Padres Prospect Interview: Wade LeBlanc

Lake Elsinore, CA-- Left-hander Wade LeBlanc has put his focus on keeping the ball down in the zone and keeping his team in the game – it is the goal of every pitcher; LeBlanc is just doing it better than everyone else as his scoreless inning streak reached 25 innings.

Having pitched through the college season, your first pro experience and instructs, you worked a lot of innings last year. What did you do to recover and get yourself ready for the season?

Wade LeBlanc: It took a while, but I think I took maybe a month-and-a-half, two months completely off from anything, then I started getting back into weights and conditioning, then towards early-January I got back to throwing. I think it was good and was something that my arm needed – actually my whole body. Something mentally, physically I needed to do. Now I'm ready to go.

How many total innings did you log last year?

Wade LeBlanc: I got bored one day and totaled it up. It was the low 190s. It wasn't anything that I'm not going to be doing if I want to have a long career, but it's something I need to get used to.

You were shut down with a forearm issue during camp. What happened with that, and how are you feeling now?

Wade LeBlanc: I'm feeling good. It was something I could have thrown through, and probably been fine more than likely. But it was something I didn't want to (have it) keep going, so I just shut it down for three days. It wasn't anything serious.

Were you focused on making this Lake Elsinore club when you came into camp?

Wade LeBlanc: I wasn't really worried where I was going to start. I think if you come out here and do your job, everything else will take care of itself. I wanted to just come out here and build on last year.

Now that you're here, how are you feeling about the season?

Wade LeBlanc: To be honest with you, I'm excited. I'm ready to see what the Cal League's got in store for me. I've heard a lot of good things and I've heard a lot of bad things as far as being a pitcher. I'm just happy to be here and happy to do anything I can to help this team.

Does working in a league that has a reputation for being so favorable to hitters change your approach on the mound?

Wade LeBlanc: Not really. I think especially being a pitcher, if you go out there and try to pitch away from your strengths, that's when you're going to get beat. I think if I go out here worrying about the ball flying out, I'm going to leave the ball up even more and I'm going to get hurt even worse than I would have if I just go out and pitch my game. I think that's something I have to really keep in mind – and something every pitcher that's out here does – that they have to pitch their game.

Does it help to have your former college teammate Brent Carter out here make it easier?

Wade LeBlanc: We have a lot of guys that have been through this league and have been through this before. I'm glad Brent's here, but his situation is kind of a weird one. TO be honest with you, I wish he wasn't out here. I wish he was in San Antonio. But, that's one of the things you've got to deal with. Since he is here, I'm going to take full advantage of him knowing the parks and knowing the hitters and all that kind of stuff.

With the Padres' focus on using the change and "pitchability," do you think being in the organization sets you up to succeed more than others might?

Wade LeBlanc: Oh, absolutely. I couldn't ask to be in a better organization. Everything that they preach plays to my strengths. I think being in this organization ultimately allows me to go out there and be comfortable with what I have and know that what I have is what they're looking for. I just have to go out there and be consistent with it.

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