Padres Prospect Interview: Leo Rosales

Slow starts have been somewhat of a problem for Lake Elsinore Storm and San Diego Padres' prospect Leo Rosales. But his work over the second half of the year is leaving no doubt about his abilities.

You were the Rolaids Relief winner in the Midwest League a year ago and came to the California League this year – home if you will since you are originally from this area. Talk about coming here and the expectations early on.

Leo Rosales: Coming into the Cal League – they told me about this league about the ball flying and everything and it is true. The ball does fly out here and you just need to admit your mistakes. I have made a couple of mistakes here leaving the ball up and I have to make fewer mistakes I guess.

Is that really just a mental barrier that you have to cross. They say if someone tells you it is hard and they keep telling you it is hard eventually you convince yourself that it is hard.

Leo Rosales: It has a lot to do with the mental part, especially me being the closer. I just need to keep the ball down. That is what I need to focus on more and I was able to do that these last few outings.

Last year you were held in extended before joining Fort Wayne in June and blowing through the league. This year you had a 7.00 ERA in May but have had a sub-2.00 ERA in the months of July and August. What has been the reason for your slow starts?

Leo Rosales: That has happened two years in a row. I don't know. I guess that is who I am, start up a little slow and finish strong. That is one of those things I have to work on to get it going in April out of the gate.

      "Being able to lock in earlier, in April, rather than going through a slump and locking in June and July."

Being able to lock in earlier, in April, rather than going through a slump and locking in June and July. We have to figure out how to get going in April and start shutting things down.

What was it like during those times when you weren't so effective? Has manager Rick Renteria always been behind you or did you get the feeling that you may have been yanked from the closer's role?

Leo Rosales: They have been great. Renteria always tells me, ‘You are my ace in the ninth.' That gives you a lot of confidence that your manager and your pitching coach are behind you – and so are my teammates. My teammates are huge in the pen. You just have to get after them and attack the middle, attack the zone.

Your ERA on the road is nearly a run higher than it is at home. Are you playing favorites out there?

Leo Rosales: There is a comfort level at home. You have the fans, which helps out a lot and then on the road I need to do a better job and focus, keep the ball down and change speeds.

I don't know what to say about (the road ERA). It is me being inconsistent. That is just it. I have noticed it and am trying to do a better job now that I have figured out what was wrong with me.

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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