now and I think they are effective at this level. It is just getting them to be effective at higher levels.

Talk about the mechanics on the mound. You may have been used to throwing one way from the outfield but this is a different beast.

Richie Daigle: I am just trying to keep things as simple as possible. I am not trying to make my motion where I have a huge windup or some sort of 12-step process. I am just trying to keep things as simple as possible and let my body and arm work for me. Try not to do too much, stay within myself and try and let things happen naturally.

Have a question about a prospect in the San Diego Padres' system. Send Denis an email at denis@sandiegosports.net. Some questions will be forwarded and answered on air during MadFriars.com weekly segment on the flagship station for San Diego Padres' baseball, The Mighty 1090. The show airs each Friday at 10:35 AM PST with Brian Wilson and Ernie Martinez.


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