Padres Interview: Mike Adams

It was a long road back for pitcher Mike Adams, but he met his ultimate goal – pitching in the major leagues for the San Diego Padres. We caught up with Adams just prior to his callup back to the show.

Was there something specific you wanted to work on early in the season?

Mike Adams: I am just trying to work on getting back into the game again. I missed all of last year because of injuries and am trying to get back into the swing of things and keep my emotions intact a little bit, get my mechanics together and throw as many strikes as I can.

When you say keep your emotions in check, is that the toughest thing – not getting too amped up or disappointed in one particular pitch or outing?

Mike Adams: Yea – the blood gets going a little bit even though it is Spring Training and the crowds aren't big just yet. Right now, for me, I have been out a whole year so this is as big as it gets. The blood gets going pretty good. The hardest thing is to keep myself relaxed and staying back.

Last year – missing the whole year, how tough was that on you mentally?

Mike Adams: At first, it was real tough. Sitting back every day and not being able to play taught me a lot. It taught me about patience and being thankful for what I am able to do when I am healthy.

Never take this game for granted. I kind of consider getting hurt to be a blessing of sorts because it helped me get back to where I was before mentally.

Can you refocus on the game in a different way when you are sitting on the sidelines, picking up some things you may not have seen before?

Mike Adams: Probably the easiest thing with that is watching it on TV and picking up hitters and seeing what their strengths and weaknesses are. That is a big thing when you are watching a game because hopefully one day you will be up there and facing those guys. If you pay attention and know what is going on it will be to your advantage. That is a good thing.

I got to see you pitch and wasn't sure if you were throwing a slider that had curve action or what you call it?

Mike Adams: It is sort of a slurve, when it is working. Right now, I am trying to get back into check with my breaking balls and trying to regain the feel for them. That is probably the hardest thing – trying to get a feel for those again. It will come but will take a little bit of time. You have to have patience with that.

Was there a third pitch – some sort of splitter?

Mike Adams: It is kind of a split/change. That is more like a fastball and it is about getting the release point on that. It is going to come but it will take some patience. I have to keep throwing it no matter what. It will eventually come.

You know where you have been and know where you are today. How big is that gap?

Mike Adams: You know, it is right there. It is at the doorstep. It is always something that has to happen up top or with another organization. The main thing is staying healthy and going out there and pitching well. It is not as big a step as many people think but the main thing is going out there and performing every single night.

What would be a successful 2008 season for Mike Adams?

Mike Adams: To get back into the big leagues, whether it be in April or September. That is the goal. The sooner the better. A successful 2008 would be staying healthy and being back in the big leagues.

Mission accomplished. Adams was called up two days after this interview.

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