The Aussies: Andrew Gribbin and John Hussey

Peoria, AZ-- Australian baseball is considered to be a burgeoning market. The San Diego Padres have attacked the Aussie scene under the direction of Randy Smith and have found two quality arms – Andrew Gribbin and John Hussey. Hussey has made tremendous strides over the course of the last year and Gribbin is the newcomer, getting his feet wet in professional baseball.

Signed in January of 2006 as a 17-year old out of Australia, Gribbin has commitments he had to attend last season and will begin his career in the United States this year.

Talk about your first impressions of the United States.

Andrew Gribbin: It's different to Australia, but I like it a lot.

Has it been made easier with John Hussey and Murray Hopley already here?

Andrew Gribbin: Yeah, it's a lot better having those guys here because they sort of show you what to do and everything like that.

What have you learned from the coaching staff already?

Andrew Gribbin: They've been great. I really like the coaches. They've showed me lots of things in my pitching, and how to hold the ball different ways and take it to the next level, so it's really good.

Talk about your pitches and the speeds you throw them at.

Andrew Gribbin: I throw a fastball, changeup, and slider. The fastball is probably about 88. The changeup's like 76-78. The slider's maybe about the same.


Hussey spent the last two years with the Arizona Rookie League Padres, learning his first year and putting the pieces together in year two. He went 3-1 with a 2.44 ERA over 13 appearances with the AZL Padres, including seven starts. In 44.1 innings he allowed 39 hits, walked 16 and struck out 32. His stuff also developed – a fastball that sat mid-80s was hitting low-90s. And there was more…

You made tremendous strides with your mechanics last year and your fastball velocity jumped – when did you feel it all come together for you and who was instrumental in making it happen?

John Hussey: It probably came together at the end of extended (spring training). And just from a lot of work with Wally Whitehurst and Dave Rajsich. They did a lot of work on my mechanics and helped free up my delivery a lot more. And that helped me with my velocity and my control. So it was mainly those two guys that really helped me.

You have a plus curveball – is the changeup next on the menu and how is the progression of the pitch?

John Hussey: The changeup is definitely (on the menu). The organization philosophy now is fastball command and changeup. It's been something that I really worked on this off-season and hopefully it comes together at the mound. It's a feel pitch and I'm starting to get a feel for it, so hopefully I can incorporate it more this season for sure.

What is it like knowing you can drop the curve in at any time and are you getting frustrated looks when a guy looks foolish and has to head back to the dugout?

John Hussey: (laughs) Well, it's not every time. But it's getting a lot better. It's always a plus. It's always a plus when you can do that, definitely.

You were really tough with runners in scoring position last year. What changed?

John Hussey: I haven't really thought about that one to be honest. I guess with runners on base I feel a lot more pressure and I feel like I really need to knuckle down a lot more. You don't tend to mess with pitches as much and you don't tend to feel like you can waste one, and you make a lot more pitches. And I guess it's just the fact that you're that much more determined to be in there, that you have more success. I guess it's something that I've got to focus more on when there's no runners on and help look at it that way.

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