Pirates Prospect Interview: Stephen Tarpley

Lefty Stephen Tarpley, one of the prospects the Pirates acquired in the Travis Snider trade is off to a 7-2 start with a 2.29 ERA with the Class A West Virginia Power. On July 7 Tarpley tossed a six-inning no-hitter in a 3-0 win over the Delmarva Shorebirds. PiratesDugout.com caught up with Tarpley recently.

PD – Talk about the no hitter, how much fun was that for you?

ST – It was awesome, I go out there every inning against my old teammates and it made the game a lot more exciting. I kind of knew what those guys were going to do. I took it one pitch at a time, I started executing pitches and go deep into game. I came out after the sixth inning and got my handshake and then the rain came. So everybody said you did it. You got the complete game no-hitter even though it was six innings.

PD – After six innings would you have been done, had you reached the pitch count?

ST – Yes, I had reached my pitch count. I was getting close at least, so I had reached my limit.

PD – You mentioned you were playing against your former teammates. A lot of the guys for Delmarva were your teammates. You were traded over from the Orioles. Did it give you any extra satisfaction beating and no-hitting an Orioles affiliate?

ST – Yeah, it was awesome to do that especially against those old teammates. It couldn't have come at a more perfect time.

PD – You got off to a slow start in your Pirate career, you didn't make your debut until late May with some minor arm issues. In a way does that help because you are strong and ready to go the rest of the summer?

ST – It worked out for the best. I was very disappointed I couldn't make those starts, but I did get an opportunity to work on a whole bunch of stuff and work with some of the coaches and I think I got a lot better and a lot stronger. It was definitely helpful even though it had it's ups and downs.

PD – What was your reaction when you were traded to Pittsburgh?

ST – I was definitely surprised. I didn't see it coming. I got the call and I was like what do I do now, what's next? I packed up and went in early. The spring training facility was awesome. It was like changing schools, but I'm really happy to be with this organization.

PD – What are some of the key differences between what you've been taught here with the Pirates and what you were taught with the Orioles?

ST – Both focused on sequencing a whole bunch. I think the Pirates are more aggressive on the inner half, just kind of establishing that inside pitch. Letting guys know that you're not afraid to pitch inside, and so you can open up both sides of the plate a lot better. I think both are very good in the way they pitch, but definitely, the Pirates are a little bit different.

PD – How happy are you right now with your delivery and your consistency?

ST – I'm very happy. I've come a long way from where I was in high school and college, so I'm very excited. I've been getting worked with a lot. I just keep striving to get better every day, and it's been showing here and there.

PD – How do you view the trade as far as an opportunity?

ST – It's a fresh start, it's a different way to look at it and that's exactly where we're at right now. I'm still learning, but it's been so much of a help with some of the coaches helping out. It's been great, I couldn't have asked for more.

PD – Do you feel you are on a good path here in the Pirates organization?

ST – Every time I'm getting on the mound I'm feeling more confident. I'm just looking to keep improving, continue to put up good numbers and figure out a routine I can take into next Spring Training.

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