Padres Prospect Interview: Ricky Steik

Just prior to going on the disabled list with shoulder inflammation, we had the chance to talk to reliever Ricky Steik. Over 52 appearances with the Fort Wayne Wizards, Steik has a 2.30 ERA.

Ricky Steik: Right now my shoulder is messed up. With the help of Paul Navarro, our trainer, it is getting much better. I have inflammation in it.

Last year you had thrown too many innings and were put in a relief role and you talked about possibly joining the starting rotation this season. Was there any indication that might happen as the season drew near?

Ricky Steik: I knew that I was going to be in the bullpen. I told them that I wouldn't mind coming out from the pen and I guess that is why I am in the pen.

Have you settled in as a reliever now and what differs in the preparation?

Ricky Steik: You have to be consistent with your strikes and throw all your pitches for strikes. If you get people out, everything is going to be good.

They say as a reliever you can be as nasty as you want to be. Have you found that to be true?

Ricky Steik: Your arm is going to be a lot healthier. You can try and throw hard and just blow it out.

A 2.30 ERA but five losses – have you asked them to put you in some games so you can get a win?

Ricky Steik: I have tried that! With Varner behind me in a closing role – I have full confidence in my closer – just things haven't been going my way.

That is just throwing strikes and getting people out.

You had stretch during the season where you threw scoreless ball over 15 outings, what has been the key to your success?

Ricky Steik: Really pitching in and out. Working on hitting the glove wherever he sets up. Throwing my off-speed for strikes – that is the big key. Getting out in front.

Has there been a pitch that has been really working for you, you mentioned the off-speed pitch?

Ricky Steik: You know what, no. My fastball, actually. My four seam and my two-seam. And just moving those in and out.

My fastball is consistent 91-93 and touches 94. Changeup is 76-80. Slider is about 80-83.

The changeup is one of the key pitches in baseball. They are coming at a fastball angle and all of a sudden the ball drops down and to the right to a lefty or into a righty and messes up their whole perspective of the baseball.

You have walked 22 batters all year but in one game walked five – what happened that day and other than that game how have you been able to consistently paint the strike zone?

Ricky Steik: The game I walked five – I wasn't consistent with my fastball and I was missing down. I intentionally walked two batters that game. Still 22 walks is not good.

You have a 1.91 ERA at home but a 2.67 ERA on the road – are you playing favorites out there?

Ricky Steik: No, not at all. With all the promotions and kids days. The crowd kind of pumps me up.

How has your workout regimen changed now that you are in the Padres' minors?

Ricky Steik: Now that we have our strength coaches, they are on top of it a lot. They don't let us slack off and you mine as well do it hard if you have to do it.

I feel like I have been more energy.

Do you find you have to tape the latest episode of the OC so you can catch it on off-hours?

Ricky Steik: I did watch the first series and I will say it is nothing like the OC. I stopped watching it.

Have a question about a prospect in the San Diego Padres' system. Send Denis an email at Some questions will be forwarded and answered on air during 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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