Padres Prospect Interview: Drew Miller

San Diego Padres prospect Drew Miller worked hard in the offseason coming into 2009 but came up with elbow problems and a year away from pitching to heal. He is finally back throwing – tossing four innings in an extended game.

When injuries happen, especially since it began in the offseason, how frustrating is that for you?

Drew Miller: As hard as I worked in the offseason coming into 2009, to have to come in and not be able to do anything is upsetting. But it's just a part of baseball. I just deal with it and go on.

The Padres have always thought your stuff was impressive. What needs to happen to see success with your impressive repertoire?

Drew Miller: The reason why my performance isn't there is I haven't been pitching like I need to. I haven't been pitching inside enough, basically leaving the ball over the plate too much. That's something I worked on in the offseason and was doing well until the elbow fired up.

The curveball is a pitch you have worked on over the past year. How has it progressed and what would you like to see from it?

Drew Miller: In the offseason, it was doing really well. In 2008, for the first half, it was real good, and for the second half, it just disappeared. But it's been progressing pretty well I think.

What's the key to pitching inside? What do you need to make that happen?

Drew Miller: I think that I was so worried about pounding the strike zone, that I really forgot about pitching inside. Whenever you don't pitch inside, guys are able to lean over the plate and hit that ball outside. I didn't really notice that until the end of the year, which was a little too late. I'll fix it this year.

Did you feel like you were working from behind in the count too often before the injury?

Drew Miller: Yeah, Sometimes. Probably trying to be too fine. Making sure that the hitters don't hit and not just inviting contact.

You gave up some homers in 2008 – did you feel like it was one particular pitch they were able to get good wood on?

Drew Miller: Fastball up in the zone. Leaving the fastball up. They can hit it out. It doesn't matter how hard you throw.

Are you looking to throw more two-seamers in the future, maybe get a little more movement?

Drew Miller: Yeah, I mixed in the two-seam and it did well. I just have to concentrate on getting the four-seam down.

How can you be more successful at keeping runners from stealing bases off you?

Drew Miller: Overall, you want to concentrate on the hitter. The runner is there, but I try not to put everything that I have on him. I concentrate on throwing a strike. I think that if I do what I have to do and the catcher does what he has to do and the runner still steals it then he's a good base runner.

So is that coming slightly quicker to the plate? Are there changes that need to be made?

Drew Miller: I probably need to be a little quicker to the plate and vary my looks a little bit better. That's just something I have to work on.

How can you look back at the past year and grow from it?

Drew Miller: Just coming out and throwing one game at a time and not looking ahead while staying healthy. Just throwing strikes one pitch at a time not worrying about anything that's happened. If I throw the pitch I need to and they hit it, just tip my cap and go on.

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