RC Interview with Matt Campbell

Matt Campbell was drafted by the Royals with the 29th pick of the first round in the 2004 draft. In 2005, however, he suffered a torn labrum and missed the entire 2006 campaign. It was a long road back for Campbell, but on Thursday afternoon, he cleared a big hurdle by facing batters again in a minor league game vs. the Rangers. RC spoke with Campbell after his appearance.

Royals Corner: So Matt, how did it feel getting back out there again today?

Matt Campbell: Well, it's been about a year and a half since I've been out there. It was good to be back out on the mound, in a competitive situation, and seeing batters in there with a real defense behind me. It was exciting, but I'm definitely a little rusty.

RC: Were your pitches not quite as crisp as you expect them to be when you're up to full game speed?

MC: Oh yeah, definitely. I've been working on them for about a year and a half now, during the whole rehab process. It's one thing to work on them in a bullpen when there are no hitters in there, and another when a game is going on. I always have high expectations, and I wish I had thrown more strikes than I did. It's something I've got to work on, but hopefully it will come around.

RC: How's your curveball feeling at this point? Are you getting a pretty decent feel for it yet?

MC: It's getting there. I've actually only thrown probably less than 20, including my bullpens and stuff like that. So I'm still trying to get a feel for it. I'm really just trying to stick with the fastball and work on my fastball command and get a feel for my changeup again. I feel those are probably the two biggest pitches I need to work on, and hopefully the curveball will still be there.

RC: What's the plan for you this year? Do you think you might head out to Wilmington, or have you heard anything yet?

MC: I really haven't heard yet. Wherever they send me, I'll be happy. I'll just be happy to get out of Arizona and stop rehabbing for once, just to be back in the games. I miss it, and I finally got that first one out of the way. Hopefully they get a lot better from here.

RC: Do you think you'll be ready to go when the full season clubs open the season?

MC: Oh yeah, definitely. I should be ready to go. My arm feels tremendous right now, and it hasn't felt this good in awhile. I've just got to work out a few kinks – a few mechanical problems. Like they said, it wasn't anything major, just a few little tweaks here and there, and I should be all right.

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