Padres Prospect Interview: Anthony Bass

Anthony Bass was a Midwest League All-Star and quickly proved he was above that circuit. His competitive nature got the best of him when he moved up to Lake Elsinore. Being able to recognize that, however, is one of the many traits that has the San Diego Padres excited about his future.

Was it tough to adjust to the innings count where you were throwing six and seven innings before coming to Lake Elsinore where you were knocked down to one or two and then building it back up?

Anthony Bass: It was different. I had never really done that before. Last year, I was relieving and this year I was starting so it was different. It was a bit of a change.

I don't think it was that difficult. I think I made it difficult for myself mentally. I kind of ran into a few bad outings here and there but I don't see it as tough.

How did you make it difficult on yourself?

Anthony Bass: I kind of felt like I was settling for something. Even though I was promoted, I felt like I wasn't attacking hitters like I should have – like I was in Fort Wayne. I think I fell into that trap.

You got a little wild for three or four games there as well. Were you able to pinpoint why that was happening?

Anthony Bass: I was just shocked that I was walking those guys because that isn't really my game. I worked on it a lot in the bullpen, hitting my spots and commanding my fastball. That got me back into the swing of things.

You were able to keep runners close to the bag all year and not many even attempted to steal off you. How were you able to achieve that?

Anthony Bass: Mixing up my timing on the mound. Slide step – bringing up my leg. Making sure the runners don't feel comfortable at first base or second base.

You mentioned one of the things you wanted to improve upon was the success of two pitches – the changeup and slider. How have both progressed?

Anthony Bass: They are coming along well, especially my changeup. I haven't used it as much as I would have liked near the end of the season, but both of them worked for me really well.

I want my slider to be a little faster than it is right now. It is more of a slurve. I am sharpening that up this offseason to come back for spring training.

You mentioned not using the changeup as much as you would have liked. When do you notice that – is it when left-handers maybe get to you more than they had in the past?

Anthony Bass: I usually like to throw my changeup a lot to left-handers and then come down and in with my slider as a strikeout pitch. Sometimes I get into the trap of wanting to throw fastballs. It is a good thing to have fastball command and will probably help me move on up. In my last outing of the year, I threw six or seven changeups out of 80 pitches and want to keep it closer to 20 percent, like the Padres philosophy.

What is your warmup routine before the game to get mentally prepared for that outing?

Anthony Bass: I like to stay relaxed. I try not to get too amped up. I come here everyday nice and relaxed, but when I get on the mound, I turn on the switch. ‘These guys are trying to take my job. I am not going to let that happen.'

One of the reasons I asked the previous question is the first inning has been a successful inning for you in setting the tone. You did not allow many runs all year in that opening frame.

Anthony Bass: That is really important to go out there and let them know you mean business. I think the offense feeds off that. ‘Let's get him some early runs and get the win.'

How do you assess the 2009 season now that you have a chance to look back on it?

Anthony Bass: I want to limit my walks. That is one thing that bothered me. Overall, I am pretty happy. I can't be content, however, because I know I need to keep making adjustments to move up.

If I do make the jump up to San Antonio, I know the hitters are better, the strike zone is a little tighter and I have to make adjustments, stay in shape, and work hard.

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