RC Interview with Harold Mozingo

Harold Mozingo was drafted by the Royals in the sixth round of the 2006 draft after going 7-1 with a 2.45 ERA with VCU this spring. After some early struggles in Idaho Falls, Mozingo's been pitching very well of late, compiling a 2.76 ERA in his last three outings while striking out 13 and walking none. RC spoke with Mozingo after his last start on August 17.


Royals Corner: Harold, how do you feel about your game tonight? You went four innings, gave up one run, and got the win.

Harold Mozingo: First inning, I came out and left the ball over the plate a little bit, and they were hitting me around. I just made an adjustment in those last three innings, working away more and working in, and just keeping the ball down more. The ball was running on me a little bit in the first inning, back over the middle, and I was leaving them up a little bit. And then I just went and started pounding the zone – that's what I try to do all the time. Just keep the ball down, and not over the middle of the plate.

RC: Were they hitting your fastball in the first inning? Was that what the two doubles were hit off of?

HM: Yeah, both fastballs over the middle of the plate and up a little bit.

Mozingo this season is 2-1 with a 6.13 ERA, although he's been pitching much better lately

RC: How do you feel about your professional season so far? You've had some struggles, but it seems like you've been pitching a lot better lately.

HM: Oh yeah, I went through the growing pains a little bit at the beginning. I came out and struggled a little bit, just getting adjusted to pro ball. Since then, our pitching coach has really worked with me a lot, and that's been a big help for me. The season's going by a lot better now, and hopefully we can get in the playoffs.

RC: Has the switch from a seven-day rotation in college to a five-day rotation here affected you much?

HM: I wouldn't say so much, just because we're on such a restricted pitch count here. They take care of us pretty well, so we're not going out there throwing 120 pitches and coming back five days later. It's been more like 65-70, so it really hasn't been a difficult transition for me.

RC: How's your arm feeling? You've thrown quite a few innings this year between college and rookie ball?

HM: No, my arm still feels great. Actually, it feels the same as it did the first game of the year. It's still holding up pretty well for me.

RC: Could you tell us a little bit about your repertoire? What pitches do you throw, and what speeds do you generally work at?

HM: I throw a fastball, a change-up, and a curveball. Speeds, I'm not so sure about. Usually, I guess my fastball is around 88-90. My curveball is routinely between 72-75. My change-up is pretty hard, usually 80-82 or so.

RC: Do you throw both a two-seam and four-seam fastball?

HM: No, I just throw a four-seamer for right now. I'd like to learn a two-seamer though.

RC: What would you consider your out-pitch? Is it your curveball?

HM: Yeah, right now I'd say the curveball. Pretty much all year, even through college, that was the pitch I went to when I needed a big out.

RC: Which pitch needs the most work?

HM: My change-up, by far. I pretty much just started throwing that, and it's pretty hard for what it is, and I don't really have good command of it right now. That's definitely the pitch that needs the most work.

RC: Are the Royals trying to have you throw more change-ups this year? Did you get away with not having to throw it very often in college?

HM: Yeah, I didn't really throw a whole lot in college, but I've really been working on it a lot. I started throwing it last summer, and it seemed to be a pretty good pitch for me. I threw it earlier in the year, then I kind of went away from it, and now here, like tonight, I didn't even throw it at all, which I kind of feel bad about now. I wish I would have, but I'm trying.

RC: What would you say your goals are for the rest of the season?

HM: My goal always is to finish up the year healthy, of course, and just to continue to get better with every outing and continue to grow as a pitcher.

RC: What was your reaction when you heard you'd been drafted by the Royals? Did you know much about the organization?

HM: I actually didn't know much about them at all. I didn't really follow them at all. I was pretty excited. I kind of had a hunch that the Royals might be the team, so it was a pretty good feeling.

RC: A couple of your teammates from VCU were drafted too – Scott Sizemore and Mike Gibbs. Do you keep in contact with those guys, and is there ever any trash talk between you and Sizemore, seeing how he's a future division rival?

HM: Well, I haven't really talked with Scott yet – I haven't really gotten the chance. But I see that he's doing really well, so I'm real happy for him. Gibbs is actually in the Pioneer League with me, so we get to see each other a lot. It's pretty cool to be out there and see someone that you know like that.

Mozingo was selected CAA All-Conference First Team in 2006

RC: Speaking of rivalry, your teammate, Jason Godin, hails from VCU rival Old Dominion, and together you two were probably the most dominant two pitchers this past year in the Colonial Athletic Association. What's it like having him on the team?

HM: Oh, it's great. He's a good guy and everything, so it hasn't really been a problem. We don't really talk about the rivalry between ODU and VCU. He's easy to get along with.

RC: How are you liking Idaho? It's not quite as exciting as Richmond, is it?

HM: To be honest with you, I didn't like Richmond much. I'm more of a country boy myself. I grew up in a real small town with not a lot to do, kind of like here. So it's kind of like back home to me, except with more people.

RC: What team did you grow up following?

HM: I grew up a Braves fan. I used to go up to watch the Richmond Braves all the time on the weekends, watching Chipper Jones, Javy Lopez, Ryan Klesko, and all those guys come through.

RC: Are there any Major League pitchers who you particular admire, or try to pattern your approach after?

HM: I wouldn't say so much that I try to pattern myself after anybody. I grew up watching John Smoltz a lot, and Greg Maddux, and then Tom Glavine, Steve Avery, and of course Roger Clemens – I've got to throw him in there. They're the pitchers that I'd say I enjoy watching the most.

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