Padres Prospect Interview: Steve Garrison

Three times through security, flights being delayed, missing connectors – the day Steve Garrison was traded wasn't much fun. "I was on fumes," he said. You wouldn't know it after his first two starts in the San Diego Padres' system.

Talk to me about the trade and what the feeling was like for you.

Steve Garrison: It was a complete shock. I always heard it came out of nowhere – but really it came out of nowhere. I had no idea. We had practice – everything is normal. I walk into the clubhouse and my manager says, ‘I need to talk to you.' I don't think anything of it.

‘You just got traded.'

‘What?!' Wow. Just like that.

You just finished a complete game the last time out – ‘I just threw a shutout. What do you mean I have been traded?'

Steve Garrison: I know it is a business. I know the deal and the Padres got some good prospects and the Brewers got the guy they needed. It was a win-win for both teams. I can see why this deal was made, especially with (Will) Inman and (Joe) Thatcher – they are such good pitchers.

Tell me about the pitches you throw and at what speeds. Give me some insight into that.

Steve Garrison: I guess you can call me a typical lefty. I don't thrown anything overpowering – fastball, curveball, slider, changeup. I try and keep hitters off-balance, mixing my pitches and moving my fastball in an out.

The Brewers really emphasized me throwing in to get ahead and to get hitters off the plate. That has helped me out and opens up the outside of the plate for the changeup or two-seam away.

How have you grown since you started in the Brewers system in rookie league ball?

Steve Garrison: Learning my body, learning myself and learning how to pitch. I was happy with the Brewers coaching staff in how they taught me and helped me mature as a pitcher. Now, when I am on the mound I am being more aggressive. I am not just throwing but pitching. I am trying to get ahead and not just throw a fastball over the middle of the plate because it is going to get tattooed.

Did anything change for you – you won your last four starts before coming over and did anything change during that time to get things clicking?

Steve Garrison: I started getting more aggressive. I guess it started to click a little bit and I started to get into my body, listen to my body. If my legs are tired one day I won't run as much as I usually do. I know when I need rest for my next outing instead of going balls to the wall and then you are tired for your start instead of being recuperated and ready.

Generally speaking, you get off to pretty fast starts within games. Talk about your pre-game routine that gets you ready.

Steve Garrison: I do the same routine since I have been in high school. It is a routine I feel comfortable with and gets me ready. I am prepared and really loose.

I guess I have all the adrenaline going and have hyped myself up. I have been keeping the same routine and it has been working for me.

Going into a new system, what are the expectations for you – you almost have to prove yourself again.

Steve Garrison: That was the biggest thing I was not looking forward to. ‘Oh, I have to start all over. I have to start fresh.'

In a sense it is a good thing. I get to start from scratch and I have a better understanding of how professional baseball works. I am older – it might be a good thing.

I am not going to try and overdo myself. That is what I am going to really try not to do because if you do you will be trying too hard and it backfires on you.

You are going to a team that is in first place.

Steve Garrison: It is really nice. It is funny because the team I was just on won the first half and we were going to the playoffs no matter what. I kind of wanted to win a ring. Then I find out (Lake Elsinore) is in first place, ‘Alright!' It is kind of nice. It is not a bad spot.

One thing that struck me as being quite strange is you are a switch hitting pitcher?

Steve Garrison: Yeah...I hate breaking balls coming in. I have been switch-hitting since I was in tee ball. It just kind of happened by mistake. One day my coach told me to swing one way and the next day my dad told me to hit the other way. I am all messed up.

The fastball is what 88-90?

Steve Garrison: On a good day! On a good day! 86-88 and topping out at 89. If my arm feels really good, 90.

While you admit you don't have overpowering stuff, you haven't given up a whole lot of homers.

Steve Garrison: My last year in West Virginia I gave up a few. I gave up 10. The coaches really got on me to keep the ball down, keep the hitters off-balance and work ahead. If I do get a fastball count to throw an off-speed pitch. Try and mix it up because I never want to get too predictable. I don't want the hitters to be too comfortable in the box. That is another thing I learned. I realized I can't elevate my fastball and get it by anybody.

We talked about the quick starts to games but the fourth inning has not been so kind. What is the reason for that?

Steve Garrison: That is what I meant when I said I had to start listening to my body and the recovery period and how to go about it and take care of your legs and arm. I am starting to get the hang of that and bounce back so I can go longer into games. I am feeling pretty good and the way I am ready for the rest of the season.

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