Padres Prospect Interview: Simon Castro

Simon Castro came to Arizona last year not knowing a lot of English. In Eugene, Castro flashed his smile and grasp of the English language in impressive fashion. There is a feeling that Latin prospects who make strides in learning the baseball culture and vocabulary make quicker strides on the baseball field. Castro has taken that to heart.

Let's talk aboutlast year to this year. How have you matured and gotten better as a pitcher?

Simon Castro: I think I'm working a lot the last year and this year. I try to be better and that's why I think I'm better now.

Now, you got the opening day start. That had to feel pretty good, opening day, opening day home opener too?

Simon Castro: That was very exciting for me. I feel like I can do better, but that was very exciting. That's why I did like the way I did.

Pitching coach Dave Rajsich's pretty hard on you, "Keep you weight back, do this, do that…" How has he helped your game?

Simon Castro: He has helped me a lot. I know he does that to help me, and that is good, I need that sometimes because I can't do it. If he keeps doing that, I'm going to do good.

We know your fastball is good and the changeup is relatively new. How is that coming along, the changeup?

Simon Castro: I think it's coming very good. The speed is slower now; I think it's going to be good.

Is it tough because you're used to throwing the fastball, the slider hard, hard, hard, but the changeup is soft?

Simon Castro: That's true. The slider and fastball sometimes are very hard and I need something slow to try and change speed. I think I need to keep working on the changeup.

You were working in the bullpen and you were throwing – a couple went in the dirt when I saw you in Eugene. Is that just over trying, trying too hard almost?

Simon Castro: Yeah, sometimes I pull. To try to throw slow, I hold a little harder and then that's why sometimes I pull to the ground. I think it's common.

With practice, right?

Simon Castro: Yeah, I'm practicing that.

So, how about your mechanics? Are you happy with how they're coming along?

Simon Castro: Yeah, I feel very comfortable right now the way my mechanics. I don't know if you remember last year I throw sometimes like I follow. Now, I throw and stay in front. I'm working on that a lot because when I do that, I can throw better strikes.

Last year, really, you fell behind in the count, 2-0 and then you would come up and hit strikes. Here and now, do you see how important it is to work ahead?

Simon Castro: Yeah, that's true. I see what's important because when we work ahead, we can throw all my pitches. If I throw strike one, I can throw changeup behind and slider, whatever. But, if I throw ball one, I have to throw all fastballs because it's my best pitch.

I think I need to keep working, the way I keep doing right now. I think keep working.

How's it throwing to Emmanuel Quiles? How do you think he does as the catcher?

Simon Castro: I think he does right now the best way because he's got a very good arm and very good location, he moves location. He knows the hitters. Every time he comes to talk to me how we can do with the hitters. I think he's pretty good.

Is it tough if you're throwing to Logan Forsythe or Clint Naylor? Is it tough because he doesn't necessarily know you as well?

Simon Castro: No, it's not a problem. It's ok.

It's still a learning process?

Simon Castro: Yeah, it's still a learning process.

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