Padres Prospect Interview: Dustin Gibbs

Peoria, AZ-- Signed out of a tryout camp this off-season, Dustin Gibbs is working his craft in Arizona and extended spring training. He wasn't sure he would have a chance to play professionally this year and feels he has improved immensely since being signed.

It was February when Dustin Gibbs received a phone call to tryout for the Padres. With spring training a scant few weeks away, Gibbs thought his time for 2007 had passed and he would have to tryout over the summer to make it into a camp.

But, with several American League teams eyeing him, the Padres were quick to sign the right-hander.

He has been working in Peoria, Arizona and the Padres' extended spring training camp – focused on making a short-season club when the season begins in mid-June.

You have the four-seam and split-fingered that you like but what pitches are you working on?

Dustin Gibbs: I'm working on my slider a little bit. They're making me fiddle with my change-up grip a little bit. That's what I've been working on here lately in the bullpens. Other than that, really just staying in a good rhythm. Just stay smooth and stuff. I've been working hard, but mainly the slider is what I've been working with.

With five pitches – is it one too many for professional baseball?

Dustin Gibbs: Yeah, they told me that. We'll focus on the fastball, slider, and changeup right now. I throw a splitter too. It's pretty good; I haven't been throwing it a lot right now, but I've got a lot of confidence in it. It's an out pitch. Other than that, five is probably definitely too many. You want to master probably three to succeed and be successful.

Bevo Francis is obviously known from Rio Grande University but was it tough to get noticed out there as a baseball player?

Dustin Gibbs: Yes. Yes it was. It was definitely tough because they're definitely referred to as a basketball school ever since he's come out there. Yeah, it's taken a lot of hard work to get out of there. I didn't think it was going to happen. But I just kept working hard and stuff and it happened.

You worked in the computer field before coming here – what were you doing and how much nicer is life on the baseball diamond?

Dustin Gibbs: Well, I was a desktop technician at Holzer Medical Center in Gallipolis, Ohio. Definitely it's always been my dream to have a baseball career and I'd definitely take this job over the computer field any day. I think I belong here, so I definitely would love to make it a career.

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