Your velocity was down a little bit from college – was the off-season a time to regain that?
Nathan Culp: Really, I didn't start throwing until like the middle of January this year. Velocity isn't a big concern for me right now. It's more location and putting it where I want to. The velocity will come along as the season goes on and my arm gets strong. I don't want to say my arm's not in shape, but it's not 100 percent right now just because I rested it so much over the off-season.
Did your preparation change knowing full season ball is on the horizon?
Nathan Culp: I don't think so. Like, in college, it's more like a football game where you play once a week and you go out there and you're 100 percent when you go out there because you only have to throw once a week. In a full season you're throwing every fifth day. You almost have to pace yourself a little bit. From what I've heard, because obviously I haven't done it before. I think the season will be a little bit longer. But at the same time, you have to see teams four or five times at least so you get to see their hitters and you know who you're facing. I think it's a little more psychological than a college game is. I think a college game you just go out there and you throw everything you've got. In a long season, you can learn from the hitters a little bit more.
It seemed you had some struggles pitching out of the stretch – did you notice a difference and how can you correct it?
Nathan Culp: I just need to work on it more in my bullpens, throw my bullpens out of the stretch, and really bear down when I've got guys on base. Get ground balls or maybe get a couple more strikeouts when I need to. I don't strike out a whole lot of guys, but with guys on base like that maybe I do need to be able to strike somebody out if I have to. So I'm just working on that in my bullpens.
Is there something specific you were working on this spring?
Nathan Culp: Just staying more balanced and compact and, out of stretch and windup, just keeping everything as simple as I can which will allow me to throw more strikes.
Aaron Breit, a draft-and-follow signing, went 2-3 with a 3.08 ERA over 18 games, including 12 starts, for the Eugene Emeralds. In 64.1 innings he allowed 60 hits, walked 22 and struck out 69.
Have you more or less shelved the slider in favor of more curveballs?
Aaron Breit: Yeah. I've been working on it a little bit, but very few times.
How is the feel for the changeup coming – last year it came in a little too hard at times.
Aaron Breit: Lately it's been a little hard, but in the off-season it was working good for me. Today I threw bullpen and it was working good.
How has your preparation changed without college classes – do you watch film more?
Aaron Breit: Oh, yeah. I'm just focusing more on baseball, and it's expected.
How was the off-season different for you with full-season ball on the horizon?
Aaron Breit: It was great. I worked real hard. Got my throwing in, worked their program, and I'm ready to get out here and start the games.